What Are Some Civil War Rifles?


Quick Answer

Rifles used in the Civil War include the Cook and Brothers Musket, the Harpers Ferry 1855 rifle, the Springfield Model 1861, the Henry Repeater and the Sharps Breech-Loading rifle. Most Civil War soldiers used .58 or .577 caliber rifle-muskets created by any number of arms manufacturers.

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Full Answer

Other Civil War rifles are the Lorenz rifle, the Whitworth rifle and the Brunswick rifle. As the war went on and the weapon stockpiles of both the Union and the Confederacy diminished, soldiers were often forced to use older smooth-bore and flintlock muskets such as the 1819 Hall rifle and the Springfield 1795.

Due to the decentralized nature of the Union and Confederacy's armed forces, soldiers would receive weapons from a variety of manufacturers. Though soldiers used smooth-bore rifles throughout the war, rifles manufactured during the Civil War had grooves, or "rifling," carved into the barrel of the gun allowing ammunition to spin as it leaves, greatly increasing accuracy. Rifles used minie ball ammunition, which are pointed like the shape of a modern bullet. The minie ball was more accurate and inflicted more damage than round ball ammunition.

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