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Usually they were simply pointing and firing, not really aiming.

"Aiming" was pretty pointless with a Brown Bess anyway.

Basically a musket is a smoothbore weapon much like a 12 gauge shotgun.[1] ...


The best target rifle in the world is not accurate if it has poor sights. The Brown Bess, Charleville and other muskets of the period have no sights at all. The Brown Bess does have a bayonet lug to secure the bayonet. The bayonet lug is not an ideal sight but it is on the top of the barrel; so we will consider that a front sight.

The musket itself is not accurate for a variety of reasons.
These, of course, would be the figures if the musket could be properly aimed with sights – which as we have seen it is impossible as it has no sights.


Today we think of the infantryman using his rifle, and in a worst case scenario, falling back on his bayonet as a last resort. However, in the 18th century the musket was used to pave the way for the use of the bayonet. It was the bayonet that was the real primary weapon. As it has been said, the musket is a good handle for the bayonet. There’s a lot of truth to that statement.


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