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To: Calvin Coolidge
Is there any chance that some of these guys had rifled muskets? I know that Dan Morgan's riflemen had rifled muskets and were picked marksmen. I know a "Kentucky" rifle when I see one, but is there any reason that you couldn't fit a rifled barrel to a musket?

I'm not a coal-burner, but it seems possible to me.

18 posted on 02/04/2003 9:02:25 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (. . . "smokeless" powder is dirty enough for me, thank you . . .)
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To: AnAmericanMother
I'm not entirely positive that I am correct, but I think that the term "musket" implies a reasonably large amount of windage between the projectile and the barrel. With a musket you can essentially drop the projectile down the barrel. A rifle, on the other hand, has rifling, and, for the rifling to work, the projectile must fit tightly against the barrel. For a Long Rifle (whether called Kentucky or Pennsylvania), the ball must be forced down the barrel. The rate-of-fire is slow, whereas, with a musket, because the ball moves more easily, the rate-of-fire is much faster, perhaps twice as fast as that of the rifle.

One downside is that the ball to some extent carooms its way out of the musket, decreasing its accuracy. And, of course, with the rifle, the angular momentum of the spinning ball helps to maintain accuracy.

The rifle-musket was used in the War of Northern Aggression (the Third War of Independence). It was made possible by the development of the Minie Ball (more properly, the Minie Bullet). The Minie ball, of course, is conical with a hollow base. The projectile does not have to forced down the barrel, and it has a hollow base. This base expands when the weapon is fired, causing the base to expand and the projectile to engage the rifling of the barrel. The rifle-musket, then, has roughly the same rate-of-fire as the musket with greatly increased accuracy. The Minie bullet was invented in the 1840s, I believe.

With black powder the barrel fouls rapidly, so that even with a musket, the ball must be rammed home. Loading a long rifle becomes even more difficult with powder foully.

28 posted on 02/04/2003 9:24:17 AM PST by bagman
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To: AnAmericanMother
The answer is, a rifle is a rifle, a musket is a musket. Most Muskets were used by the military, rifles were used for hunting. To answer your question, yes, a rifle barrel can be fit to any stock, however the touch hole for a flintlock must line up correctly, or it will not fire. A Cap-lock however, needs to make sure the hammer contacts the nipple correctly.
31 posted on 02/04/2003 9:30:22 AM PST by Zavien Doombringer
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