• Firearms Thru History
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Developed as an innovation from Hand Cannons, Bombards and Wall Guns - The Blunderbuss was a true "crossover" weapon. Seen in the late 16th and early 17th Century, this weapon was known for having a short barrel and stock. The barrel was also known for it's fluted  (or swelled) muzzle. Designed later ti incorporate the "new" flintlock technology of the period, many are considered the direct descendant of The Shotgun. Made at first to be a hunting gun, the weapon was quickly adapted into military service. Effective at close range, their drawback was distance. A handgun version was created, dubbed "The Dragoon" (a term for Mounted Infantry). Loaded with small lead or steel pellets or shot. The load was held in place by either a cloth or paper wadding. Despite the "shotgun" reference, the barrels fluting had no effect on the shot pattern (as many think). Most barrels were around 2 feet in length (a period musket was around 3 feet). It had a range of up to 75 feet. Many European Navies and cavalry forces liked both handgun and short rifle version for lightness and ease of use (especially at close quarters). Early attempts of attached spring loaded bayonets were even attempted. The Blunderbuss came to The New World as well, often being the only form of protection for early Colonists. Many homes had at least one Blunderbuss in their homes (for protection), well into the 19th Century.