Battle of Québec
The Battle of Quebec was fought between American Continental Army forces and the British defenders of Quebec City early in the American Revolutionary War. The battle was the first major defeat of the war for the Americans, and it came with heavy losses. General Richard Montgomery was killed, Benedict Arnold was wounded, and Daniel Morgan and more than 400 men were taken prisoner. The city's garrison, a motley assortment of regular troops and militia led by Quebec's provincial governor, General Guy Carleton, suffered a small number of casualties.
In the battle and the following siege, French-speaking Canadians were active on both sides of the conflict. The American forces received supplies and logistical support from local residents, and the city's defenders included locally raised militia. When the Americans retreated, they were accompanied by a number of their supporters; those who remained behind were subjected to a variety of punishments after the British re-established control over the province.
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If you plan to hunt with your black powder rifle it is important to test how the bullets you are going to use act. This article describes a simple test of black powder hunting bullets, and gives some insight in how the bullets react on impact when they hit an animal.
Published: 14 September 2008 by Øyvind Flatnes.
Edited: 14 September 2008.
The Colt Walker is a beast of a revolver, and it was the world's most powerful handgun until the powerful magnum revolvers started to appear in the 1900s.
The percussion revolver, also called cap and ball revolver, is perhaps the most common black powder weapon in use by modern black powder shooters. The first percussion revolvers started to appear in the 1830s, and the inventor is said to have been a certain Samuel Colt, even though other inventors also have to be credited. The first commercial revolver from Colt was the Paterson model, a five shot .28 and .36 calibre revolver which was made from the mid-1830s. This revolver has a concealed trigger which appeared when the hammer was cocked. The first Paterson Colts did not have a fixed loading lever, but it was sold with a separate loading tool.
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You can learn more about percussion revolvers and how to use them in the brand new book From Musket to Metallic Cartridge: A Practical History of Black Powder Firearms.
Colt later invented the Colt Walker revolver. This was also used by the Texas Rangers. One of the improvements was a fixed loading lever under the barrel, which simplified the loading process. In 1846 the Republic of Texas was once again at war with Mexico, and this time supported by the USA. 1000 Walker Colts were ordered by Texas, and ranger captain Samuel Walker was sent east to Samuel Colt to discuss how the Texans wanted the revolver. The Walker Colt is a beast of a revolver: The barrel is 9" long, and the calibre is .44. The best known Colt revolver is probably the Colt 1860 Army. This was also made in .44 calibre and was a favourite of the soldiers during the Civil War, and also the most common percussion revolver during the conflict.
Loading a percussion revolver
The percussion revolver is per definition a muzzleloader, even though the powder and ball is loaded into the chamber and not through the muzzle. It is loaded with loose powder, sometimes a wad, followed by a conical ball or roundball. You can follow this procedure when loading: Hold the revolver in your left hand with the muzzle pointing upwards and away from your face. The hammer should be at half cock so that the cylinder is allowed to rotate. Pour pre-measured black powder loads into each chamber. FFFg or Swiss #2 is the most commonly used powder granulations, but it also works with, for example, FFg. Some shooters leave one chamber empty and rest the hammer on this chamber if it is not going to be fired right away. It is optional to use a wad. If you decide to use one, place a lubricated felt wad over the powder so that it is seated below the chamber mouth.
chain fires or multiple discharges. I'm not a believer of this myth. The revolver is now ready to be fired, except for one important thing: the caps. Point the revolver in the direction of the target and place a percussion cap on each nipple. It may be an advantage to squeeze the caps a little between your fingers before you place them on the nipple, so that they don't fall off. Make sure that they are tight, because loose caps may result in multiple discharges. At one time I stood next to a shooter with a Colt Walker which experienced a multiple discharge caused by loose caps, and it was not a nice experience.
If you are a beginner and want to start shooting percussion revolvers there are a couple of things you should know. If you are going to use it for competitive shooting I would have stayed away from the Colt models. They have a reputation for being inaccurate compared to revolvers with a top-strap, such as the Rogers & Spencer and the Remington New Army. If you are more concerned about history and nostalgia I would have chosen a Colt.