Osprey Publishing

The Flintlock Musket: Brown Bess & Charleville 1715-1865 by Stuart Reid and The Barrett Rifle: Sniping and anti-materiel rifles in the War on Terror by Chris McNab.

The Flintlock Musket: Brown Bess & Charleville 1715-1865 by Stuart Reid analyzes the flintlock musket as one of the iconic weapons in history. Reid worked as a librarian, was a soldier, and his main focus of interest is in the 18th and 19th centuries. This interest stems from having ancestors who served in the British Army and the East India Company and who fought at Culloden, Bunker Hill and the Texas Revolution. It shows as this book as a great overview of individual and unit tactics. More than a gun book, this delves into the how.

These arms were used on the battlefields of the Thirty Years’ War and the English Civil War, carried by both sides at Bunker Hill, Waterloo and the Alamo, and dominated warfare for more than 150 years. Until the advent of cartridge ammunition and breech-loading weapons in the 1840s and 1850s, muskets were still being widely used as late as the American Civil War in the 1860s.

Eighteenth century flintlocks were one of two basic patterns. From 1717, the lighter, handier but more sturdy French .69 caliber Charleville served as a pattern first for the other Bourbon kingdoms such as Spain, the American Springfield family of weapons, and finally for just about everybody else in Europe during the Napoleonic era. From 1722, the British .75 caliber model “Brown Bess” offered better man-stopping qualities and influenced the Prussians and others.

Featuring full-color artwork, this tactical study examines the flintlock in close-order combat on European and other battlefields, employing first-hand accounts to show how tactical doctrines were successfully developed to overcome the weapon’s inherent limitations. It also explores the use of the flintlock musket by individuals in irregular warfare, chiefly in North America.

The Barrett Rifle

The Barrett M82 is a notable anti-materiel and sniper rifle in current service. Now entering its fourth decade of service, the short recoil, semi-automatic rifle fires the .50 BMG and provides devastating accuracy over distances of more than a mile. Unconfirmed reports from Afghanistan in 2012 credit the Barrett with one of history’s longest ever kills at 2,815 meters.

The Barrett Rifle: Sniping and anti-materiel rifles in the War on Terror, weapons expert Chris McNab gives the technical history of a rifle initially commissioned as an anti-materiel and explosive ordnance disposal tool, but which has since been adopted by snipers across the world. Barrett rifles have seen active service in the First Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan, and have become an addition to both police and Special Forces units alike. In addition to details on the history of the Barrett, this is a good overview of long-range sniping.

Read more in the October 2016 issue.

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