What are smooth-bores?

Updated: 4/28/2022
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Smooth-bore refers to a firearm or cannon which does not have a rifled barrel (a rifled barrel is one with ridges that corkscrew down the barrel to impart a spin to the bullet)

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Q: What are smooth-bores?
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Where flintlock muskets used in the American Civil War?

Neither side purchased flintlocks. In the early days of the war, the Confederacy used any weapons available. This probably included a few flintlocks brought by individual soldiers. Most soldiers were armed with various percussion (aka. cap and ball) rifles and handguns. As the war progressed, more and more breech-loading cartridge rifles were used but the older technology was still dominant.AnswerThe governments of both Union and Confederacy did not place any contracts for Flintlock rifles, but many regiments were raised with private funds so there were some units that were armed with flintlocks. The 7th Arkansas Regiment was armed with flintlocks at the Battle of Shiloh. I remember reading about more units but I can't find a reference at this time. At Fort Henry there were two brigades commanded by Colonels Adolphus Heiman and Joseph Drake, approximately 2,800-3,400 men of the 10th Tennessee who were armed primarily with antique flintlock rifles from the War of 1812. [Reference wikipediea].At the Battle of Mill Springs, KY, January 19, 1862, the Confederate forces were armed mostly with flintlock muskets. On the 21st, they fought in the Battle of Logan's Cross Roads.The 6th Arkansas Infantry Regiment was mustered and organized at Little Rock, Arkansas on June 10, 1861. The regiment was initially armed mostly with flintlock M1816/M1822 .69 cal. smoothbore muskets seized from the Little Rock arsenal in February, 1861. Co. A was armed with a mixture of M1841 "Mississippi rifles" and .69 cal. smoothbores, as there weren't enough of the rifles to go around. The 6th Arkansas was decisively engaged at Shiloh with the Confederate left wing, engaged against Sherman's Federal troops. The 6th Arkansas was able to re-arm itself with "Springfield rifles" (probably .58 cal. M1855 rifle muskets) from Federal weapons left on the field at Shiloh.Re-Tooled to PercussionAbout 5,600 Model 1840 flintlock muskets had been ordered just before the war. These were .69 caliber smoothbore muskets and many were quickly re-tooled for percussion ignition. Another smoothbore that was available in Virginia arsenals was one made by the Virginia Manufactory in Richmond.References: references The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War, Eicher, David J., Simon & Schuster, 2001.

What were the main muskets used in the civil war?

Shoulder fired weapons in the ACW can be put into five categories based on the following characteristics: A.) Type of barrel: Smoothbore vs. rifled, the latter much more accurate. B.) How they were loaded: Muzzleloaders vs. breechloaders, the latter being more desirable. C.) How often you had to load them: The less, the better. D.) Priming, or how the bullet was fired: Flintlock vs. percussion, the latter more reliable. The five types of muskets are as follows, worst to best: 1.) Flintlock smoothbore. This is a single shot muzzleloader, likely a shotgun, fired by a spark from a flint, igniting powder in a priming pan to fire the bullet. It was just this side of useless, and worthless in damp weather. 2.) Percussion smoothbore. Also a single shot muzzleloader, but improved by removing the lock and replacing it with a hammer that struck a percussion cap placed on a nipple that led to the powder charge that fired the bullet. This cap was like a very small top hat that was placed on the nipple, it was coated with fulmonate of mercury, a contact explosive. Both the foregoing smoothbore types were not very accurate. They fired a round ball that was ballistically inaccurate. 100 yards, you couldn't hit a barn door with any certainty... 3.) Percussion rifled, or rifled musket. Single shot muzzleloader with a rifled barrel. Startlingly accurate for those used to smoothbores, (Some Generals learned this quickly, some less so, and some never did.) a veteran could get off three aimed shots a minute with one of these, making frontal attacks, even against hastily prepared positions, unreasonably costly. The drawback of the muzzleloader was that you had to stand to load it, or were expected to. This was the weapon most troops fought with, and the best weapon available to the south in any quantities. Types included the British Enfield, used mainly by the south, and the US Springfield models of 1861 and 1863, issued to the north. 4.) Breechloader. Single shot rifle loaded at the breech with a one piece bullet that included the powder and primer in a rim fire cartridge. The union Sharps carbine was one of these, carried mainly by the cavalry. 5.) Repeater. Multi shot rifle loaded from a tubular magazine in the stock (Spencer) or under the barrel (Henry) To southern troops, the Spencer seven shot was the rifle you could 'Load on Sunday and shoot all week!' The Henry was the predecessor to the lever action Winchester, as seen in every western movie ever made. First introduced to the confederates at the little known Battle of Hoovers Gap, by a union unit armed entirely with them, known as the lightning brigade, they drove off two divisions and held the pass so Thomas' XIV Corps could use it to flank Bragg out of Tennessee. There were other muskets used, especially early in the war. Agents from both sides bought up all the outdated stuff Europe had to offer. A lot of union western troops got stuck with an outdated .78 caliber Belgian musket that must have kicked like a mule. Colt made a 5 shooter revolver .54 cal rifle that lost favor because all five chambers could go off at once. A few thousand of those also got sent west.

