American Revolutionary War Weapons Facts For Those Not So Savvy


Many of the American soldiers brought their own weaponry and equipment from home during the Revolutionary War. Much of the weaponry, the artillery in particular, was experimental in nature. These weapons had been refined from the middle ages and would be refined even further to become some of the more effective weapons of today.  

Revolutionary War Weapons

🔹The most well-known weapon of this era was the musket with its bayonet attached. These muskets were of  the flintlock variety and were muzzleloaded. Unlike modern rifles, the barrels of revolutionary muskets were smooth on the inside, with no rifling to make the projectiles turn. The turning motion of a bullet makes it more accurate. These muskets were extremely inaccurate as a result.

🔹The armies used undersized bullets which sped up loading times but made the rifles even less accurate.

🔹The process of firing at the enemy involved opening a cartridge, pouring some of the black powder into the flashpan, then placing the cartridge in the muzzle, and ramming that with a rammer. The weapon was then pointed at the enemy,the hammer pulled back and the shot fired.

🔹The average rate of fire for riflemen using flintlock muskets in the revolutionary war was three shots per minute.

🔹The British had nine different types of mortars that ranged in size from a little over four inches to a little over a foot in diameter.

🔹The loading process of the flintlock pistol was similar to that of the musket with a considerably shorter range. Flintlock pistols were usually only accurate at distances less than 15 feet.

Cannons of the time would fire regular cannonballs as well as grapeshot that was capable of decimating whole companies of enemy soldiers when used at close range.

🔹In some cases cannons fired solid iron balls, in others the balls would be hollow and filled with gunpowder for maximum explosive effect.

🔹Early in the war the Continental army ran short of weapons, muskets and bayonets in particular. France joined the war and came to the rescue, supplying the American side with firearms as well as uniforms.

🔹Knives, tomahawks, bayonets, swords and axes were all widely used in combat during the Revolutionary War. Bladed weapons were often a last resort weapon when enemy troops were advancing with bayonets.

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History, Texas, Pioneers, Genealogy

From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.


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