A note on physical properties of musket fire
W. Refshauge Journal of Conflict Archaeology, 2015
While the use of ballistics data and principles to clarify historical experience of firearms is to be encouraged, their application is not always straightforward. This paper emphasizes the need for care. An example is given of too sanguine reliance on period studies, specifically of muzzle velocity, and of inadequate appreciation of the physics, in particular of the Magnus force.
A Detailed Study of the Effectiveness and Capabilities of 18th Century Musketry on the Battlefield
Nancy A. Roberts, J. Brown, P. Kingston Published 2008 History Journal of Conflict Archaeology
During the mid 18th century, the standard British Army issue weapon was the Brown Bess Musket. There are various accounts of the performance of this early form of firearm and its tactical deployment (e.g. Hanger 1816). Using a technical replica of the Brown Bess, range trials and computer modelling have been used to asses the weapon's capabilities and likely performance. The research found the Brown Bess musket to be a lethal weapon at the ranges at which enemy was commonly engaged, so long as it was accurate enough to hit the target. A single shot fired at 150 yards could penetrate at least two soldiers, even if bone were hit. The armour of the day (shields of wood, leather and sometimes steel, and the layers of woollen clothing) was easily pierced by the shot. The shot was found to readily deform on impact with metal targets. The maximum range could extend to around 1200m, with 202m reached when fired horizontally.