Musketoon

Golden Age of Piracy - Chapter Decoration

Background

A musketoon was a shorter barreled and smaller version of the musket. It was more equiavalent to the blunderbuss as discussed in the flintlock pistols section in that it served in a more shotgun or carbine capacity. The shorter barrel (sometimes less than a foot/30 cm) made them extremely useful in small, crowded spaces such as a naval boarding action.

Musketoons were often the same caliber as a standard issue musket (1 inch/2.5 cm), but could also be of a much higher caliber (2.5 inches/6.3 cm). Musketoons were popular naval weapons because they were small and were very popular with pirates.

Musketoons often were constructed of a brass or iron barrel and usually had a flintlock firing mechanism. These rifles were fired from the shoulder unlike the blunderbuss which was fired from the hip.

Smaller musketoons were nearly identical to muskets and even fired the same way. The only difference was the barrel length which impacted aiming. Smaller musketoons typically fired a single musket ball or buck shot. Larger musketoons were loaded with multiple musket balls or multiple loads of buckshot. In this manner musketoons were very variable weapons making them ideal for pirates to use in all manner of circumstances.

Pirate Weapons

Sources

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources