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Friday, 24 July 2015

The Minie Ball Was Real Progress:

Mention of the 'Minie' Ball in the previous cartridge story reminded me of the part that it had in the gradual improvements that moved firearms forward - from the early magical noise makers - meant to "frighten the horses" (and the enemy troops) - then becoming a true (smooth-bore) weapon used in volley fire against massed fighters - then through the use of aimed patched ball in guns with a rifled barrel that could be accurate.
Minie Balls make a .45acp look Small.

The French developed the Minie Ball which became a giant step forward in the sniping ability of rifled arms - truly extending the useable range of these black-powder muzzle-loaders - out to as much as 300 yards and even as far as 500 yards.

The hollow base design of the Minie caused the projectile to expand and seal in the rifles bore giving greater power (from less gas loss) and greater accurate range from the imparted spin.

This also permitted a big reduction in bore size and bullet weight without loss of "knock-down effect" - while also increasing the rate of fire as they slid down the bore much easier when loading because they did not need to be a tight fit before firing..

The expanding Minie bullet had a self cleaning effect as it pushed residue from previous shots ahead of itself - reducing fouling by scraping the bore clean.

The higher velocity of the heavy spin stabilised conical bullets also proved to cause greater damage than had earlier round balls.

French Army Captain Minie transformed the way 1850s warfare was conducted, adding 200 yards extra effective range to the infantry-mans ability to defend himself from artillery cannon fire.
Video About The Minie Ball.

Marty K.