Assault Luddism

The Luddites destroyed machinery because of they were threatened by progress.assaultnonsense

So how advanced does the technology of a weapon have to be to enable a rate of fire of 10 rounds per minute?

I have a muzzle-loading rifle, and, if I really hustle, I can get off two rounds per minute. However, there are muzzle-loading firearms that are capable of firing 10 rounds per minute. Consider the Colt Model 1851 Navy Revolver.Colt_Navy_Model_1851

It was probably the most common revolver used during the Civil War. It takes a long time to load the six-round cylinder, but the cylinder is easily removed and replaced. It was not uncommon for soldiers to carry spare loaded cylinders. It’s possible to fire three cylinders (18 rounds) in under a minute.

LongbowHowever, there are even older weapons capable of firing 10 rounds per minute. Consider the weapon shown at the left. Henry V was able to use massed fire from such weapons to devastate an attack by a force that greatly outnumbered his happy few, his band of brothers, at Agincourt.

There are other, even simpler, weapons that can deliver a high rate of fire. David only took five stones when he fought Goliath. He was a good shot and only needed one to kill the giant, but an expert with a sling can get off 10 shots in a minute.

A sling is a stone age weapon.

15 thoughts on “Assault Luddism


  1. I can easily get off 10 rounds in 10 seconds with my 1943 Lee-Enfield Mark IV rifle. At half that rate I can deliver lead accurately out to a quarter mile. With stripper clips, I could probably manage 30 pretty accurate shots in a minute, if I could take the brutal recoil. My 1914 Gewehr 98 only has a 5 round magazine, but is much easier on the shoulder. Either one will put an exit hole the size of a fist in the target. The assault rifle they’re moaning about is much less dangerous. Much, much less dangerous. But it _is_ black plastic on the outside, not beautiful walnut. That makes it scary.


  2. If you can only get off 10 rounds in a minute with an “assault weapon” you are doing something wrong.


    • Or only have 10 rounds in your magazine, and no spare.

      But then, I guess that should be considered as doing something wrong.


  3. Jerry Miculek, saw a show on History channel about shooting where he 6 shots from a double action revolver, reload, fired six more (total 12 shots) at an 8 inch steel plate. All hits, in under 2 seconds (I think it was timed at about 1.2 or 1.6).


  4. Depending on the loading used,I could load ten or twelve .58 caliber Minnie balls and fire accurately in under a minute with my rifled musket (a reproduction of an 1863 Springfield ), On the other hand with my .36 caliber “Squirrel rifle” (also a percussion cap rifle ), I would be lucky to fire twice in a minutes time. My .50 caliber Flintlock takes well over a minute to charge, load a patched ball, and prime between each shot. How Daniel Boone fought off bands of attacking savages is beyond me.


    • “How Daniel Boone fought off bands of attacking savages is beyond me.”

      Their weapons were on par with his.


  5. In the course of a single afternoon, 80,000 men were killed at Cannae. There were some slingers and a few archers, but most of the killing was done with swords and spears and ALL of it was done with nothing but muscle power.

    A century later, Mithradates of Pontus coordinated a day of terror across Asia Minor that saw 80,000 men, women, and children killed. Again, nothing but muscle power.

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