A True American

Bob Owens speaks of some bad home invasion advice, but I wanted to draw attention to a comment:

I’m a muzzleloading enthusiast exclusively, before you laugh trust me that the fire and smoke a .75 caliber Brown Bess puts out would scare the bejesus out of even the most determined intruder. While they’re wondering what happened I’ve got the bayonet… ;-)

I’m thinking “wondering what happened” is more like trying to pat out the fires on the perps clothes started by embers of unburnt powder. Either way, I like people who take their hobbies seriously. It’s also just kind of amusing for those among our opponents who think the flaming death machine is a modern invention. A hit from a Brown Bess is going to ruin your day, really no matter where it hits.

I should note that this does not mean I’m endorsing the Brown Bess as an ideal home defense firearm, but it was good enough to build the British Empire, and round for round, quite a bit more lethal than many modern firearms. A 9mm Luger +P JHP is heading out about 1200-1400fps, which is roughly the same as a Brown Bess. But for a 9mm pistol, that’s throwing 115-147gr of copper and lead projectile downrange, whereas the Brown Bess is throwing close to 600 grains of lead downrange.

I’m going to bet that goes through more than a few sheets of drywall.

22 thoughts on “A True American”

  1. I keep my .50 TC Omega loaded with one of dem Barnes .45 caliber 250 grain T-EZ expanding all copper bullets that should fly at about 1800 FPS. Not my only gun but it is what I would prefer to use in an armed home invasion. With a little luck the bad guys will line up as they enter and the round will go through more than one.

    1. Also – does anyone know if the federal barrel and overall length restrictions apply to muzzleloaders?

        1. Which is also why you can order them thru the mail without a FFL.
          They are exempt from (I believe) ALL federal regulations.

        2. Ironically enough, this is brought to us by the anti-gun “The Second Amendment only applies to arms technology in existence at the time of the Founding Fathers” crowd.

          At least, as far as I can tell…

          Which makes me wonder: under what conditions can I legally make a black powder (aka “muzzle-loading-style”) machine gun?

    1. I have held one of Paul Revere’s pocket pistols in my hand. It was about the same size as my Colt Mustang. Yes, I would rather have the Colt Mustang in a bad section of Philly. But if I had six of those pocket pistols on my belt, I would not feel naked.

  2. The nominal bore of the Brown Bess was essentially the same as our modern 12 ga. shotguns. Yeah, a 12 ga. “pumpkin ball” slug launched by black power should be effective.

  3. In order to cut down on shooting through walls, a load of buck-and-ball in the the muzzle loader might be better. Would probably make a pretty good mess of the goblin, also.

  4. Not to mention the impact energy of a bayonet thrust with a, what, eight pound rifle?

    What’s the sectional density on a spike bayonet? How many grains?

    1. Let me be pedantic. Muskets could mount bayonets; rifles of the flintlock era usually did not. Fowling-pieces (the ancestor of the single shot shotgun) usually lacked a bayonet mount point.

  5. I’ve been doing French & Indian and Rev War era reenacting for over a decade now. One of the shooting contests that’s common at a ‘vous is “stump busting” where you have teams of two guys shooting at a 4 x 4 sticking out of the ground anywhere from 30 to 50 yards out using smoothbores.

    Brown Bess is a fine weapon, but a buddy of mine built a custom ONE BORE musket for stump busting.

    Lead pingpong ball + goblin = red mist :)

    1. According to travel accounts of the Revolutionary and early Republic periods, “driving the nail” was a common form of rifle competition: putting a nail in a tree trunk, and then driving the nail all the way in by hitting the head squarely with a bullet.

  6. Big problem with muzzle loaders is reload time.

    Now how about a “pepperbox”….4-6 shots of flaming wad powered ball and puff’s fire breathed smoke.

    Yeah, I think most gang bangers would flee not know what the heck was being fired at them.

    1. Pepperboxes had a reputation for being only slightly less dangerous to the shooter than the target. Apparently, they had a bad habit of all barrels firing at once.

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