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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    507
    I shoot both flintlock and percussion dueling pistols in international MALIC competition, so I'm not unfamiliar with their performance. Yes, my World Championships competition guns are originals (I have repros for practice).

    They'll shoot. Even a smoothbore flintlock will hold a comfortable 2-inch group at 25m. Maybe 2.5 inches. The British tended toward .55 caliber, but that's not a hard rule. Quite a few guns were in .67 caliber to take military ammunition and sold to officers...and some were made in bores in the .45 range.

    Percussion rifled guns will shoot to under 1.5 inches at 25 meters, usually better. These are usually around .44 caliber...but there are exceptions. My #1 gun takes a .433 round ball, but its backup needs a .530. And I've a third that wants a .378.

    FWIW, sword duels were to first, second, or third blood depending on the severity of the insult. In a serious fight, you would not go for an instant kill. Safer to attack the advanced target - the opponent's sword arm. Put an inch of steel into that, and he won't fence better. Then use that to allow you to put two or three inches of blade into his bicep...and follow up with a foot of steel through his lungs.

    With pistols, there were ways for the seconds to fiddle with the guns. A misfire was considered a shot, so you could hand your principal a gun that had a bad flint, poor priming, or no main charge. After percussion arms were developed, the French would often fight their pistol duels at 50 or even 70 meters.

    It's important to remember that many duels were fought to maintain reputations, not because of a real desire to see the opponent dead. It was one of the problems...there were a lot of busybodies playing "let's you and him fight". Although I think the older system of trial by combat had advantages for certain cases...and also had the feature that the King could refuse to grant a Field of Battle, if he did not think the cause justified it. Which was considered to have ended the affair.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Western Montana
    Posts
    3,075
    This was interesting. Thanks
    Is God Politically Correct? If not should you be? - F. Huff -- God is unchanging in His love. He loves you. He has a plan for your life. Don't let the newspaper headlines frighten you. God is still sovereign; He's still on the throne. - B. Graham -- No statement should be believed because it is made by an authority. - Robert A. Heinlein

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