Question of the Week: What Civil War weapon would you like to fire?

If you could fire one weapon from the Civil War, what would it be? Why that one?

19 Responses to Question of the Week: What Civil War weapon would you like to fire?

  1. To be honest as a both a collector and member of the NSSA for almost 50 years I am hard pressed to think of a type of small arm or artillery I have not fired or in the case of artillery crewed.

    Maybe a piece of heavy seacoast artillery like a 10 inch Rodman gun.

  2. I’d have to go with one of the four experimental 20-inch Dahlgrens cast at the Fort Pitt foundry as the war closed.

  3. I would love to shoot the Sharp’s Model 1859 rifle. The weapon issued to Berdan’s Sharpshooters. I actually saw one on display at the Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody Wyoming. The display card stated the gun was in the serial range of the ones issued to that famous unit. Wow, I was impressed.

  4. To continue the heavy weapons emphasis, I would love to fire the Seacoast 13 inch mortar also from the Pittsburgh Fort Pitt foundry. These saw significant use on the Mississippi river and the Mississippi River Delta on the motar Still boats/rafts and the mortar ships in the capture of New Orleans. The most famous may be the dictator used by the army in the siege of Petersburg.

  5. “Firing” off Ted Romans’ comment: Sharps Carbine. Held an original in a Charlottesville antique gun store a few years ago. Fine weapon.

  6. A family member of a friend of mine owns the rifle that fired the first shot of the Civil War (in a land fight, at least), and I would love to fire it, or even just see it. Neither is likely. Other than that, I’d love to fire an original Colt Navy, Army, or 1858 Remington, while on horseback, to get a sense of how difficult it was to hit a target while engaged in a cavalry fight.

  7. I would like to fire a Billinghurst-Requa battery gun. It was an unusual weapon as far as its design, but it was designed and constructed to provide massed and/or rapid fire to the battlefield. It remained an experimental weapon throughout the war, but it did see some limited action.

  8. Norman Wiard’s 6 lb rifle – the one that Ripley rejected and only the likes of Fremont and Sickles – of all people – had enough brains to acquire. Go figure …

  9. I would love to fire one of 280mm Dahlgren guns in the turret of the USS Monitor. My second choice is a 12-pound Napoleon. Col. Art Alphin has a great video about why it is a better choice than the Gatling gun.

    1. Black powder small arms have very little recoil. Reason being that black powder burns, rather than detonates. It’s more like a WHOOOSH than a BANG. You should have no issue with recoil! Example– even .44 caliber Colts fully stuffed with powder can easily be fired one-handed.

  10. Any kind of artillery. I’ve live fired an Enfield musket and Colt Navy and Army revolvers (reproductions of course). I want to add a Springfield Musket to that eventually.

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