Napoleonic firearms vs pre-18th century firearms

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,807
#12
In addition to what others have said, I will add that it was during the Napoleonic era that fully self-contained cartridges were invented by gunsmith Jean Samuel Pauly: Jean Samuel Pauly - Wikipedia
From a quick look, my understanding is it was invented but not used during the Napoleonic war. Paper cartridges were used near universally but not these integrated cartridges.
 
May 2019
61
Earth
#13
From a quick look, my understanding is it was invented but not used during the Napoleonic war. Paper cartridges were used near universally but not these integrated cartridges.
Yes, as far as I know they were not adopted in any notable numbers during the Napoleonic period. The OP was asking about the development of firearms tech during the Napoleonic era, so I thought this was worth mentioning. Pauly's Napoleonic era invention would go on to influence later, more modern firearms designs, such as the Dreyse Needle Gun.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,351
Sydney
#14
the European armies used flintlocks from the 1650ies to the 1850
there were very few improvements
a soldier of Marlborough would have hardly been surprised if put in the ranks at Waterloo
Rifling was expensive and required a tight fit in the barrel this made the fire rate much slower
the fouling of the barrel would stop the rifle firing after a short interval
the Minie bullet was loose until the charge explosion expanded the hollow butt-end thus making it tight
however it was only used from the 1850ies( just before the Crimean war) to the 1870ies ( before the Franco Prussian war )when closed cartridges came into use
 
May 2019
61
Earth
#15
the European armies used flintlocks from the 1650ies to the 1850
Well, that's a bit of a broad statement, and not entirely true. Flintlocks started falling out of use after the 1830s. The Prussians adopted needle-fire guns in the 1840s. And they also had caplock converted 'Potzdam Muskets' from the 1830s. The Brits also had caplock muskets in the 1840s (Pattern 1842). Similarly, the USA had caplock Springfield muskets (Model 1842) before the 1850s.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,351
Sydney
#16
My mistake on caplocks , I was too vague
they came in use around the 1830ies after the invention of the fulmigate caps and became obsolete by the 1860ies on the continent
with the Dreyse gun and the Chassepot
there were kept during the civil war because so many older style guns were in use , even though the metallic cartridge was already in use

My point about a 1700 soldier having no problem whatsoever picking up a gun on the Waterloo battlefield and using it remain valid
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,351
Sydney
#17
there is the considerable cost of changing a gun model when tens of thousands are already issued
and the wariness of the military to adopt radical new ideas until they have been field tested

many flintlocks were modified to caps to save time and money
later hundred of thousands cap-locks muzzle-loaders were modified modified to breech-loading
and a few decades later , black powder guns converted to smokeless powder cartridge with various success

Needham Musket Conversion


while there had not been much change for one hundred and fifty years
from the 1830 to the 1890 there was a succession of several revolutions in the technology

some top of the line modern infantry rifles became obsolete in little more than a decade
such as the Mauser 1871 issued to the troops in 1873 and became second rate in 1886
the whole German army had to re-equip their infantry with the model 1888 at great cost
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,338
Florania
#18
there is the considerable cost of changing a gun model when tens of thousands are already issued
and the wariness of the military to adopt radical new ideas until they have been field tested

many flintlocks were modified to caps to save time and money
later hundred of thousands cap-locks muzzle-loaders were modified modified to breech-loading
and a few decades later , black powder guns converted to smokeless powder cartridge with various success

Needham Musket Conversion


while there had not been much change for one hundred and fifty years
from the 1830 to the 1890 there was a succession of several revolutions in the technology

some top of the line modern infantry rifles became obsolete in little more than a decade
such as the Mauser 1871 issued to the troops in 1873 and became second rate in 1886
the whole German army had to re-equip their infantry with the model 1888 at great cost
When were repeating firearms developed?
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,807
#19
When were repeating firearms developed?
Well depends on your defeinitions. But here's some stuff I've found.
Well from my quick research there are some repeating flintlocks, Cookson, and Pukle guns.

There's a big difference between a working example of a gun and a gun suitable and affordable for miliatry adoptaion.

Miliatries were slow to adopt repeating firearms concerns over ammunition usage., if soldier could fire very quickly they would soon be out of ammunition.


1680 Cookson gun
Cookson repeater - Wikipedia

Karlthoff repeater simailr gun my have been issued to 100 Danish Royal Foot Guards 1650s
Kalthoff repeater - Wikipedia

another simialr gun
Belton flintlock - Wikipedia

1717 Puckle Gun (though not hand firearm)
Puckle gun - Wikipedia

1742, Repeating pistol sort of.
Harmonica gun - Wikipedia

1779 Girandoni air rifle
Girandoni air rifle - Wikipedia
Saw some miliatry use in teh Napoleonic wars in very limited numbers, but I can find nothing on it;s effectiveness.
Quite fragile and needed pump to "realod" after expending air reserve. Al

1860 Henrey rifle is probaly among the real miliatry use, may not be the actual first but many simialar tings at this time.
Henry rifle - Wikipedia

Earlier Volitional Repeater.
The barely successful inventor who pioneered repeating rifles
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,807
#20
there is the considerable cost of changing a gun model when tens of thousands are already issued
and the wariness of the military to adopt radical new ideas until they have been field tested

many flintlocks were modified to caps to save time and money
later hundred of thousands cap-locks muzzle-loaders were modified modified to breech-loading
and a few decades later , black powder guns converted to smokeless powder cartridge with various success

Needham Musket Conversion


while there had not been much change for one hundred and fifty years
from the 1830 to the 1890 there was a succession of several revolutions in the technology

some top of the line modern infantry rifles became obsolete in little more than a decade
such as the Mauser 1871 issued to the troops in 1873 and became second rate in 1886
the whole German army had to re-equip their infantry with the model 1888 at great cost

I'm a fan of C & R Arsenal you tube channel which has been doing in depth about 1 hour videos of each firearm in ww1, heavily covering engineering development.
Not a partciculalry a gun fan, but very interesting in the detail about the development of firearms, why certain militaries adopted which gun and why, the
develoment troubles. A great channel for those who interested in this stuff.

C&Rsenal
 
Likes: sparky