Patriots Are Original American Snipers

With apologies to the Seattle Ospreys (i.e. Seahawks), anyone with a love of firearms and hunting should be cheering for the New England Patriots on Super Bowl Sunday.


Because the New England Minutemen (i.e. Patriots), are the original American Snipers.

We won’t give you a long history lesson about the American Revolutionary War, but let us touch on a few major points. To battle the Redcoats, our team (Minutemen = Patriots) volunteered to be ready for service in a minute’s notice, hence the name. Our team wasn’t made up of full-time soldiers; in fact, they were farmers, businessmen, etc. They dressed in whatever clothing they had, and because many of these guys put meat on the table with their guns, they owned rifles, not smoothbore muskets like those carried by the Brits.

As the video below shows, it’s a hell of a lot faster to load a musket than it is a rifle. Watch the video closely and you’ll see that a guy shooting the musket (on the left) can fire about every 20 seconds, while a guy with the rifle (on the right) can fire only once per minute. Why the huge difference? Is the rifle shooter as slow as Tom Brady running the 40?

No. The answer is barrel rifling, plus a few other things specific to each firearm type.

The Brown Bess muskets used by the Redcoats were .75 caliber, and the ball (lead projectile) was undersized, meaning it basically fell down the barrel with little effort on the part of loader/shooter. The Brits also loaded black powder and bullet at the same time thanks to a paper cartridge.

Many of the Americans/Patriots carried .50-caliber long guns with rifled barrels. The projectile fit tightly in the barrel, which meant the shooter had to push it down every inch until it seated tightly against the powder. This took time and effort. And prior to loading the projectile, the shooter first had to measure and pour black powder down the barrel. Again, more time. But don’t bet on the Brits just yet.

The Patriots won the war in large part because a smoothbore musket is a heavy point-and-shoot weapon with horrible accuracy (no sights!). You’d be lucky to hit a man-size target at 40 yards. That’s why battles between two militia units using muskets quickly turned into a hand-to-hand fight with bayonets and gun buttstocks doing most of the damage.

A rifled long gun, however, such as the Kentucky Rifle above, was much lighter, didn’t have a bayonet and had precision iron sights, which allowed the Patriots to hide in the woods, carefully aim and pick off the enemy from distances of 100 yards or more.

In other words, the Patriots are the original American Snipers!

P.S. Did you know North American Hunter has an online store?