Revolutionary War Muskets
During the American Revolutionary War, this was one of the first wars fought anywhere that included the use of guns and muskets. Earlier, war was often fought with swords, but when the musket was introduced, this gave the battle a whole new look as hand to hand combat was lessened. During this time, muskets were often assembled from parts that were readily available. Sometimes this meant that parts had to be mixed and matched between muskets to keep them in good working order.
The Flintlock musket was one of the most important muskets that was made during the late 1700's and this was the musket that was used by a number of men in the military. First made in 1795 it became knowns as the Flintlock model 1795 and was patterned after a French musket design called the Charleyville, it was made with a much more rugged design which was made for battle rather than for hunting.
This gun was a long gun that weight 9 pounds, which was long – 5 feet in total. The gun fired one single lead ball which measured about ¾ of an inch. Between each shot, gun powder was dropped down the barrel to help the bullet to propel out the end of the gun. A flint was held by two jaws when the gun was loaded and when the flint struck a part called the frizzen, the spark cause the gun powder in the barrel to ignite, which propelled the lead ball out. For close combat a bayonet was added onto the end, which was quite necessary in those times. During battle muskets were not always accurate and because they took so long to load in between shots, the enemy could advance, not giving enough time to get another shot out. The bayonet helped to give the soldier another weapon to work with once the enemy got too close. An American Revolutionary War Musket consisted of just a few parts and they were not all that sophisticated and could only be used effectively at about 100 yards.
When Springfield first began building the flintlock muskets, they were handbuilt. In the first year of production just 245 were made followed by 838 in the second year of production. Each year more and more flintlocks were produced as the need arose and as technology allowed them to make more. In total between 1795 and 1844 over 475,000 of these muskets were produced, making them very common at the time.
The musket changed the face of war and paved the way for even greater technology in firearms and weapons. Although it wasn't highly accurate, it was much better than face to face combat with a sword. When we compare them to today's rifles they are very long and inefficient, but it's clear that early muskets opened up the door to better technology so that we could have the rifles and shotguns that are used by many hunters today.