Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by Palmetto, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. Palmetto

    Palmetto New Member

    Aug 10, 2010
    North Carolina
    Does anyone know what kind of muzzle velocity a 17th Century gun like an Arquebus had? I wonder if it was as high as 1000 fps like a Brown bess.

    The Spanish explorers and the Pilgrims carried these guns.
  2. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    With those old guns it depends mostly on what they called "windage" which then meant the difference in size between the ball and the internal diameter of the barrel. Or, to put it another way, the amount of room for gas to escape around the ball.

    And that, in turn, reflected back on the care taken in making the barrel and the bullet mould. Most Brown Bess muskets were pretty sloppy, and I would think that the 1000 fps figure would probably hold for the older guns as well.

    That doesn't sound like high velocity, or even very lethal, but a 3/4" lead ball can be pretty dangerous even if thrown hard, let alone propelled at 1000 fps.


  3. old semperfi

    old semperfi Active Member

    Aug 27, 2009
    i live in southern indiana,old country boy at hear
    i am curious as to where you got your figure of 1000fps for the brown bess.that seems very high to me considering the projectile and the powder at that time. old semperfi
  4. ofitg

    ofitg Active Member

    Feb 25, 2010
    The good ol' Dixie Gun Works catalog indicates that the "standard" load for a Brown Bess was 80 gr FFg. According to the Lyman BP Handbook, that should provide 879 fps.

    However, the Lyman BP Handbook goes on to list powder charges up to 150 gr FFg, with velocities reaching 1200 fps.
  5. Old Steve

    Old Steve New Member

    Oct 28, 2010
    Pegler put the effective range of the arquebus at about 20 yards, the difference wasn't so much the difference in capability as the powder. The "corning" process for making desirable grain size was developed much later. Before that powder was ground very fine to get adequate mixing and the very fine powder (like talc) caked and burned very slowly. Mixing it in water and drying into a solid, which could then be groung into larger grains so that flame could pass through it made the musket practical with effective range to 80 yds or so.
  6. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    Oldsemperfi ,

    i've a toy i drag out and tinker with and with the dexi powder mixes i'm playimg with

    i want to be able to shoot from a vice mount ( immovable ) 1 mile with 0.5 moa

    its more machine than rifle with screw gimbals and all ..

    i'm no where near it yet but i can put a slug ( not ball) through a rifle barrel and get 1090 fps here with my home made powders, honest .. i aint played with it over winter but will when it warms up and i get clear days , i'll drag it out and test my latest ideas and mixes ...

    when the frame was just staked into the ground i was able to punch 10/10 rounds though a car door at 700 meters, about a 2 1/2 foot spread (after 5 or 6 ranging shots..)

    i'll try to find the site , but i read they had up to 1/2 ounce charges in them

    they had these little bottles each with a single charge , and they had a horn for charging the pan

    but the bottles held a standard 1/4 OZ charge

    but un cormed BP is much denser and produces much less bang .. so they'd load more to do anything

    i'll try to find the site .. i dont bookmark enough stuff
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2010