Copyright 2006 T. Sheil & A. Sheil  All Rights Reserved

Milihistriot Quarterly

The Journal for Military Miniature Enthusiasts

17th Century Musket Drill

Part 1

The earliest firearms were "handgonnes."  They were little more than a closed pipe on a large stick.  It took a while for the musket to be invented.  It made quite a difference.  During the 16th and 17th Centuries, musketry and pikes dominated the battlefield. The pikes were nothing more than very , very long spears.  The muskets were matchlock weapons.  They relied on a lighted fuse called a "match" to ignore their powder and thus fire the bullet.  Wheel lock weapons had been available, but they were to expensive to equip an army. Matchlocks were the nest best thing.

The problem with matchlocks was obvious.  All those burning matches could set off the all the powder.  To prevent accidents, the leaders devised drills which make the army more effective and safe.

The matchlocks were ponderous.  Men fired them from a stand known as a "linstock."  It looked like a short staff with an oar-lock on top.  Both the musket and linstock were included in the drill.

The drill illustrated here is long.  It involves firing the matchlock, reloading, moving and firing again. There are many poses in the sequence.  Makers of miniatures for the Pike &Musket era will have no shortage of inspiration on these two pages.









Click here for Part 2 of the Musket Drill

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