The Flintlock Musket was a muzzle-loaded, smoothbore gun fired from the shoulder; a bone shattering blaster that punched huge caliber holes into its victims. It was the Long-Range weapon of the Musketeer.
The musket was typically a long-barreled gun, operated by means of a flintlock mechanism. The lock contained a hammer with a piece of flint, which stuck a steel plate, creating the spark which ignited the powder and fired the musket. The muzzle-velocity is at about 550mph or 800fps.
The effective range of a musket (against a single human target) is between 50 meters to over 100 meters. The musketball commonly bounced inside the barrel, so beyond the effective range; the path of the musketball would curve to a random direction. The reason why musketeers would fire in volleys would be to compensate for the randomness. However if aiming at a large target, like an enemy army, the musket's effective range could be as far as 200 meters (especially for muskets designed for long range; like the Brown Bess Musket.) Linen Patches were used to make the musketball fit more compactly within the barrel without getting it stuck inside the barrel.
The late 1840s introduced the mass use of rifled muskets and Minie Balls; further extending the range of the musket. For comparison; the Springfield Model 1842 Smoothbore with 0.69 in Ball has an effective range of 100–200 yards with 400 maximum range. The Springfield Model 1855 Rifle with 0.58 in Minie had an effective range of 200-300 yards with a maximum range of 800-1,000 yards.
- Range: 100 yards
- Weight: 8 lbs
- Ammo: .75 ball
- Wood and steel
- Projectile Speed: 426 MPH
- Reload Time: 15-20 Seconds (User Dependent, Depends on Model)
Musket Front Line Formations were formed to replace the Pike and Shot tactics. The Matchlock Arquebus required pikemen to protect the Arquebuseers from charges. However with the introduction of the Bayonet, and the Arquebus being replaced by the more efficient Musket; footsoldiers could rely entirely on guns for both close and long ranged combat. Marin le Bourgeoys is credited for inventing the Flintlock mechanism between 1610 to 1615--- although this Flintlock design was a primitive prototype. 1630 is cited as the true introduction of Flintlock Muskets into European armies. Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden is credited for introducing Front Line Formations; using such tactics to win battles in the Thirty Years' War (23 May 1618 – 15 May 1648): (although Gustavus didn't have Bayonets at this time, that weapon was still adapted into his tactics when introduced).
The flintlock musket was widely used in the 17th and 18th Centuries; with the last largescale musket war being as late as the American Civil War (although rifled/rebore muskets were the norm). By the mid 19th century; the percussion-cap replaced the flintlock mechanism.
Because the weapon was not particularly accurate (compared to modern guns), the standard method of use involved large, tightly grouped formations firing in volleys, tactics which proved disastrous when more accurate, rapid-reloading rifles like the Henry became common. The musket itself was considered outdated after the American Civil War due to repeating rifles. However it existed in European colonies so that the native armies of those regions didn't have the technology available to rebel. This changed in WWI, as the European empires were forced to modernize their colonial armies for the conflict. Today muskets are sometimes used for hunting but are extinct on the battlefield.
The Strasbourg Agreement (1675) outlawed the practice of poisoning musket balls. Prior to this, musket balls could be poisoned by resting them in corpses or fecal matter.
The flintlock musket was also used by pirates.
With the abillity to pierce armor, traditional Knights became extinct. Muskets used larger calibers compared to their Arquebus or Handgun ancestors; meaning only the heaviest (and thus most expensive) armors could block these rounds.
Test in Show
In the show the flintlock musket fired off three shots and inflicted one kill and two wounds on a gel torso. The edge was given to the musket over the nest of bees for its accuracy, heavy caliber, and option to mount a plug bayonet.