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  #1  
Old 12-28-2010, 09:41 PM
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.69 Cal. PRB Muskets


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I stumbled into a business that sells both smooth bore and rifled (1 in 72) percussion muskets in the Northeast. I never knew anyone had a replica with this caliber. The rifled musket would be pre-Minie, for sure. Strangely, not to far from me a battle was fought between Indians and the U.S. Army, back in 1858. The Indians were equipped with a Hudson's Bay variant, of these, and shot the daylights out of the U. S. forces, who were using a fifty cal. smooth bore musketoon with three balls. The Indians were causing major trouble from out to 275 yds., and the U.S. forces were only effective out to about fifty yards. This fracas has come to be known as the "Battle of Rosalia". and the site, is between Colfax and Spokane, in Eastern Washington State. Can anyone give approximate recoil and powder charges for something like this? I think there is a double barreled Kodiak, in 72 cal., which should be pretty close, with PRBs. Maybe this is just a 16 gauge, but I don't know.
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:23 PM
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Location: where I grew up in West Central Idaho surrounded with Mountains and game from Elk to antelop, plus preditors. A lot of Forest Service Land
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Interesting I have been in the area of the battle. If you are still interested in rocoil , I could definately give you an estimate.


72 is 12 guage and 62 is 20 gauge so the 67 would be around a 16 guage.
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  #3  
Old 02-27-2011, 07:08 PM
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A 0.69 in ball may have been called 72 cal..

72 cal (.69) patched round ball could have made 275 yd shots. But if sighted in at 120 yards the bullet would drop 86 inches at 260 yards and another 24 inches by 280 yds.. The round ball would have been roughly 490 gr.

50 cal 3 round balls, 182 gr. each for a total of 550 gr. and would drop faster and definitely be less accurate. Even, if it were accurate and sighted in at 120 yards the drop at 280 yards would have been 160 inches vs. 110. The wind drift in a 10mph crosswind the 50cal would drift 82 inches at 280 yds., while the 72 cal would only drift 58 in.


The recoil of both would be nearly the same hot 12 gauge with heavy loads.

"Battle of Rosalia" I have been in Rosalia!!

Last edited by Kev7griz; 02-27-2011 at 07:13 PM.
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  #4  
Old 02-28-2011, 07:13 AM
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The .69 caliber rifled muskets were a stop-gap measure to put a rifle in the hands of troops who otherwise would have been equipped with smoothbores. Government arsenals simply cut rifling into the original smoothbore barrel and added an adjustable rear sight. They were made for minie balls and it was not a good idea. The minie weighed 750 grains (that's about 1 3/4 ounces), velocity was low and recoil horrendous. The smoothbore with round ball was the better gun since it could use a variety of loads, was faster to reload and easier for the soldier to keep in working order. The theoretical accuracy of the rifled barrel was of no real benefit since the recoil made it impossible for the average soldier to actually shoot it accurately. I suppose one could become conditioned to accept the recoil but soldiers of the time got very little target practice, if any.
The Indians to which you refer were probably equipped with a hodgepodge of weapons, some rifles, some smoothbores, some bow and arrows. If the Indians defeated the army it was most likely due to stupid tactics on the part of the military commander who didn't know how to fight Indians.
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Last edited by CoyoteJoe; 02-28-2011 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:14 AM
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Unhappy

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoyoteJoe View Post
The .69 caliber rifled muskets were a stop-gap measure to put a rifle in the hands of troops who otherwise would have been equipped with smoothbores. Government arsenals simply cut rifling into the original smoothbore barrel and added an adjustable rear sight. They were made for minie balls and it was not a good idea. The minie weighed 750 grains (that's about 1 3/4 ounces), velocity was low and recoil horrendous. The smoothbore with round ball was the better gun since it could use a variety of loads, was faster to reload and easier for the soldier to keep in working order. The theoretical accuracy of the rifled barrel was of no real benefit since the recoil made it impossible for the average soldier to actually shoot it accurately. I suppose one could become conditioned to accept the recoil but soldiers of the time got very little target practice, if any.
The Indians to which you refer were probably equipped with a hodgepodge of weapons, some rifles, some smoothbores, some bow and arrows. If the Indians defeated the army it was most likely due to stupid tactics on the part of the military commander who didn't know how to fight Indians.
Again you are totally correct !!! Darn! Smiles. I love you educated input.

