Heritage, 2009, Volume 2 Page: 10
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Ammunition is loaded into the rear part of the gun
barrel as opposed to the muzzle or mouth of the bar-
The diameter of a gun barrel, usually measured in
hundredths or thousandths of an inch.
A rifle with a cut-down barrel, typically less than
22 inches in length. The shorter barrel made these
weapons easier to handle for cavalry soldiers.
A mechanism in early firearms whereby the trigger
hammer strikes a piece of flint, creating a spark that
ignites the gunpowder in the barrel when firing the
weapon. The percussion cap replaced the flintlock
A muzzle-loading shoulder gun with a long, smooth-
bore barrel. These firearms used musket balls as am-
munition, which were made from lead and wrapped
in a loosely-fitting paper backed with gun powder.
A small brass or copper cylinder with one closed end
where a small amount of explosive material (gun-
powder) is held. Percussion pistols and rifles used
these caps when fired.
A military officer whose duty is to provide provisions
such as food, equipment, and weapons to soldiers.
Revolver or six-shooter:
A firearm with one barrel that has a cylinder with
multiple firing chambers, allowing for multiple shots
A firearm with long, double or single barrels, which
contain grooves; used for long-range shots.
A firearm where the barrel does not have internal "ri-
fling" (spiral grooves). Rifling allows the bullet to spin
when fired, providing stability and greater accuracy
in comparison to smoothbore barrels.
straight line, like the spin on a football. The British were defeated by
these rifles in the American Revolution and at the Battle of New
Orleans in 1814. Santa Anna lost many soldiers at the Battle of the
Alamo from the effect of the deadly fire these rifles produced in the hands
Pennsylvania-made Kentucky rifle of the type used by early Anglo settlers of Texas. This
is the kind of rifle that was used at the Battle of the Alamo by Texians.
VBy the time of the Texas Revolution, percussion firearms were begin-
ning to be used. Many older flintlock guns were upgraded to percussion
ignition during the early 1830s, so it is probable that there were some
percussion firearms present at the Battle of the Alamo. Mirabeau Lamar
used an English percussion shotgun made by Richard Hollis of London at
the Battle of San Jacinto. This gun can be seen today at the Bob Bullock
Texas State History Museum in Austin.
Close-up of the Hollis shotgun showing the percussion cap in place on the nipple.
HERITAGE E Volume 2 2009
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, 2009, Volume 2, periodical, 2009; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth254213/m1/10/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.