Aiming a Brown Bess?

Discussion in 'Smoothbore' started by Griz44Mag, Apr 1, 2019.

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  1. May 3, 2019 #101

    Loyalist Dave

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    The fact that the word "present" was the command to level the muskets at the enemy prior to firing them, does not equal evidence that muskets were not "aimed". Further the command "present" was maintained in the British army LONG after they acquired breechloading rifles. ;)

    "When powder is given to Recruits, they are to be taught to load and fire singly, that each man may be distinctly instructed in the proper methods of using a Cartridge, and be encouraged to proceed without dread or confusion ; they are then to be fired by Files, and so on by degrees, until a number of them maybe ventured together : they should be taught to fire at marks, at different distances ;

    The general yearly allowance of Ball to a Regiment, when not on Service, being only four to each Man, the insufficiency of that number, for frequently practicing the Companies at firing at marks, must be very obvious ;

    Leaping, running, climbing precipices, swimming, skirmishing through the wood,
    loading and firing in different attitudes [positions] at marks, and marching with remarkable rapidity, are the particular Exercises, to which these [Light Infantry] Companies should be trained…"
    Cuthbertson, System, for the Complete Interior Management and Economy of a Battalion of Infantry published 1776


    LD
     
  2. May 3, 2019 #102

    Artificer

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  3. May 3, 2019 #103

    FlinterNick

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    Another important issue in regards to aiming a Brown Bess in the context of someone aiming it today is that people were generally smaller in the 18th century. A Long Land 1750 pattern musket, weighed nearly 11 lbs, with a 45 inch barrel with the average joe’s height between 5’7 - 5’10 160-180 lbs. Handing a musket such as a Brown Bess today for someone is much easier, speaking in general terms, handling, aiming and shooting would be better too if today’s humans were armed with smoothbore muskets. I’ve handled and shot all Brown Bess pattern muskets; I’m 6’2 225 lbs; I find the long land to be a much more comfortable fit physically for aiming and shooting, the 3rd pattern for me tends to be a little awkward, but capable none the less.
     
  4. May 3, 2019 #104

    Artificer

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    I will add that the first publication date of Cuthbertson's work was in 1768 and as a result of Cuthbertson's Service in the 5th Regiment of Foot during the Seven Years War. The following shows the 5th fought on the Continent during that War, so teaching aiming or "marksmanship" by "firing at marks" was not only done in the Colonies during the FIW, it was done in other Regiments elsewhere.

    "The next major conflict in which the 5th foot was involved was the Seven Years' War. The regiment took part in the Raid on Cherbourg in 1758, the Battle of Warburg in 1760, the Battle of Kirch Denkern in 1761 (where they captured the entire French Rouge regiment) and the Battle of Wilhelmsthal in 1762.[8]"
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Northumberland_Fusiliers#Seven_Years'_War

    Gus
     
  5. May 3, 2019 #105

    Artificer

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    Hi Nick,

    18th Century British Regiments normally required the Soldiers for the Grenadier Company of each Regiment to be over 6 feet in height, while it seems the Light Infantry Company was normally given the shortest men in a Regiment. One British Regiment had their tallest Light Infantry Soldier at 5'8", while most were around two inches shorter than that and that is pretty indicative of other Regiments of the time.

    Gus
     
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  6. May 3, 2019 #106

    Artificer

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    P.S. I joked that when I enlisted as a Private Soldier in the Major's Coy, of the 42nd RHR, I rated to be in the Grenadier Company as I am just shy of 6'1". I had only been retired from the Marine Corps for a couple of years, so I wasn't completely out of shape, but joked at age 46 and as my belly was beginning to grow, that I should be assigned to the "Heavy Infantry." :D

    Gus
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
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  7. May 3, 2019 #107

    FlinterNick

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    Haha, gaining weight is ultimately which pulled me out of re-enacting for a few years, those uniforms are very uncomfortable if they’re the slightest bit tight in the wrong places, I had buttons shooting off, torn sleeves from armpits I was a disgrace !
     
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  8. May 3, 2019 #108

    Loyalist Dave

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    Currently I am in a diet program..., I'm a little short tempered until I'm allowed my snack at 11...but this is for another thread.

    LD
     
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  9. May 7, 2019 #109

    Grenadier1758

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    At my age, with the height shrinking, I should be in the invalid company. Maybe I should be Invalid Company 1763. I've been trying to get an Invalid Company going, but we still want to be Grenadiers.
     
  10. May 10, 2019 #110

    FlinterNick

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    I had an idea that joining a ranger unit might get me in better shape because they do more rendezvous marching however I was soundly mistaken with that idea.
     
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