Category: Arms & Armament

  • Musketoons and Rifle-Muskets: What’s In A Name?

    Names and nomenclature do make a difference in military topics. You’d like to be as accurate as possible, and I think it’s important to use the terminology current at the time unless you specify you’re using something contemporary. I’ll use two examples that have caused a lot of confusion—musketoon and the rifle-musket. The difference between […]

  • Back in the Saddle

    After what seems like forever I’m back home and trying to get back to a normal life, including posting on TOCWOC. For now, however, I’ll just leave a couple of links of interest to keep everyone entertained while we’re all under “house arrest.” An excellent documentary on the 1864 battle of Olustee in Florida.   […]

  • A Look At Some Various Period Arms

    The 19th Century was a busy one for firearms development. At its beginning armies used .75 cal. smoothbore muskets like the Brown Bess, and by its end they were using the fully modern .30 cal. box magazine repeater with smokeless powder. One of the big technological jumps happened during the US Civil War with the […]

  • Her Majesty Takes a Shot

    It is the summer of 1860. The British government, rattled by a French invasion scare, seeks to train a sizable corps of volunteers armed with the new rifles, much as the Americans had done to them eight-five years earlier. To properly kick things off the queen herself pulls a silken cord and fires the first […]

  • James Burton and Firearms Design and Development

    Nice article on James Burton, who, as it says, was one of the most important and influential men in firearms design and development, especially regarding manufacture. An American, he also figures prominently in the Civil War. In April 1844, Burton took a job as a machinist at the Harpers Ferry Armory. Coincidentally, the B&O Railroad […]

  • Dead Men Do Tell Tales

    In fact, they can, with modern forensic archeology, be quite eloquent. Case in point comes from the Manassas battlefield, when recent excavations have revealed quite a lot about about wounds and surgical practices. In an article for Smithsonian magazine, recently discovered remains of Union soldiers show a lot about their fate. The bones were discovered […]

  • Turner Rifle Update

    My previous post on the Turner rifle has been updated to reflect the fact that it will in fact take a standard P53 Enfield bayonet, which would make it a fully functional military rifle. It has turned out to be a fine shooter.