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  #1  
Old 24 Aug 17, 17:01
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Take up of multi shot rifles

In the early 1860s all major armies mostly used single shot rifles. Towards the end of the US Civil War the Union started to use multi shot weapons. When did most major countries convert to multi shot rifles?
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  #2  
Old 24 Aug 17, 18:42
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I would say the late nineteenth century when Mauser bolt action rifles started to catch on. Some countries did buy Winchesters (Turkey) which were used in the Caucasus during a war with Russia. Many like the Winchester and Spencer were a bit fragile under hard use.

Most contemporary armies were worried about firing off ammunition too fast.

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Old 24 Aug 17, 20:37
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The Spencer really got shafted by the Army Ordinance department. They wanted their own in-house Springfield design adopted so they came up with excuses to eliminate the Spencer from service. One of the more flagrant lies they used was the loading tube having the rounds nose to base might cause one or more to go off if the gun was hit hard on the butt of the stock to the ground.
Never happened in the 100,000 or so produced, but that never stopped a bureaucracy from casting around to find an excuse to do what they wanted.

I will say the Springfield trapdoor was probably a more accurate rifle, particularly at longer ranges, but the Spencer with it's high rate of fire more than made up for that.

The Henry / Winchester on the other hand was a bit delicate for hard military duty.
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Old 24 Aug 17, 23:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
The Spencer really got shafted by the Army Ordinance department. They wanted their own in-house Springfield design adopted so they came up with excuses to eliminate the Spencer from service. One of the more flagrant lies they used was the loading tube having the rounds nose to base might cause one or more to go off if the gun was hit hard on the butt of the stock to the ground.
Never happened in the 100,000 or so produced, but that never stopped a bureaucracy from casting around to find an excuse to do what they wanted.

I will say the Springfield trapdoor was probably a more accurate rifle, particularly at longer ranges, but the Spencer with it's high rate of fire more than made up for that.

The Henry / Winchester on the other hand was a bit delicate for hard military duty.
what was normal engagement range?-- and for what enemy? if for Indians, I would think it would not be long range in woodlands/hilly terrain/etc....
even so, could they train the soldiers to be accurate at a moving/low silhouette/hiding/etc enemy at fairly long range?
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Old 25 Aug 17, 01:46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surrey View Post
In the early 1860s all major armies mostly used single shot rifles. Towards the end of the US Civil War the Union started to use multi shot weapons. When did most major countries convert to multi shot rifles?
Without googling ,as far as Britain and the Empire was concerned, not until the adoption of the Lee-Metford, circa 1890.
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Old 25 Aug 17, 01:59
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The Spencers went mainly to Cavalry and Mounted Infantry. I would say most of the actions were close to medium range.

I think it was the Wagonbox Fight in 1867 where some woodcutters were ambushed and held under siege. A party of 25 soldiers and six civilians were attacked by Lakota and Cheyenne warriors. The Soldiers had just been issued breech loaders and the Civilians were using Spencers. Try as they might the warriors could not close. They were mostly armed with bows and arrows.

The rate of fire put up by the defenders decided the fight. The Indians were outgunned until the Rosebud and the Little Bighorn.

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Old 25 Aug 17, 02:00
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Also without reference wasn't that a competition between Mauser and that french pin-fire rifle?
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Old 25 Aug 17, 07:02
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Rifles with tube type magazines like the Spenser and Winchester Carbines took too long to refill the magazine. It was the combination of three things that enabled the magazine rifle to flourish.
  • Boxer's development of a metal centre fire cartridge begun in 1857 but not reaching its final form until about 1880
  • Mannlicher's development of the bolt mechanism 1884
  • The introduction of smokeless powders

These all came together in the 1880s' The Austrian Army adopted the Mannlicher magazine rifle in 1885 and the French the Lebel in 1886 and Britain the Lee-Metford Mk I in 1887
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Old 25 Aug 17, 10:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moulin View Post
what was normal engagement range?-- and for what enemy? if for Indians, I would think it would not be long range in woodlands/hilly terrain/etc....
even so, could they train the soldiers to be accurate at a moving/low silhouette/hiding/etc enemy at fairly long range?
Few battles were being fought in true wood lands after the Mississippi was crossed. An add on question When was marksmanship first introduced
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Old 25 Aug 17, 11:05
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A needle gun from 1865. Heavily used by the Prussians in the war with France in 1870

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Needle_gun
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Old 25 Aug 17, 11:09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Pint John View Post


A needle gun from 1865. Heavily used by the Prussians in the war with France in 1870

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Needle_gun
A single shot weapon so irrelevant to this thread
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Old 25 Aug 17, 11:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BELGRAVE View Post
Without googling ,as far as Britain and the Empire was concerned, not until the adoption of the Lee-Metford, circa 1890.
Adopted 1887
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Old 25 Aug 17, 11:29
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German troops were first issued with magazine rifles in 1886, Mausers. These were issued at first to troops on the frontiers. However they were rather clumsy, large bore weapons firing black powder and when in 1887 a French deserter supplied a Lebel this was seen as far superior. Numbers of Mannlichers and Belgian service rifles were purchased and it wasn't until the early 1890s that a German manufactured smaller bore high velocity magazine rifle was issued in quantity to the German army. They were Mauser designed.
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Old 25 Aug 17, 13:16
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Interestingly, the Russians of this period adopted the US privately designed Berdan rifle.
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Old 25 Aug 17, 13:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Pint John View Post
Few battles were being fought in true wood lands after the Mississippi was crossed. An add on question When was marksmanship first introduced
as Pruitt states, they just got the rifles before the Wagon Box fight

Quote:
Unfortunately, there hadn't been any time for target shooting, and Army weapons training was known to be dubious at best.
Quote:
The soldiers at the Wagon Box Fight began the battle with 7,000 rounds on hand—and this large supply saved their lives.
http://www.wyohistory.org/encycloped...box-fight-1867
italics mine
I think the critical question is how many had used guns before joining?

Last edited by Moulin; 25 Aug 17 at 13:57..
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