Muskets are smooth bore shoulder fired weapons that are designed to be fired using both hands. They can have a variety of firing mechanisms from matchlock to flintlock. Some later muskets even used the percussion cap system. Muskets are the big brother to the arquebus. Musket have long large caliber barrels and a well formed heavy butt stock. the arquebus is generally shorter and firing a smaller caliber slug. However the arquebus is not a carbine. Carbines come into varieties. Pistols that are capable of having a but stock attached to allow shoulder firing (see pistol section) and muskets or rifles that have had their barrels shortened in order to make them easier to wield on horseback or aboard ship.
Early French Matchlock from around 1660-1690, typical of the period.
Early French Long Musket from 1700-1720. The muzzle measure 69 calibers (69/100 of an inch) The size of the bullet would've been around 65 calibers, with the difference in diameter being made up with the patch.
English Brown Bess
Known as the Land Patern Long Musket. This was the standard issue British Musket from the 1720s until the beginning of the 1800s. Smooth boore and firing a 75 caliber musket ball. That is a 3/4 inch solid ball of lead.
Sea Service Brown Bess
The British knew the handicap of the long barreled musket onboard ships and created a shortened barreled version of the land pattern service musket. The new musket was the "Sea Pattern Musket". Shorter than the land pattern and missing swivels for the sling and bayonet attachemnts, it was designed specifically for boarding ships or repeling boarders. It was not designed for use on land.
French Trading Gun
This is a French pattern musket that would have been plentiful throughout the Americas around the beginning of the 1700s. It was a plain musket sold in trading stores.
Spanish Musket from the early 1700s
A typical military issue Spanish Musket from the early 1700s. It fired a 70 caliber ball.
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