"The watch below, all hands to load muskets. "
Parts of a musket
Public DomainParts of a musket
The musket replaced the arquebus and was replaced in the 18th century with the rifle, which closely resembles the rifle we would recognise today. The musket was made up of the 'lock, stock and barrel' and was used to fire small balls of lead. It was difficult to fire a musket accurately beyond fifty metres. A musket would have to be reloaded after each shot. An experienced musketeer could potentially fire four rounds per minute. The loading process was fiddly and an organised army would often have a number of soldiers loading whilst their partners did the firing.