Arming the Union through Innovation, Genius, and Agency
Men, Machine, & the Carbine
Advancements in Ammunition
Both advancements in ammunition's bullet and its cartridges for shoulder arms enabled advancements in carbines to be practical and feasible. Both rifling and breechloading were greatly influenced by the changes in ammunition. Ammunition advancements would be just as important as the carbine's advancements, because they influenced what the design of the carbine will be. According to Felicia Johnson Deyrup, "Improved ammunition was an integral part of the development of breechloading arms."1 As ammunition improved, so did the carbines and rifles that used them.
Not only did the marksmen spend less time loading his gun, and even possibly cleaning it, he became a better shot. Although the final product of both the bullet and cartridge were successful for both the manufacturers' inventors and the gun users, there would be many failed ideas.
1Felicia Johnson Deyrup, Arms Makers of the Connecticut Valley: A Regional Study of the Economic Development of the Small Arms Industry, 1798-1870 (George Banta Publishing Company: Menasha, Wisconsin, 1948), 28
"Improved ammunition design was an integral part of the development of breechloading arms"
--Felicia Johnson Deyrup,
Arms Makers of the Connecticut Valley:
A Regional Study of the Economic Development of the Small Arms Industry, 1789 - 1870,
ARTIFACTS: NATIONAL FIREARMS MUSEUM | PHOTO: ALLISON AND BRITTANY VENTURELLA
From Left to Right: The Burnside Cartridge, the Sharps metallic cartridge (testing for it started during the Civil War but it was used after the War), a variation of the Minie bullet, and a round ball.