Dec 6, 2010

The Accuracy Of Black Powder Muskets

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to an interesting article on The Accuracy Of Black Powder Muskets by Mike Willegal.


  1. With respect I do not see the point in this info for the Brown Bess. For one thing smoothbores did not use a patched ball, they used wadding. For another the distances quoted are pointless, since they were used at much shorter distances.
    Best thing anyone can do is experiment with loads until you find a good optimum load for the individual gun. I certainly would not recommend loads over 100 grains, and suggest starting with a much lower load.

  2. I can well understand why Mr. Le Loup didn't see the point for this article. A Brown Bess without sights isn't very accurate at long ranges and has a trajectory like a rainbow. Plus, the stated 165 to 220 grains powder charges sound more reasonable in the 1700s when powder was much weaker. However, I've read some reenactors that strive for maximum accuracy with a Brown Bess claim patched balls with loads of 150 grains give better accuracy. But I'm more interested in having fun & safety than having maximum accuracy - so I shoot paper cartridges in my Brown Bess with 80 grains of blackpowder - and I agree with Mr. Le Loup, I won't recommend loads above 100 grains. Thus, some of this article is pointless, but I posted it anyway because I thought it was interesting and it shows the extreme drop of the ball at longer ranges. Plus, near the end of the article the author does offer his conclusion that effective musket fire was not possible at ranges above 150 yards, which I believe does add some credibility to the article.