The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #122144   Message #2679522
Posted By: Rapparee
13-Jul-09 - 07:07 PM
Thread Name: BS: British support for the confederacy?
Subject: RE: BS: British support for the confederacy?
I forgot about the Whitworth rifle. These were .451 caliber weapons that fired a hexagonal bullet (just as the cannon fined a hexagonal shell). These were accurate (without telescopic sights) out to 1,000 yards or more and are considered to be the first true sniper rifles. About 250 were sent from England to the South; perhaps 150 made it through the blockade.

Gen. John Sedgewick was killed with a shot from Whitworth at the Battle of Spotslvania Courthouse; the range was about 800 to 1,000 yards.

(Before anyone says that it's impossible to shoot a rifle accurately at that distance using "iron sights" I suggest you check the record books. With a properly zeroed rifle I'm only good out to about 325 meters, but that's because of eyesight problems, not the rifle's capability. In marksmanship as in music, the instrument is almost always capable of better performance than the performer.)