Monday, February 7, 2011

Muskets and Fusiliers

A musket is a muzzle-loaded smoothbore shoulder-fired long gun, designed for infantry (foot soldier) use. The musket was preceded by the arquebus and replaced by the breech-loaded rifle. Muskets were rifled during the end of their era, but during their heyday in the 18th century, their effective range was only 50 to 70 yards.

Another name for the flintlock musket was the fusil. Fusil is a French word that means, um, flintlock musket.

A soldier who used a fusil was called a fusilier.

[Pictured: the uniform of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in the 18th century, American Revolution reinactment. Notice they are carrying Land Pattern ("Brown Bess") flintlock muskets of the period.] Click picture to enlarge.

Flintlocks were used since at least the English Civil War (1642-1652.) Early military organizations of foot soldiers were simply called infantry. One early (1712) unit to be called fusiliers was the 23rd Regiment of Foot - later called the 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers. The Royal Welsh Fusiliers served in the American Revolution.


  1. Soldier, soldier, won't you marry me, with your musket, fife and drum? That sums up the total of my musketeer knowledge. Apart from the Three Musketeers, that is.

  2. @A. - I know that song. I thought it was ours, though. The last verse is funniest.

    @Adullamite- A Yank without a gun is like a day without sunshine. Get it? Day without sunshine? Like Scotland every day. :)

  3. Hoi Mad Max, you might like these.



Related Posts with Thumbnails