I totally agree. On a battlefield artillery is inaccurate due to the smoke issue, so to make most use of the guns, mass them in a single place against a target, in front of the guns and fire at it until a) the enemy move out of range b) the guns cease fire to allow for cavalry assault. Not very tactical. The best gunners in the world, if they could not see the target could not hit it. The same is true for the infantry with the musket. Hence long lines of muskets aimed at a single target. A company deployed in line firing in three ranks and an artillery battery had the same limitations regardless of training of marksmanship.
Returning to French and Russian artillery. How do we know the French were the best gunners? who says so? My guess the French, and that assumption cant be tested empirically and is hardly historical, relying on a French source to say the Russians were bad gunners and the French the best. No artillery service was better than any other as we cant test which was best, and is rather fruitless exercise in trying to define who was best.Also how would we define 'best'?
Methinks the belittiling of the Russians owes a lot Macarthyism/anti-russian ideas/indoctrination of 30yrs or more ago and lack of sources that have been translated to English for Western historians to use and lack of willingness to visit achives in Russia due to lack of Russian as a language, plus lack of access to these archives.Lazy research basically.