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Bridesburg Percussion Musket
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The Bridesburg Machine Works of Bridesburg, Pennsylvania, agreed in late 1861 to produce 75,000 rifle-muskets for the United States military. These weapons replaced the older and less-reliable flintlock technology with the percussion system introduced in the 1840s. Instead of depending upon a flint to provide a spark, a small brass cap placed upon a steel nipple provided the small explosion, or "percussion," that ignited the main gunpowder charge in the barrel. Civil War soldiers still had to load their muskets by pouring and then ramming gunpowder and a bullet down the gun barrel. A member of the 10th Massachusetts Regiment carried this rifle-musket in the Civil War (1861-1865).
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