What I Know About Guns, Rifles, Cannons, Shot Guns
Home | Boys And Girls | Aunt Patty McQuade And Family | Carl Schmidt - 'Surrogate' Father 2004, 2005 & 2006 | Christmas 2010 | Dad | Great Grandma Clara Krinski - Passed 1999 | Grandma Martha Emily Steele - Passed 1998 | Grandma Jane Karnaugh nee Krinski | Jaclyn Kate Schmidt - 2004, 05, 06 'Step-Sister' | The Head of the Family - Passed 1986 | Mom | Nicholas Harrison Steele | Stacey Jaclyn Steele | Steele / Karnaugh Wedding Day | Steele Paternals | The Three Little Birds | Uncle Jonathon Richard Steele | Uncle Peter Karnaugh And Family
There’s a lot of information to be learned about guns, rifles, shotguns, cannons, etc. in the fictional novels by Bernard Cornwell, in particular Sharpe’s Rifles.  Sharpe was a British sergeant who first carried a musket and then a rifle.  He soldiered in India and later in Europe during the Napoleonic war and much of what I know is used by Cornwell in these novels.
###
First, modern day gun barrels and rifle barrels are measured by the 1000th of an inch or millimeter;  Both are less than the width of a sheet of paper or a human hair.  Second, bullets are made of lead.  Why?  Lead, like gold, is dense, heavy and soft to the bite.  The denseness, or mass, causes deeper penetration while the softness allows for the bullet to expend into the rifle groves during discharge.  Test yourself.  Bite a bullet to see tooth impressions from its softness.  Biting is also a test for determining pure gold.  The deeper the bite mark then the purer the gold.  Note that lead and gold are next to each other on the periodic table.
###
The historical definition of a gun is an unrifled barrel.  So by definition a rifle is a rifled barrel.  Rifling is a twist cut into the inside barrel of either.  Unrifled barrels are smooth bore muskets.  The historical definition of a canon is also smooth bore.  Shot guns are smooth bore.  The difference between a smooth bored weapon and a rifled weapon is in the projection of the bullet at time of discharge.  A smooth bore ball travels in flight in a wobbly knuckle ball path, while a rifle balls travels in a spinning and rotating path.  Consider pitching in baseball:  A knuckle ball’s landing can not be accurately gauged.  It travels only 40 yards at 50 mph and is inaccurate.   While a spinning fastball travels in the 80's across several hundred yards and is very accurate.
RIFLED, SMOOTH, SHOTGUN BARELLS
Paternal_Greats/rifled_barrel.jpg

Early Rifles:  Because of the problems of escaping gases released at discharge, paper had to be used to prevent the escape of gases.  A ball was wrapped in paper in order to make a seal with the barrel.  This small modification adds tremendous force and distance to the projectile because of the tight fit.  And in order to get a tight fit a ram rod is used to force the paper wrapped ball down the barrel.  At discharge the paper would also bite into the rifle groves and cause the ball to spin.  In the movie "...Last of the Mohicans..." with Daniel Day Lewis, there is a scene where Lewis uses silk to add an extra 30 yards to the ball.  This is because silk has less surface friction than paper, allowing for less resistance to the ball when shot out of the barrel.

LONG RIFLE CARTRIDGE
Paternal_Greats/paper_ball_powder.jpg
BULLET, POWDER, PAPER STUFFED INTO THE BARREL
LONG RIFLE CARTRIDGE
Paternal_Greats/paper_ball_powder.jpg
BULLET, POWDER, PAPER STUFFED INTO THE BARREL
Cannons:  Smooth bore guns that can fire either one large ball or a canister of bullets.
###
Shot Guns:  Small cannons that fire a canister of bullets.
SHOTGUN SHELL

The Taurus Judge:  A revolver that shoots bird shot.  So named after being purchased and used by real Judges in Miami Courtrooms because birdshot doesn't usually kill a man.