The tatics of both Indians and far more so for white man's mix of volunteer and inlisted "troups" were know to be terrible. Great point also about the Indians' hodgepodge of weapons

I think, in that time I would have felt better if I was a good archer than a normal army man with a ML or worse yet a converted musket. The accuracy, range, repeatablity, and mobility of the bow and arrow would seem to be a far better pick in wars of that period and earlier. A crossbow would been great for longer shots even for Buffalo, and elk than a military musket, A patched round ball in well made 54 cal would have been hard to beat up untill the Sharps.

I was totally of by the 69 bore and soon after I got educated by your other threads. The 69 as you wrote in one of your thread was more like a 14 gauge.

Thanks for settling me straight

Kevin

The Roselia area is mainly 200 ft to higher rolling hills (wind blow soils from massive Glacier foods)with large flats and some timbered canyons So the ones that knew the terrain and contoled of the ridges and timber would have a great advantage due to the advantage to see and shoot at their enemy and retreat to cover. That is, the Indians would have killed them regardless of the weapon.
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:07 PM
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had to rely on my memory

I have to rely on memory of reading accounts on this fracas. the U.S. forces were ordered to leave their sabers at Ft. Walla Walla. And since most of the fight was a mounted cavalry op., this didn't go down well. The three ball musketoons were to knock off mounted Indians riding at full gallop past the wagons. The Hudson Bay rifled muskets the Indians used, decimated the Americans, from beyond 250 yds. The Americans beat a path along a line of these dune ridge lines to a point overlooking a creek, and dug in.
There were a thousand plus Indians, from several tribes, and about 270 U.S. forces. A French cavalryman, who served as a Captain in the U.S. Army cried out, "Mon Dieu for a saber", minutes before he was skewered. The U.S. forces held out until dark, and then crept away and made an eighty mile forced march down to the Snake River, with a good part of those thousand plus Indians hot on their tails. So, I was always curious about just what a good Hudson Bay 69 cal. rifled musket would do. Thanx for the interest, in the Battle, too.

Last edited by carpooler; 03-10-2011 at 12:15 PM. Reason: mis spelled word
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:45 PM
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The Hudson's Bay Company was in the business of selling Indians whatever they wanted and certainly they sold a great many guns. We mostly hear about the "Indian Trade Gun" or "Northwest Gun" as being a staple item of the fur trade for a couple of centuries. That was a nothing special smoothbore gun of relativly small bore, 20-32 gauge with most being around 24 gauge. Certainly HBC also sold trade rifles and by that late date in the fur trade probably many Indians had come to prefer the rifle. But I've never heard about HBC selling "rifled muskets" at all. There never was any sort of standardization among Indian arms. Since each man provided his own weapons and ammo it would be whatever he could buy, barter, or steal. If they had a large number of rifled muskets it could only be if HBC chose to outfit them at its own expense, doubtful.
I think you may want to revisit the printed word, I think you may perhaps have "misremembered" something.
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Old 03-10-2011, 01:38 PM
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The 1842 Springfield musket was later rifled and became a rifles musket of .69 caliber. That would have been a bear to shoot with a 42 inch barrel and a weight of 10 pounds.
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  #9  
Old 03-11-2011, 01:53 PM
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Eh! Eh! Eh!

Back in the sixties, I was out there with a two box metal detector looking for a couple of buried gun metal six pound mtn. howitzers that the army boys ditched, before they crept away in the dark. Hudson Bay never sold U.S. Springfields, but they may well have traded off their own supplies of some Enfield or other, 69 cal. rifled muskets, as they decamped back up across the 49th Parallel. This happened in the mid 1840's, and was a peaceful move. Those muskets were certainly worth more in trading stock, with the Indians, here, than they would be, back up in Canada. The correct hill top was finally figured out many years later, when a farmer plowed up a rusty 44 cal. Colt Dragoon revolver, that one of the soldiers was shooting when he was shot off his horse. There are no trees or brush, to speak of, so I believe those Indian riflemen were raking the Army troops, from the grassy flanks as they hung to the dune like ridge lines. But those books were serious histories, and the ranges mentioned did go up to 300 yds..
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  #10  
Old 03-11-2011, 02:24 PM
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This thread has piqued my interest in the history of the Rosalia area, as I don't live that far from Spokane. I was raised in Southern Oregon, and pretty well learned the Indian histories of that region growing up, but sadly, been too darned busy these last 20 years making a living in North Idaho to pursue the richness of the history here in our region.

My son lives within a bow-shot of one of the HBC trading posts on the Pend Orielle River at Fir Port on the Washington side of the ID/WA border.

Great info, fun stuff, fascinating history.

Guess I'd better start mining into some of the great historical resources written about our area.

Thanks all,

God bless
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