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The Baker Rifle


This image of the classic Baker Rifle of the British Rifle regiments during the Napoleonic Wars also shows its sword bayonet and powder flask. It had a 0.625 in (15.9 mm) calliber and a quoted range of 200 yards (more than twice that of the standard 'Brown Bess' musket) but skilled marksmen recorded hits considerably beyond that.
The key to it's accuracy was a tight-fitting ball, wrapped in a greased patch (stored in the butt) which was rammed down the barrel, giving little windage, and fitting into the rifled bore. Because of this, though, it was considerably slower to load.
Local militia were also issued with the Baker Rifle for home defence during the panic over threatened invasion of Britain by Napoleon's troops. The North York Militia had two companies of skirmishers so armed.


Taken at the York Castle Museum, York, England, 2003

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