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Shotguns in the Rank

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  • Shotguns in the Rank

    Had a question about the use of Shotguns during the war. Obviously they were used quite a bit by confederate forces early on, and even later in the war in certain areas.

    My question is, how does one adapt the manual of arms for shotgun use while in rank & file? Would men armed with shotguns be essentially treating them as smoothbore muskets? We’re military style cartridges used or were soldiers still pouring from a horn into a measure into the barrel, as if hunting? How does this apply to double barrel guns? Would these men be providing their own ammunition? I’m aware of the wooden “speed loaders” used with pre patched balls.

    Curious what everyone thinks!
    Austin Millinder

  • #2
    Re: Shotguns in the Rank

    I assume you're asking about shotgun use by infantry troops. I know of no alterations to the manual of arms/no reason to assume the manual of arms was any different.

    Regarding ammunition, the answer depends on all the usual factors - time/place/conditions/etc., but the CS arsenals produced both buckshot and buck-and-ball cartridges which could be used in shotguns. A more complete discussion can be found here:

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    Joe Knight

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