Confederate sniper rifle, Whitworth Rifle

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Palmetto, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    You have to remember, the ranges cited was guesstimates, not exacts. There were no laser range finders in use and no one was going to walk off the distance under enemy observation and fire. 500 hunred yards is doable, 1800 yards with a black powder rifle? that's wishful thinking.
  2. Old Steve

    Old Steve New Member

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    Rj
    They had survey maps in those days, and the ranges on Whitworth's private range were known exactly, others were perhaps more wishful than you. Most of his testing was for Army boards that didn't want to believe it either.

    Those interested might want to read "Sniper- A History of the US Marksmen" by Martin Pegler.
    You can find it using an advanced search on Amazon.

    http://www.amazon.com/Sniper-PB-His...=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1288503121&sr=1-2
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2010
  3. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Sniping was not always the province of the Whitworth and the like. CS General Leonidas K. Polk was neatly sniped off Pine Mountain, GA, by a Union soldier firing a 20-pounder Parrott. At a range of just over a mile, the shell went through the general's chest from side to side, reportedly without knocking him down, and without going off. And it was "sniping", not part of an artillery bombardment; the shot was deliberately aimed and fired at a small group of Confederate officers.

    So anyone else want to call .50 "big bore."

    Jim
  4. Old Steve

    Old Steve New Member

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    Interesting story, Jim K. There were in fact not very many Whitworth rifles involved, and reportedly many shooters preferred the Sharps rifles, being breech loading having somewhat better rate of fire, not very important to snipers, but can be reloaded without standing up or breaking cover, which was a very valuable asset. And they were accurate out to quite long range.
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