The 14 Guns That Helped Fight the Revolutionary War

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

British Pattern 1769 Short Land musket

The British Pattern 1769 Short Land musket armed British infantrymen at the start of the war. Yet soon after the conflict began, the Americans seized large batches of the armaments, and the musket became the most used firearm by the Continental Army – but carrying it wasn’t easy, as it weighed in at more than 10 pounds. It was also known by the nickname “the Brown Bess,” for reasons that aren’t clear.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons


France showed its support for the American fight for independence by supplying the Continental Army with French Charleville muskets, soon to be known as Charlevilles. In 1777, France shipped 25,000 of the .69 caliber weapons to the Colonies.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Ferguson rifle

British Major Patrick Ferguson invented the rifle that bears his name sometime in the 1770s. What made Ferguson’s armament unique was its ability to fire seven rounds a minute. At the time, firing three or four rounds was considered the standard. During the Battle of Kings Mountain in South Carolina, Ferguson was killed commanding forces loyal to the British.

Source: Daderot / Wikimedia Commons

Flintlock pistol

Developed in the early 16th century in France, the flintlock pistol was a notable advancement in weaponry. The flintlock pistol has a frizzen, or striker, and a priming pan where the gunpowder is stored. When the soldier pulled the trigger, a spring action mechanism pushed the frizzen into the flint, causing sparks to ignite the gunpowder. The ball is then shot out from the pistol.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Hessian dragoon pistol

The Hessian dragoon pistol gets its name from the fact the long, large-caliber guns were once standard issue for mounted troops from German states. The weapons saw action in the Revolutionary War when the British commanded auxiliary troops from the German principality of Hesse-Cassel. In August of 1777, American forces captured Hessian pistols at the Battle of Bennington.

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