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Which would you pick for your army A TrapDoor or Rolling Block

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SWIHARTMARK
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Re: Which would you pick for your army A TrapDoor or Rolling Block

#16 Post by SWIHARTMARK » Sat Oct 27, 2018 5:00 pm

The Martini-Henry was beaten by Zulu spears and clubs at the battle of Isandlwana in an open field. The Brits also had artillery to support them. Rorke's drift was somewhat fortified and came later I believe. Custer had beaten similar odds before, only this time he didn't. The Indians did have some Henrys during his last go around.

The Snider-Enfield was deployed against the Russians by Turks successfully at the battle of Plevna in 1877. The Russians had a converted breech loader named the Krnk I believe. The better trained Turks had Peabody-Martini's, which is about the same as a Martini-Henry.

I'm surprised nobody mentioned the Spencer in this conversation since it was around during the Civil war. It used a 56 cal round and had a tube magazine which made it far superior in a fire fight than either the trapdoor or rolling block. I think it even had pre-loaded tubes to change out during a skirmish which further increased its ROF. Additionally it came in full length and carbine versions.

Best Regards,

Mark

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Re: Which would you pick for your army A TrapDoor or Rolling Block

#17 Post by indy1919a4 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 5:38 pm

SWIHARTMARK wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 5:00 pm

I'm surprised nobody mentioned the Spencer in this conversation since it was around during the Civil war. It used a 56 cal round and had a tube magazine which made it far superior in a fire fight than either the trapdoor or rolling block. I think it even had pre-loaded tubes to change out during a skirmish which further increased its ROF. Additionally it came in full length and carbine versions.
Speak of the devil...A nice little experiment comparing the trapdoor to the Spencer..

And there is some nice info in this.. Also a Springfield round was designed to drop a horse, I do not think the Spencer round was.


SWIHARTMARK
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Re: Which would you pick for your army A TrapDoor or Rolling Block

#18 Post by SWIHARTMARK » Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:17 pm

56=50 will drop a horse, but from a closer range. Remember, Generals in those days might have preferred volley fire at ranges over 400 meters as a sort of area denial barrage. The French put their Chassepot rifle (11mm paper cartridge) butt stocks on the ground, angled them 45 degrees upwards and commenced to rain lead down on the Prussian guard in column formation at the unheard of range of 1200 meters or more. The officers looked for the cloud of bullets hitting the ground or columns coming apart to see if they had the range right. Say what you will about the French Imperial soldier of 1870 but they were crack shots if anything else according to Wawro's book on the Franco-Prussian war. In WWI battalions or regiments might fire at a village at extreme range early in the war, but they were just plastering the place to pieces hoping for lucky hits and to keep the enemy from massing there. They were experimenting with long range fire that was a waste of ammo for the most part once formations dispersed or dug in.

As for a straight up skirmish at 400 meters or less, the 56-50 Spencer would have been extremely deadly to any living mammal. I do remember the late great R Lee Ermy testing a Henry verses a Spencer and noted how large the Spencer's bullet was. The Henry had a much greater ROF though. Most modern day firefights are at less than 400 meters as an example of whether the extra range is needed or not.

I do know the Spencer had a bad tendency to jam throughout its life span including modern day reproductions. I was talked out of one for just those reasons alone from reports from US Cavalry units in the west ditching them as a result. Sad, I really liked that rifle. If the cartridge and rifle aren't made to tight specs, it will jam.

I would take a Winchester 73 over a Martini-Henry any day. Odds are you are only going to engage at less than 300 meters while your artillery does the long range stuff, so why not quickly unload a tube magazine of 44-40 at some creeps with red coats at 300 meters or less as the poor blokes struggle to get their rounds from their cartridge case into their drop block breeches under a hail of your lead? The Martini-Henry's ROF could not keep massed Zulus at bay in the open, so why would they fair better against professional troops armed with repeating rifles? It would be even worse if the Martini-Henry had to advance against troops with Winchester 73s as they would have a much lower ROF and be far more exposed as a target. Dismounted and dug in Turkish cavalry in 1877 used them with such effect against Russians with conversion rifles. It was a slaughter.

Surprisingly, I don't recall many European rifles that weren't single shot in the 1860's while the Americans had several. The French did buy 210,000 rolling blocks to quickly replace all the chassepots they lost as their two main imperial armies were surrounded and subdued. As for results in the field with the rolling block, the relatively untrained French republican solders had to rely on their artillery to unhinge any Prussians they encountered and only recorded a few successes. The French merely changed from timed fuses to percussion fuses in their artillery shells and that made all the difference. Not much is said of any overwhelming small arms fire in their engagements with the Prussians while the Imperial troops gave them gave them fits at times. I would imagine if the rolling block had the same range as a chassepot, Imperial troops would have done the same with them as they did with their chassepots.

Best Regards.

Mark

BTW, get Wawro's book on the Franco-Prussian war, it is a great read. His mentor, Sir Michael Howard, wrote a good history as well only Wawro's has more first hand accounts.

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Re: Which would you pick for your army A TrapDoor or Rolling Block

#19 Post by Rex_in_OTZ » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:33 pm

Belgian Comblain 
http://www.littlegun.be/arme belge/artisans identifies nagant/a nagant mylonas gb.htm

It is in 1867 that the brothers Emile and Leon NAGANT quay of Ourthe, 41 in Liege obtained brothers REMINGTON the authorization to manufacture under license 5.000 rifles ROLLING BLOCKbound for the pontifical zouaves of Rome. These weapons were ordered by the Belgian Catholics at the end of 1867 for the Vatican army.
http://www.littlegun.be/arme belge/artisans identifies nagant/a nagant remington pontifical gb.htm

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SWIHARTMARK
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Re: Which would you pick for your army A TrapDoor or Rolling Block

#20 Post by SWIHARTMARK » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:01 am

Your link is dead. I wondered if they supplied French Republican troops during the Franco-Prussian war right across the border?

Best Regards,

Mark

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Re: Which would you pick for your army A TrapDoor or Rolling Block

#21 Post by SWIHARTMARK » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:32 am

http://www.littlegun.be/arme%20belge/ar ... l%20gb.htm

Is this the link you were trying to post?

Best Regards,

Mark

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