Buccaneer Gun

The Buccaneer Gun was a heavy, large caliber musket. According to descriptions it had a large butt stock, with a bore around 75 calibers (3/4 inch or 19 mm), and the barrel length was around 40 inches (1 meter) or more. The overall length of the weapon was over 5 ½ feet. According to sources the weapons were often of German or French origin but came from all over Europe. Captured Sapnish muskets would have also been used..

The buccaneer guns wasn’t a military musket but was a fowler or hunting musket. This helps to explain both their size and weight. The heavy, long barrels and the large stocks made the weapons sturdy and capable of long range accurate firing. Some reports claim that a good shoot could hit his target at ranges of 300 yards (300 meters). This is an exaggeration. Hitting a target at 150 yards (150 meters) would have been considered superb and was probably amore like maximum effective range of a late 17th or early 18th century fowler.

The buccaneer gun probably did not fire a single solid shot but instead fired a mix of big and little shots. One common load for muskets at the time was one ball about the size of the diameter of the barrel and two smaller balls, often about half or one third the actual bore of the musket. This was done to increase the chance of hitting your target. At very close range this was overkill but at range of 25 to 100 yards it could be the difference of hitting a target or completely missing it. It is also possible that buccaneers would support the heavy barrels of their rifles with a rod when firing long distances.

This could be done because the buccaneer gun was a smooth bore gun. In the early years of buccaneering (1550-1680) some of these buccaneer guns may have been snaphaunces and wheellocks.


1660 English Fowler

Despite the small caliber, this 54 caliber English Fowler from around 1660 would have been a suitable musket for a buccaneer.



A buccaneer and his buccaneer gun