Musket Balls and Doors
Posted by Captain Everett on August 12, 1998 at 16:51:29:
In response to Musketeers needed, please!, written by Linden on August 11, 1998 at 23:38:05
] Could a musket or other firearm of the sort available to an ordinary soldier shoot through a door, or would the bullet be stopped by the wood?
It would indeed depend very much upon the thickness of the door, and the type of firearm. The other consideration is how important it is that the ball not penetrate the door, as opposed to simply failing to hit anyone on the other side.
As to whether a musket ball could get through, I cannot speak for a pistol or smaller "hunting" weapon. Both of these use a lot less powder and a lighter musket ball than a military long arm. However, I can speak from experience (and a lot of reading) about the "Brown Bess" musket.
I've only fired mine "live", that is with a ball on top of the powder, on a few occasions. The last time was at a military rifle range (thanks to a member who is the RSM in a Reserve Artillery unit). We started at fifty yards range, firing at standard man-sized cardboard targets held up by 2"x4" pieces of pine. Some of the rounds were going through the two inches of wood, and we cut one of the sticks in two! The balls which simply had gone through the cardboard imbedded themselves in the sandbank behind. We tried probing down the holes for them with our 18" bayonets, but couldn't find any. The "Bess" was not the most accurate weapon, but it had a very respectable hitting power.
I remain, etc.
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