Baker rifle

Baker Rifle

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Baker rifle

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The Baker rifle (officially known as the Infantry Rifle) was a flintlock rifle used by the Rifle regiments of the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars. It was the first standard-issue, British-made rifle accepted by the British armed forces.

The Baker Rifle was first produced in 1800 by Ezekiel Baker, a master gunsmith from Whitechapel. The British Army was still issuing the Infantry Rifle in the 1830s.

History and design

The British army had learned the value of rifles from their experience in the American rebellion. However, existing rifle designs were considered too cumbersome, slow-firing, fragile or expensive to be put to use on any scale beyond irregular companies. Rifles had been issued on a limited basis and consisted of parts made to no precise pattern, often brought in from Prussia. The war against Revolutionary France resulted in the employment of new tactics, and the British Army responded, albeit with some delay. Prior to the formation of an Experimental Rifle Corps in 1800, a trial was held at Woolwich by the British Board of Ordnance on 22 February 1800 in order to select a standard rifle pattern; the rifle designed by Ezekiel Baker was chosen.

Colonel Coote Manningham, responsible for establishing the Rifle Corps, influenced the initial designs of the Baker. The first model resembled the British Infantry Musket, but was rejected for being too heavy. Baker was provided with a German Jager rifle as an example of what was needed. The second model he made had...
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