French flintlock pistol 1733 1
The Flintlock pistol is an early single-shot firearm. It was the Long-Range weapon of the Pirate.


The Flintlock pistol features a smoothbore barrel and a long, wooden grip ending in a knob. As its name implies, the flintlock pistol was operated by a flintlock mechanism, in which a piece of flint is struck against a steel plate, creating a spark which ignites the black powder.


  • Long range
  • 19-22 inches
  • 2.5 lbs
  • Wood and iron


Black powder pistols existed as early as the 16th century; although they were much larger and heavier than pistols of today. One noticeable example was the Bajō-zutsu; a matchlock pistol used by Samurai Calvary.

While there is no universal design of a Flintlock Pistol; they can range from a small Derringer to .50 Cal at least. A good marksman can have an effective killing range of 50 yards but in a heated engagement this range can drop to about 10-20 ft. To compensate for their relatively short range and the possibility of a misfire, Pirates would carry multiple pistols at once; hanging on their belts, coats, bandoliers, ect. A basic pirate could carry at least 6 pistols on 2 bandoliers (each bandolier carrying about 3 pistols) and at least 4 more pistols on his belt. [1] [2] The wooden handle could also serve as a bludgeoning weapon to Pistol Whip [3]. Pirates sometimes carried a Flintlock in one hand with their sword in the other, and shot enemies at point blank while swordfighting.

Pirates also used Flintlock Muskets and Flintlock Rifles. Since it was single shot there were some multi barrel flintlock pistols for firing multiple shots before reloading (with 2, 3, 4, or more gun barrels) though theis were expensive and rare. A few even had blades attached turning them into pistol swords. While rare; multi-barreled guns did exist. The most infamous was the 'duck foot pistol'.

Pistols would be used frequently by cavalry units and captains; including George Washington.