Skip to comments.The Baker Rifle
Posted on 12/27/2018 4:59:14 AM PST by w1n1
How the Baker Rifle shaped the way we Fight with our Rifles.
The defining moment for rifles in the western world was when Rifleman Thomas Plunkett serving with the British 95th Rifle regiment took a shot with his Baker rifle towards the end of the Battle of Cacabelos in 1809.
Rifleman Plunket laid flat on his back in the snow took a shot at the French General Auguste-Marie-François Colbert.
While he lay on the ground, Plunket inserted his foot into the sling of his Baker .705-caliber rifle to stabilize the weapon, the butt of his rifle flushed into his shoulder and took aim using only his marksmanship skills and iron sights.
Plunkett squeezed the trigger, and a moment later the general fell dead at 600 yards away. Then Plunkett reloaded and ran back to cover and took another shot that killed a second French officer who rode to Colbert's aid.
This feat catapulted the capability of the basic firearm used by a soldier, led by the Baker rifle. The Baker rifle was not the first rifle invented, as there were other muskets used in the previous century with less accuracy. The Americans and Germans learned ways to use it with deadly effectiveness.
These previous "smoothbore" muskets had dominated the European battle fields before the Baker rifle came along. The big deal now is that the British had a weapon that can kill from a longer distance and be mass-produced.
Differences between the "smoothbore" and the rifle is that, the rifle had special cuts (rifling) inside the barrel. Which causes the bullet to spin, the spinning of the bullet enhanced the accuracy of the shot. Read the rest of the Baker rifle.
Richard Sharpe approves this message.
Aim small, Shoot small.
What amazes me is how a simple tool, a (button cutter) guys could build rifle barrels.
Aim small, miss small.
Duplicate Post Police are watching! Hahaha!
Who is missing? :)
But just in case you didn’t recognize it, and please forgive me for the explanation if you do, that (”aim small, miss small”) was a famous line from Mel Gibson’s movie “The Patriot,” where he was instructing his young’un how to shoot, and his words, which I’d never heard before but make a lot of sense, were “Aim big, miss big. Aim small, miss small.” So if you sorta aim at the whole person, you miss the whole person—aim big, miss big. But if you aim for a specific small target, say the dead center of the chest, you’ll be more accurate—a miss there (and there will be misses) will still be effective, hitting the lungs, or liver/spleen, or neck—”aim small, miss small.” Focusing on a small spot to hit also takes your mind off what you’re doing, and helps calm frightened people who are just shooting in the general direction of the enemy.
Loved the Sharpe series, and Bean was great in it.
The rifle users were the better soldiers and shooters, the “chosen men,” the Corporals, while regular infantry had the smooth bores.
The American Long Rifle came a century before this.
Much of the article is inaccurate or misleading.
"The feathers of the arrows indicate that people in Ötzi's time understood that the aerodynamic principal of a rotating arrow could be shot more accurately."
Long before the button concept, barrel makers had been pulling a steel burr through a bore in many passes, cutting one groove at a time, using wooden and bronze tooling. Today, button and now hammer forged barrels are made by the millions, but single point cut rifled barrels rule the roost for internal precision, accuracy and long life....
See Krieger and Obermeyer Bartlien etc on the web. Oh, by the way, it wasn’t until the advent of the M16 series that US military rifle barrels were made by other than cut processes. IE, all US M1 and M14 and MG 30/762 to 50,plus most all cannon & gun tubes.
I had the pleasure as a teen to tour Watervliet Arsenal in NY and watched with amazement as a 155 gun tube was cut rifled on a 200 foot long rifling machine....
Sharp shooters though they were good, they had the highest casualty rate in the military before the age of smokeless gun powder. They were also worshiped as heroes among their peers but in many instances their living life as a hero were short lived if they were out shooting by themselves away from the others. Sharp shooters would attract attention to them selves from the smoke from their rifles, especially if they were by themselves and not in a group of individuals shooting. Many times the enemy would bring up their cannons to deal with the sharp shooters and shot in the general direction of the sharp shooter with canister shot. The canister shot is what killed most of them and/or any other type of soldier in the way of the canister shot.
Tell me more!
Rifled fire arms were not new as they had been around since the 1500s and were mostly used for hunting where accuracy was prized and the smoke cloud from the gunpowder was only a nuisance. Rifles in combat were more problematical for use on the battlefields due to the loading time & difficulty of forcing the ‘bullet’ down the barrel and the give-away factor of the smoke-cloud upon firing. Thus common troops used easy to load & volley-fire smooth-bore muskets while only specialists used rifles. What changed this equation was the Minié ball ammunition.
Developed in the late 1830s, the Minié ball was a conical slug with a hollowed base that was smaller than the caliber of the rifle, making it easy to load. When fired, the soft metal at the base expanded to fit the grooves / rifling and thus get the spin needed for accuracy. The first tests of battle came in the Crimean War of the 1850s. By the US Civil War of 1861-65, both sides had their common soldiers armed with either the US Springfield 1861 or the British 1853 Enfield rifled muskets, using the Minié ball.
The ‘glory days’ of the Minié ball also ended with the US Civil War as breech-loaders like the Spencer Rifle took over from the muzzle-loaders like the Springfields & Enfields.
In other words, about average for 'Am Shooting Journal'.
At the onset of WWII, the Swedes were making one 40MM gun barrel every 3 1/2 hours using traditional rifling methods. When we started producing them, we turned 'em out at a rate of one every 15 minutes using the broaching method.
I just started watching that show.
Make that the last seven Millennia!
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