CapandBall's Ballistic Tests of 19th Century Rifles

The terminal effectiveness of modern bullets has been the subject of much study, but less well scrutinized have been the projectiles of rifles before 1900, fired by the blackpowder weapons that armed men throughout the age of empires. Fortunately, the Hungarian channel CapandBall has performed some very interesting terminal ballistic tests of these weapons from the pre-smokeless powder era. The video below shows his gelatin test of the M1867/77 Werndl rifle, compared to tests he has performed previously with the Austro-Hungarian M1842 Augustin 15.9mm and the M1854 Lorenz 13.7mm rifles:

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Making Gunpowder From Urine, Natural Materials

So, one day you’re working on your ranch in Utah, and you think “you know, when the zombie elk apocalypse comes, I had better be prepared. I’ve got a rifle, and some ammo, but what happens when I run out?”

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Blackpowder vs. Smokeless Powder Terminal Effectiveness

Earlier this week, I was asked what my thoughts were on the video below, coming from HEMA instructor Matt Easton, on his YouTube channel Scholagladiatoria. In it, he discusses some of the limitations of early blackpowder (especially muzzleloading) firearms, specifically within the context of how they affected the development of edged weapons:

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Shooting a Lee-Metford at 400 Yards

In the twilight of the blackpowder era, the British tested many designs in one of the biggest firearms competitions of the era, in an effort to replace their increasingly obsolete Martini-Henry rifle. The winning design was the brainchild of Scottish-American designer James Paris Lee, one of the great geniuses of late 19th Century firearms design. Lee had invented the detachable box magazine – which my readers will recognize as the foundation upon which the collective fire modern rapid-fire individual firearms have been built –  which he patented in 1875, and then combined with a sturdy and simple action, creating a rifle that was ahead of its time in a way that few weapons with a comparable legacy can claim.

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Colonial Williamsburg to Open Public Musket Range

Visitors to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, may soon be lining up for a unique attraction: Shooting Revolutionary War-era muskets at a period-correct shooting range. WTKR.com reports:

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Early Bolt-Actions: The Chassepot And Dreyse At RIA

Today, we tend to take the metallic cartridge and the guns that fire them for granted, but before the invention and perfection of the metallic cartridge case, arms designers faced stiff challenges in realizing the breechloading military rifle. Early attempts, most famously the flintlock Ferguson used in very limited numbers by the British during the American Revolution, were too expensive to produce in large numbers and only saw limited success.

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Vintage Tactical

SoloDallas sent us a photo of his historical tactical collection. He wrote …

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The Ambitious Origins of Short-Recoil Operation At Forgotten Weapons

Now that all the guns of Ian’s educational videos have been auctioned off, it is time for a more traditional Forgotten Weapons post, of the kind he’s been doing for several years now. The subject of his latest is the Mannlicher 1885 self-loading rifle, an extremely special example of a semiautomatic hand weapon designed around blackpowder cartridges. Without some practical experience with blackpowder weapons, the ambition of Mannlicher’s goal cannot be fully understood; blackpowder is a nasty, corrosive substance that fouls even simple single-shot weapons to the point of hopeless inaccuracy and uselessness without regular cleaning and attention. To attempt to design a practical self-loading weapon is approaching an exercise in total futility, but it was a challenge that Ferdinand von Mannlicher felt he was nevertheless up to:

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Shooting A Martini-Henry Beyond 300 Yards

The YouTube channel britishmuzzleloaders consistently puts out excellent content in areas of firearms history that rarely receive much attention. Most recently, he took his .577/.450 Martini-Henry out to the range, to shoot at ranges of 100, 200, 300, and 400 yards. What does shooting an old blackpowder* breechloader at these ranges entail? Watch the video embedded below to find out:

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Small Caliber Rounds! What Are They Good For?

It’s not commonly remembered in today’s world of .22 caliber infantry rifles that once upon a time .30″ was “small caliber”, and with that came all of the doubts an questions about wounding and killing power of such small bullets. LooseRounds has posted an 1891* article by the New York Times, entitled “What Are They Good For? Speculation As To The Value of Small-Calibre Pieces”, expressing such concern about the effectiveness of the new miniature ammunition:

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POTD: Zombie Fort Gun Rack

TFB writer James Reeves went to the Burning Man arts festival earlier this year. One of the “art installations” (for lack of a better term) was a Zombie themed desert fortress with a number of gun-related artistic touches such as a gun rack, muzzle loading pistol and shot gun shells for decoration.

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A trigger lock taken to the extreme

Like most of the gun community, here at TFB we are not fans of trigger locks (locks built into a gun, not locks designed to secure a firearm). They are just one more thing that could go wrong and prevent you using your gun at a time when your life depends on it. The  Maxton’s Art Gallery have taken this concept to the extreme by creating a gun, named The Intimidator, that is itself both a lock and a puzzle.

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Atomic Bullet Thunder Mug Cannon

This is a bullet shaped mini black powder cannon. I am not quite sure why they call it a mug. I suppose it is somewhat mug sized.

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Painting With Gunpowder

This video about a Chinese artist who “paints” with gunpowder (blackpowder) is worth watching.

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Gun Review: CVA Optima V2 Muzzleloader

This review was written by Dr. Jim and Mary Clary.

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