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Guns of The American Revolution

Guns of The American Revolution

The Boston Massacre preceded the Revolutionary war in 1770. In 1773, the Boston Tea Party was led by colonists living in Boston who felt that the British were overtaxing them. This fight by the colonists sparked the revolt against British rule and unified the 13 colonies against their oppression.

 In April 1775, hundreds of British troops left Boston to travel to Concord to seize weapons and ammunition stockpiled by the continental army. On April 19, they came face to face with minutemen in Lexington, and one of the soldiers fired, sparking a battle that killed eight Americans and wounded one redcoat. This shot was considered the opening shot of the American Revolution and became known as the "shot heard around the world".

 While many different weapons were used during the Revolutionary War, the most common were knives, hatchets, small firearms, bayonets, cannons, and long guns. 

These are some of the most common guns used during this war:  

Flintlock Long Guns

Flintlock is a term used for any firearm that uses a flintlock mechanism, whether it is a long gun or a pistol. Flintlocks used a firing mechanism to move a lever with a piece of flint attached to it when you pulled the trigger. This flint would strike a steel plate, causing a spark that would ignite black powder to fire the weapon.

The Musket

Smoothbore muskets like the Brown Bess and the Charleville musket were the primary weapons on the Revolutionary War battlefield and used by both American soldiers and the British army. These muzzle-loading flintlock muskets were able to be fired quickly, and a well-trained soldier could fire three to four shots in a minute as most soldiers prepared cartridges ahead of time. However, they were only accurate for about 80 to 100 yards. They also were able to accommodate a bayonet unlike the rifles of the time.

Flintlock Rifles

Rifles, mainly of German design, were also used on both sides of the war. These differed from smoothbore muskets as they had grooves carved inside the barrel. This groove makes the musket balls spin when exiting the gun and increases the rifle's accuracy at longer distances; however, they were slower to reload than the musket.

The Kentucky Long Rifle was one of the most widely used rifles at this time. These rifles included changes that German immigrants made in Lancaster, PA. They were longer than a typical European German design and had a modified breech. These modifications resulted in a rifle that was more accurate, more powerful, and needed less maintenance.

Flintlock Small Arms

Many 18th-Century Americans used guns. Rifles and shotguns (called fowling-pieces) were used mainly for hunting before the war broke out. Like their larger counterparts, pistols that used a flintlock mechanism were also readily available during this time. 

Developed in the 1600s, the flintlock pistol was used mainly by the Navy and revolutionized ship-to-ship combat as well as for dueling.  They were only accurate at close range and frequently used with a sword or cutlass, saber, or dagger, during hand-to-hand combat. The George Washington flintlock pistol or the German 18th Century flintlock are excellent examples of sidearms used during this era.

Styles of Guns from the American Revolution

If you are looking for a historical piece to display, a rifle for reenactment, or cosplay, let us help you find the perfect weapon for you.

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