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Additional info for Bv 138 ''Der Fliegenden Holzschuh'' - Fernerkunder im Eismeer und Atlantik (Waffenarsenal 54)

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The barrel was usually fully stocked to the muzzle and both front and rear sights were fitted. Barrel lengths varied from around 42 to 44 inches and bullets were carefully patched to prevent windage, the loss of burning gas past the ball. the practice of using a small piece of greased cloth or thin leather to wrap around the ball as it was rammed down the barrel, creating a gas seal and assisting in removing fouling. 33 While the slow burn rate of the powder and poor aerodynamic efficiency of the lead ball meant that velocity dropped at an alarming rate, it was still a very deadly tool in the hands of a skilled shot as many English soldiers and officers could testify.

But 'ere they come within one hundred and fifty yards, another deadly volley flashes from the levelled rifles, and carries death and terror into the Russians. They wheel about ... '45 The most telling comment in this passage is Russell's mention of the inability of soldiers to hit their targets at 600 yards. 70 calibre bullet was ballistically unstable at long range. In tests it was able to consistently hit a six foot by three foot target at 500 yards but could only manage to place two out of five shots on the target between 500 and 800 yards (450-720 metres).

Colonel von Heereingen, who had himself commanded a company of Hessian riflemen, commented that often riflemen 'were mostly spitted to trees by bayonets ... 31 In October 1760, a battalion of Jäger caught in the open by Cossacks near Spandau were wiped out almost to a man. Clearly the military application of tactics that were suitable for use by these riflemen had some way to progress. Although often overlooked, the Swiss also provided a surprising number of trained riflemen, who fought on the battlefields of 18th century Europe.

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