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Brunswick Percussion Rifle
The percussion Brunswick rifle was the first British military percussion rifle.
The Brunswick rifle was a .704 caliber muzzle-loading percussion
rifle manufactured for the British Army at the Royal Small Arms
Factory at Enfield in the early 1800s. The Brunswick had a two
groove barrel designed to accept a "belted" round ball. There are
four basic variants of the British Brunswick Rifle (produced in
.654 and .704 caliber, both oval bore rifled and smoothbore). They
are the Pattern 1836, the Pattern 1841 , the Pattern 1848 and the
Pattern 1840 Variant.
The weapon was introduced to replace the Baker rifle which had replaced the Brown Bess and weighed from over 9 to over 10 pounds WITHOUT its bayonet attached, depending on the pattern. The weapon was described as inaccurate and difficult to load but remained in production for about 50 years (1836 to 1885)and was used in both England and assorted colonies and outposts throughout the world. The first bulk order of 1000 rifles was given on October 25, 1837. In January of the following year, it became apparent that 600 of these would be required urgently for Col. BrownÕs Battalion of the Rifle Brigade and that the Enfield factory would not be able to supply them in time. Thus the whole order was put out to the trade in London at a charge of 38 shillings per rifle.
The first Brunswick rifles were made by the following gunmakers: Tomas Potts, 212; Wm. Heptinstall, 55; Barnett & Co., 212; Reynolds & Son, 55; Lacy & Reynolds, 210; YeomanÕs & Son, 55; E. J. Baker, 146; Thomas Leigh, 55; William Parker, 80; W. Mills & Son, 55; R. E. Pritchett, 80; W. T. Bond, 55; Thomas Ashton, 80. The Brunswick was also manufactured in Belgium. Limited numbers of Brunswick rifles were imported to the United States during the Civil War by Confederate forces.