Components of Firepower

A discussion of the academic and tactical model created by LTC Alphin for the analysis and employment of weapons in the field. The components are Combat Range (consisting of Battlesight Range and Adjust Sight Range), Volume of Fire, and Terminal Effect.

Terminal Effect

A discussion of the terminal effect of a kinetic energy projectile on a mammalian target..

Crossbow and Longbow

A comparison of the English Long Bow to the European Crossbow, using the academic model. The comparison was then used to illuminate some issues in medeivel combat such as at the Battle of Crecy.


A discussion of the matchlock, using the academic model, and placing it in relation to the tactical doctrine and organization of the Swedish Brigade in the Thirty Years War.

Flintlock Smoothbore Musket

A discussion of the musket, using a 1762 Brown Bess and the academic model. This continued to a detailed discussion of Linear Warfare and the tactics used in the American Revolution.

Kentucky Rifle and the American Revolution

A discussion of an exemplar Kentucky Rifle and comparing it to the flintlock smoothbore musket. This ws brought into the context of Linear Warfare and used as an example of a leader organizing his mix of weapons with tactical doctrine to produce victory at the Battle of Cowpens in the American Revolution.

.58 Caliber Rifled Musket

A discussion of the rifled musket, using the academic model, and bringing that into the context of the American Civil War.

12-Pound Napoleon

A discussion of field artillery in the American civil War and how this contributed to the stonishing level of casualties of that War. There is final mention of the technical developments of mankind which will lead to field artillery as it is understood in the 20th and 21st Centuries.

Breechloader & Muzzleloader:

The Wagon Box Fight A discussion of the attempts to increase volume of fire by use of the newly invented black powder, single shot, breechloading rifles. This focused on the US “Trap Door” Springfield of 1866 and its effect on battle in the American West using the Wagon Box Fight as the tactical example.

Breechloader 1866-1890

A discussion of the global introduction of single shot black powder breechloading rifles and the subsequent effect on organization and tactical doctrine. This carried into mankind’s increasing technical and manufacturing capability, resulting in greatly increased combat range, and the effect on battle, using the Battle of Adobe Walls as the example.

Custer’s Last Stand

A comparison of the 1873 “Trap Door” Springfield to the 1873 Winchester lever action rifle. This uses the academic model and then segues to a discussion of the tactical and technical idiocy of Custer as he led his men to their doom at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876.

Impact of Smokeless Powder

A discussion of the vast changes, using the academic model, of the introduction of smokeless propellant powder in the 1880’s. This leads into the vast changes in infantry small arms between 1888 and 1906 and how well or how poorly nations and generals adapted to the changes.

Bolt Action Magazine Rifle

A detailed discussion of the final result of smokeless propellant, as embodied in the M-1917 US Rifle. This continues with the effect on World War One, and the failures of leaders to adapt to change.

Water Cooled Machine Gun

A discussion of the invention of machine guns, culminating in the water cooled machine of the World War One era. Emphasis is placed on the academic model and concludes with practical demonstration using the M-1917 Browning Water Cooled Machine Gun.

Trench Assault

A disscussion of the deadlock of World War One and the technical and tactical solutions to it. This led to the American Trench Shotgun and then the German invention of the Sub-Machine Gun and the German incorporation of that weapon into the tactical organization and doctrine of what is called Hutier Tactics or German Assault Tactics of 1918.

Mobile Machine Gun: MG-34 and BAR

A discussion of two trends in weapons which placed automatic fires into the infantry squad and platoon. Using the academic, this emphasized the changes in organization and tectical doctrine which an intelligent leader uses in order to get the maximum benefit from the weapons available to him.

The Greatest Battle Implement

A discussion of the M-1 Garand Rifle and the technical effect, around the world, of inventors borrowing from John Browning’s ideas. This discussion included the academic model and the advantage the rifle gave to the US in World War Two, leading to G.S. Patton’s description as “The Greatest Battle Implement Ever Devised”.

Assault Rifle

A discussion of the German invention, using the trade-offs shown in the academic model, of the Sturmgewehr; a weapon they hoped would help turn the tide in World War Two. This tape re-emphasized the necessity for leaders to adapt their organization and tactical doctrine to accommodate technical changes The History of Small Arms Technology A 45 minutes compact overview of the above from the flintlock smoothbore musket to the assault rifle.

Weapons, Tactics and Strategy of the American Revolution

A combined discussion and demonstration of the weapons, coupled with the organization and tactical doctrine; and placed within the strategy selected by George Washington, which led to victory in the American Revolution.

Introduction to Tank Technology

A discussion of mobility, gun control and fire control of tanks using the US M-4A3E8, the British Centurion, the German Panther 1B, and the Soviet T-34/85.

Overview of 20th Century Small Arms Technology

A brief demonstration of various weapons, showing the basic charateristics which are explained, compared and contrasted using the academic model.

The majority of the foregoing were done for the Ordnance Engineering Department and the History Department of the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY; and can be found at their web site ( or by Googling Major Alphin West Point Weapons Tapes. A couple of the tapes were done for the United States Army Armor School, Ft. Knox, KY; which is now defunct thanks to the idiot civilian bureaucrats, and the fools in Congress, responsible for the Base Realignment and Closure Act. Steps are being taken to get all of the tapes consolidated in one area on You Tube