Backdating enfield rifle musket

The fellow that was auctioning musket did not know much about it, other then it was old.

He was selling off a collection of antique weapons for someone.

This spin made rifled muskets considerably more accurate over much longer distances than smoothbore muskets.

Unfortunately, neither the Union nor Confederate officer corps could easily put aside the Napoleonic tactics they learned at West Point, predicated on the relatively short range and inaccuracy of the old smoothbores.

Over the last bunch of weeks I’ve written about many of the domestic weapons in my Civil War Arsenal, but today I’m going to write about one of my imports muskets.

The 1853 Type III Enfield was the most common imported weapon of the Civil War.

Because the minie ball had a diameter smaller than the bore, it dropped slickly down clean barrels, and could be easily rammed down barrels fouled with black powder residue from many previous shots.

I purchased this musket a few years back on Gun Brokers Auction Web Site.

The Enfield was the first production gun to use rifling in its barrel and it fired the .577 caliber Pritchett minie ball (which was innovative for its time) and considered by many the prettiest rifle made with its brass accents.

There were many private contractors manufacturing Enfield’s but the better quality Enfield’s were made by the Birmingham Small Arms Factory and the London Armory Arsenals.

I have repeatedly hit a six-foot by two-foot target at 300 yards with my Euro Arms copy, and would love to find a range long enough for me to stretch it out even farther.

I can only imagine how terrifying it must have been to stand in front of a rank of hundreds of men shooting rifled muskets at me–even more so when I think that .577 caliber minie balls bring at least 500 grains of pure soft-lead hurt when they hit home. In contrast, the classic .45 ACP FMJ bullet weighs in at a measly 230 grains, or about half as much.When I first saw the gun I thought there was no way I’d win the auction, thinking that everyone interested would be jockeying for position.


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