Related questions

Do revolvers have smooth bores?

MOST revolvers are not smoothbores, but have rifled barrels. A very few revolvers were made as SHOT pistols, and have smoothbores. These are rather rare collectors items, and require special registration with the BATFE as an "Any Other Weapon"- or AOW.

What type of guns are there?

There are dozens- possibly hundreds of different types of guns. They may be divided into handguns and long guns, rifle or smoothbores, or divided by the type of actions.

Was the Stevens 22lr a smooth bore or a rifle bore?

MOST were rifled firearms, but a small number of smoothbore .22s were made. They are usually marked "shot only". Many older rifles can APPEAR to be smoothbores- until they are thoroughly cleaned.

How many military rifles were available in the US just before the US Civil War?

Just before the start of the US Civil War, it is estimated that 700,000 rifles were available. Half of these, however, were obsolete smoothbores, and only 36,000 could be considered modern .58 caliber.

What is smoothbores?

For guns, a "smoothbore" is a gun that was smooth on the inside of the barrel(or bore). These were also called "muskets" or "smoothbore musket". Later, gunsmiths began to cut a spiral groove in the bore which was called "rifling" that gave a spin to the bullet, resulting in a straighter trajectory and longer range. These were called "rifles".

What is the main difference between Rifles shotguns and handguns?

A handgun is made to be fired with one hand. Rifles and shotguns, from the shoulder, with two hands. Shotguns are smoothbores- the inside of the barrel is a smooth tube. Rifles have spiral lines cut on the inside of the barrel. These lines (rifling) cause the bullet to spin in flight, improving the accuracy.

How many cannons were used at the Battle of Gettysburg?

The Confederate Artillery under the command of Col Alexander numbered some 150 pieces, mostly 12 pound Napoleon smoothbores and a lesser amount of 3 inch parrot rifled cannon. The Union Artillery, under the command of General Hunt, numbered some 230 pieces more or less with most being the 3 inch rifles.

Is there such thing as a triple barel shotgun?

Although I know of no "three-barrel shotguns", it is entirely possible that someone, somewhere, sometime made one. However, there is a type of long-gun commonly referred to as a "drilling", which is probably best described as a side-by-side shotgun with a third barrel located centrally below the two smoothbores. This third barrel is usually rifled, and is chambered for a .30" caliber or smaller rifle cartridge. "Drilling" is actually a mis-spelling of "dreilling", deriving from "drei", the German word for "three" and it is generally thought that this type of general hunting arm originated there. fenianmarksman

Advantages the american patriots had in the Revolutionary war?

The patiots new the geography well. Gen. George Washington was also commander-in-cheif of the Continental Army, and Washington was one of the best generals in history. Many of the patriots also owned rifles. The Patriots faced many hard times but they were determined to fight to defend their homes and family

What is the age and value of a Winchester Model 34-A Wingmaster 22 caliber?

