The Blunderbuss was an early form of shotgun. It had had a very short barrel with a flaring muzzle to make it easier to reload. The short length made it ideal for both cavalry and naval units, both of whom had limited space.
- Mid Range
- Length: 32 inches
- Weight: 10-12 lbs
- Iron, wood and brass
Fire lances were some of the earliest blackpowder weapons. As musketballs were not produced initially, it was more common to load these weapons with stones and random shrapnel. One example of an early shotgun was the Organ Gun: which was attached to a long pole (like a typical Hand Cannon) but was still capable of being used by a single person.
The blunderbuss was used in the same manner as a modern shotgun, inflicting maximum damage in a limited space. Sometimes a gunfighter would carry multiple blunderbusses due to being one shot guns. Also ammunition could range from anything such as nails to crushed glass. According to the Pirate experts in the show, the blunderbuss was nicknamed "the deck cleaner" for it's effectiveness in close quarter combat on deck, which was common in naval combats during the golden age of piracy. It was also effective in quickly clearing out the enemy ship's deck, making it easier to send in a boarding party.
The blunderbuss had two counterparts; a Musketoon (which had a longer barrel length) and a Dragon (which was short enough to be used as a handgun).
Blunderbusses were designed for naval combat as it was short enough to maneuver on a crowded and cramp ship while large enough to still be effective against crowds of enemy sailors.
Musketoons were used by Musketeers who fought on land, and so did not need to restrict their barrel lengths; making them relatively longer in range. This weapon was also common among Pirates.
Dragons were used by Dragoon Calvary; who used the small shotguns to shoot enemy soldiers from horseback. Since aiming on horseback was so difficult, the spread of a shotgun was more accurate than a musketball. The French were the most famous users of Dragoons during the 1600s and early 1700s.
It was common for civilians to own a Blunderbuss for self defense and to defend one's home; even today, shotguns are very common civilian guns as they don't need skill or precision to be used effectively. It was also, as a result, common among militias and rebels; including those within George Washington's Continental Army and his Minutemen.
In the ShowEdit
In the show the blunderbuss proved highly effective against the Knight's plate armor and was able to penetrate through a layer of double plate armor multiple times when shot from close range. However there was at least one misfire during the testing when the weapon jammed and no shot was produced. In the simulation, it proved to be the most effective weapon of the episode by getting a large total of 352 kills.