Competent authorities have compiled statistics on the efficacy of musket fire, Colonel Ardant Du Picq notes:
Guibert thinks that not over two thousand men are killed or wounded by each million cartridges used in battle.
Gassendi assures us that of three thousand shots only one is a hit.
Piobert says that the estimate, based on the result of long wars, is that three to ten thousand cartridges are expended for each man hit.
To-day, with accurate and long range weapons, have things changed much? We do not think so. The number of bullets fired must be compared with the number of men dropped, with a deduction made for the action of artillery, which must be considered.
A German author has advanced the opinion that with the Prussian needle rifle the hits are 60% of the shots fired. But then how explain the disappointment of M. Dreyse, the happy inventor of the needle rifle, when he compared Prussian and Austrian losses. This good old gentleman was disagreeably astonished at seeing that his rifle had not come up to his expectations.