In February 1800, the Baker rifle won a competition organized by the British Army’s Board of Ordnance and became the first rifle officially adopted by the British Army. It was similar to weapons in use in Germany, and its novel feature lay in its barrel. With shallow or "slow" rifling, just a quarter-turn in the length of the barrel, the Baker rifle stayed clean, and thus usable, for a relatively long time. It was issued to select men at first, and was superseded in 1838. Designed by Ezekiel Baker, the rifle was a robust weapon, designed to keep on working even under the most difficult conditions, and several modifications to the original design reflected that. With its short barrel (30 inches instead of the more customary 39) it was not particularly accurate, but was still a great improvement over the smooth-bore musket then in general use.
British rifle companies existed before the Baker was adopted, but a new regiment, the 95th (Rifle) Regiment, was raised specifically to exploit it. Dressed in green coats with black facings (and later known as the Green Jackets) they first saw action as marine infantry during the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801, but really came into their own during the Peninsular War of 1808–14.
Country of origin: United Kingdom
Production date: from 1800 to 1837
Caliber: .625 in
Barrel length: 39 in (76 cm)
Weight: 11 lb (5 kg)