Saturday, January 2, 2010

An English flintlock blunderbuss in Poltava Battle museum.

The blunderbuss is a muzzle-loading firearm with a short, large caliber barrel, which is flared at the muzzle, and used with shot. The blunderbuss is an early form of shotgun adapted to military and defensive use.
The blunderbuss was an early form of shotgun, and served in similar roles. While various ancient accounts often list the blunderbuss as being loaded with various scrap iron or rocks, this would result in damage to the bore of the gun; it was typically loaded with a number of lead balls smaller than the bore diameter. Barrels could be made of steel or brass. The muzzle was flared not to increase the spread of the shot, but rather to funnel powder and shot into the weapon, making it easier to reload on horseback or on a moving carriage. The flared muzzle is the defining feature of the blunderbuss, differentiating it from large caliber carbines; the distinction between the blunderbuss and the musketoon is less distinct, as musketoons were also used with shot, and some had flared barrels. Blunderbusses were typically very short, with barrels under two feet (60 cm) in length, at a time when a typical musket barrel was over three feet (90 cm) long. The blunderbuss was typically issued to troops such as cavalry, who needed a lightweight, easily handled firearm. An English flintlock blunderbuss shown in the picture is preserving in Poltava Battle museum.


Unknown said...

Dear Oleg,

Do you have any higher resolution closeup photos of the maker's mark? I am researching English weapons of the period and would like to compare this gun to a group of English blunderbusses fond aboard a French privateer which sank in 1704.