"...THE JUDGE..."
SHOOTS A .410 SHOTGUN SHELL (* bird shot *)
DOUBLE BARREL SHOT GUN
Paternal_Greats/double_barrelled_shotgun.jpg
SPENT SHELLS ARE NOT EJECTED AND CAN'T BE TRACED BY BALLISTICS
DIFFERENT SHOTGUN SHELLS
MOST LEATHAL TO LEAST IN DESCENDING ORDER

 Ballistics:  Most rifled weapons can either be uniquely traced by the rifling in the barrel or by the strike marks caused by the expended shell.  Exceptions are the double barreled shot gun because of the lack of rifling, canister, and non-expended shells.  Also, a revolver with splintering bullets can’t be easily traced because of non-expended shells and the way the bullet fragments into pieces upon contact.  I.e., Drill a bull head and fill with mercury.
###
Ballistics, Water and Bullets:  When a cop finds a gun used in a crime he needs to examine the unique scratches made on any bullet fired from the found gun.  So he fires into a barrel of water.  Bullets don't travel more than 5 to 10 feet under water.
###
Ballistics and Newly Purchased Guns:  By federal law for the last decade every gun made by any gun manufacturer is required to fire into a barrel of water and retrieve to bullet.  This first round is sent to the FBI and stored in their gun database.###Revolver or Automatic Handgun:  For home defense you want to be able to reach for a gun that's near to you and shoot.  For this reason a revolver is best.  Why? A revolver only needs one hand to operate and automatics take to hands to unsafety before shooting.  So there are fewer operations to a revolver.

DUMB DUMB BULLET
Paternal_Greats/dumb_dumb.jpg
CORE IS DRILLED AND FILLED WITH MERCURY OR POISION

The dumb dumb bullet expanding round has a hollow point which leaves a large exit wound after causing horrific wounds.  The hollow point can also be filled with mercury, which is denser than lead, or poison.  Illegal to sell in the US but easy to make, dumb dumbs where used in 2011 in Norway by Anders Brejvik.

Cartridges in the modern era, (* US Civil War and up *), have shell casings that are made of metal like cooper and steel but bullets are still usually made of lead.  However, higher cost for better materials and a bullet can be made of much hard elements like depleted uranium.

###

The traditional US bullet unit of measure is the inch.  A 38 is .38 inches.  A 357 is .357 inches.

###

The rest of the World including Europe measures bullets by the metric system, I.E., 9mm, etc.

###

Both the US and the World also measure a bullet by its length or quantity of powder and type of powder.  Black powder has evolved to smokeless black powder.  A 38 revolver uses shorter bullets than a 38 special making the special the more powerful.  Rifle rounds are usually longer than guns but gun bullets can be used in rifles but not vice versa.

BULLETS ARE MEASURED BY WIDTH .38 INCH IS EQUAL
Paternal_Greats/bullet_sizes.jpg
TO 9 MM AND LENGTH WHICH IS QUANTITY OF POWER

20  years for possession of a sawed off shot gun.  A sawed off shot gun has a barrel less than eighteen inches. 

SAWED OFF SHOT GUN
Paternal_Greats/sawed_off_shotgun.jpg
LESS THAN AN EIGHTEEN INCH BARREL

The Revolutionary War or the War of Independence in 1776 was won because the United States had a superior weapon:  The long rifle.  The long rifle was a hunting rifle and could kill an animal two to four hundred yards distant.  The British lost the war because of their use of the musket.  The range of a musket was only 40 to 50 yards.  The British also had riflemen but too few to win the war.

####

British musket men dressed in redcoats.

####

British rifle men dressed in green coats.  See Bernard Cornwall's Sharpe's Rifles.

REVOLUTIONARY WAR REDCOATS
Paternal_Greats/redcoat_muskets.jpg
REVOLUTIONARY WAR GREEN COATS
Paternal_Greats/redcoat_muskets.jpg