Weapons and gunpowder
The American Revolution was fought and won with weapons and gunpowder, which are now relatively popular in the American culture.
For early settlers leading the wilderness of North America, gunsmiths became essential members of the settlements.
These talented metalsmiths created the American rifle, which was the most popular weapon used in the American Revolution.
The American gun was elaborately built and ornamented with silver plates and brass, which were etched finely.
Unlike any other weapons, the American rifle featured an extended barrel consisting of twisted grooves on the interior bore.
These grooves assisted a lead ball or other projectile to spin as it exited the barrel to guarantee a more accurate line shot and better aim for the gunner.
During the Revolutionary War, most American militants engaged in guerilla-style techniques using their hunting rifles to kill British soldiers from distant cover.
However, most continental soldiers and militia used a combination of French Charleville muskets and British Brown Bess on the battlefield.
While these smoothbore rifles provided American soldiers with less precision during the battle, it offered faster reloads.
As demand grew to arm the American Revolution, local gunsmiths started manufacturing their versions of European-style muskets.
Interestingly, gunpowder was in short supply during the colonial period, with only one American mill producing powder for weapons.
The Frankford Mill, located in Pennsylvania, was producing little amounts compared to what was needed to start a successful war.
What is more, was that the Frankford Mill was not releasing the high-quality gunpowder needed for artillery use.
Had it not been for the assistance of France in providing America gunpowder from 1776 until the war, the American military forces would not have been able to fight and emerge victorious in the battle they took part in.
When the War for Independence began, American supplies of gunpowder were what they had gathered from Royal sources, which was not enough to sustain an army in the field.
In the hopes of boosting the nation’s homegrown arsenal of firearms, General George Washington ordered the development of the Springfield Armory in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1776.
Although the armory initially stored gun carriages and ammunition, it eventually began to build muskets and other guns in the 1790s. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress also created the Harpers Ferry Armory in West Virginia in 1798 to enhance ammunition and weapon production.
It was also around during the same time that the U.S. government and some states started hiring gun-making outfits to produce gun and gun parts that were based on the weapons being developed at U.S. armories.
Fun and Interesting Facts about Weapons and Gunpowder of the Colonial Period
- The Frankford Mill, which was the first known colonial gunpowder mill, was mentioned the General Court of Massachusetts on June 6, 1639.
- The growing trade between Great Britain and its colonies in America during 1750s also included gunpowder.
- The limited gunpowder supply was felt early in the war when the British won the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775.
- The lack of available saltpeter slowed down the production of gunpowder. However, some mills were still able to produce gunpowder thanks to imported saltpeter from Europe.
- Before France agreed to supply the U.S. with powder, enterprising French merchants had already arranged to distribute massive quantities of gunpowder through the West Indies.
- The crucial shortage of gunpowder played a significant role in the constant stalemate with European soldiers in the north in 1780 as well.
- German-made blunderbuss was also one of the most commonly associated firearms with the early colonists.
- By the time European colonists arrived in America, firearm designs were significantly advanced, and the weapons were usually included in journeys by explorers.
Q & A
What was the known colonial gunpowder mill?
The first known colonial gunpowder mill was the Frankford Mill.
Where is the Frankford Mill located?
The Frankford Mill was located in Pennsylvania.
Who helped supply the Americans gunpowder during the Revolutionary War?
The French supplied the Americans with gunpowder in the Revolutionary War.
What is the most popular weapon used in the Revolutionary War?
The most popular used in the Revolutionary War was the American rifle.
Why did the British win the Battle of Bunker Hill?
The British won the Battle of Bunker Hill after the Americans suffered a shortage of gunpowder.