This question cannot be answered because Winchester never made a 34-A Wingmaster 22 caliber. The "asker" should take the gun in hand and copy down exactly everything that is stamped on the gun and tell where it is stamped. "WINGMASTER" is a Remington Trademark so Winchester cannot use it. Chances are that the model "34-A" may not be complete or correct. Remington made a lot of 22's to the point of "ridiculous-modelitis" . They did make some 22 caliber rifles with smoothbores that shot .22 caliber Rimfire Shotshells at tiny clay pigeons that were thrown from a springloaded target thrower that actually was attached to the gun. They were marketed using the term "SKEETER". The smoothbore versions are worth approximately 50% more than the rifled version of the same model and, of course, conditon oand originality are the predominant factors. Don Schiimpff Redding, CA

What weaponry was used in civil war?

From the website of Infantry tactics at the time of the Civil War were based on the use of the smoothbore musket, a weapon of limited range and accuracy. Firing lines that were much more than a hundred yards apart could not inflict very much damage on each other, and so troops which were to make an attack would be massed together, elbow to elbow, and would make a run for it; if there were enough of them, and they ran fast enough, the defensive line could not hurt them seriously, and when they got to close quarters the advantage of numbers and the use of the bayonet would settle things. But the Civil War musket was rifled, which made an enormous difference. It was still a muzzle-loader, but it had much more accuracy and a far longer range than the old smoothbore, and it completely changed the conditions under which soldiers fought. An advancing line could be brought under killing fire at a distance of half a mile, now, and the massed charge of Napoleonic tradition was miserably out of date. When a defensive line occupied field entrenchments-which the soldiers learned to dig fairly early in the game-a direct frontal assault became almost impossible. The hideous casualty lists of Civil War battles owed much of their size to the fact that soldiers were fighting with rifles but were using tactics suited to smoothbores. It took the generals a long time to learn that a new approach was needed. Much the same development was taking place in the artillery, although the full effect was not yet evident. The Civil War cannon, almost without exception, was a muzzle-loader, but the rifled gun was coming into service. It could reach farther and hit harder than the smoothbore, and for counterbattery fire it was highly effective-a rifled battery could hit a battery of smoothbores without being hit in return, and the new 3-inch iron rifles, firing a 10-pound conical shot, had a flat trajectory and immense Penetrating power. But the old smoothbore-a brass gun of 4.62-inch caliber, firing a 12-pound spherical shot-remained popular to the end of the war; in the wooded, hilly country where so many Civil War battles were fought, its range of slightly less than a mile was about all that was needed, and for close-range work against infantry the smoothbore was better than the rifle. For such work the artillerist fired canisters tin can full of iron balls, with a propellant at one end and a wooden disk at the other-and the can disintegrated when the gun was fired, letting the iron balls be sprayed all over the landscape. In effect, the cannon became a huge sawed-off shotgun, and at ranges of 250 yards or less it was in the highest degree murderous

What was the most commonly used weapons used in the revolutionary war?

The flintlock musket. This was a firearm which could be fired two to three times per minute by a trained man. When the trigger was pulled the hammer struck a piece of flint, which caused sparks which would ignite loose gunpowder in the "pan". This made the powder burn and the flame flashed through a hole into the chamber of the weapon, igniting the main charge of powder, which exploded, driving the bullet out of the barrel. The barrel lacked rifling. Rifling is spiral grooves cut into the inside of the barrel, which impart a spin to the bullet and make it fly farther and on a much more accurate path, like a spiraling football pass. The standard muskets of both sides, lacking rifling, were "smoothbores". They imparted no spin to the bullet and were wildly inaccurate, more like a knuckleball in baseball. All muskets though could have a bayonet attached, and this was really the main weapon. The opposing sides would line up and blaze away at each other for a while, usually doing little harm. Then one side or the other would make a bayonet charge and this would settle the battle.There is a myth that in the Revolution American riflemen were hiding behind trees fighting "Indian style" at the British lined up with their inaccurate muskets. There were riflemen with Washington's army, but only a relatively small number, from the backwoods of Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Their weapons were very accurate, but slow to load.