I’ve created a complete list of winning musket team stats from May of 1985 through this last national. As I was creating the listing I was shocked to see some of the remarkable achievements of some past musket teams.
Did you know that it is possible to finish the 32 clays on a backer in less than 90 seconds? Really! Yes, I’m talking about an 8-man musket team here! 32 clays in just 89.7 seconds, that’s a 22.4 second hit time per man, or put another way, a broken clay every 2.8 seconds!
This staggering result was the achievement of the Washington Blue Rifles at the 81st National in May of 1990. I wonder if those birds were black side or orange side up!?!
How about this gem: Breaking 10 tiles at 100 yards in only 28.2 seconds, turned in by the Dismal Swamp Rangers at the 95th National in May of 1997. This feat was nearly matched by the 110th Ohio Volunteer Infantry at the 109th National in May of 2004, completing the same event in just 29.2 seconds.
Below I’ve created a table of the Top 10 Best Musket Teams from the Nationals. This list was compiled using statistics spanning from the 72nd National in October of 1985 to the most recent 120th National, October 2009. Each record includes 5 events consisting of 90 total targets, the only variances are pots vs. pot tile targets, and the order of the events (Before the 1995 season, the event order was: 10 tiles at 100 yards, 32 clays, 16 tiles, 16 clays, and 16 pots).
Yes, that’s right, only one team has ever broken the 300 second barrier in the musket team match: The 77th National Washington Blue Rifles.
Imagine that: In five events, the Blues averaged 59.6 seconds per event. That’s staggering!
(Here are the actual event times for the Blues: 10 Tiles at 100 yds: 52.30, 32 Clays: 95.60, 16 Tiles: 51.00, 16 Clays: 45.50, 16 Pots: 53.80, Total 298.20 seconds)
The Washington Blue Rifles not only top this list, but dominate 5 of the top ten ranks, including 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 7th and 9th.
Although every team who wins a National Musket Match is a Champion, these ten teams must be regarded as Legendary Teams!
PS: Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone, if you are traveling, please be safe! Next Monday I’ll have an article on the 17th Virginia Infantry! See you then…