The naval weapons of Sir Richard Hawkins: musket arrows, slurbowes, fire arrows

Here's a very interesting passage from Sir Richard Hawkins' account of his 1594 expedition. Hawkins' ship was attacked by a larger Spanish vessel, and his only hope for escape was to shoot through its mast and sails. Hawkins lists the many weapons his ship carried for this purpose: [To] shoote downe his contraries Masts or … Continue reading The naval weapons of Sir Richard Hawkins: musket arrows, slurbowes, fire arrows

“The Handgonne Priming Dilemma”

https://www.full30.com/watch/MDA5ODAz/the-handgonne-priming-dilemma This is an extremely interesting video. It seems that aiming a Tabor-style handgonne is not so difficult as one might think. The earliest type of gunpowder, called "meal" or "serpentine" powder, was very fine, like flour. But it had a problem, as it was very hard to store and the component elements would separate … Continue reading “The Handgonne Priming Dilemma”

Chinese general Qi Jiguang adopts musketry

A history book I read about a year ago said that Qi Jigaung, a 16th century general famous for defeating the pirate invasion of southern China, had mostly ignored musketry and focused on contact weapons. Since it didn't seem like there would be any bow/musket comparison I forgot about him until coming across the name … Continue reading Chinese general Qi Jiguang adopts musketry

The Nemesis in China and Chinese archery in the 19th Century

China is the odd man out in the transition from archery to musketry. Almost every other nation had given up archery for firearms, the Chinese still used large numbers of archers as late as the 19th century. While firearms were certainly not unknown in China, and muskets made up a significant portion of the Qing … Continue reading The Nemesis in China and Chinese archery in the 19th Century

Musketeers Were Not Easier to Train than Archers

Myth 2: Muskets replaced bows because musketeers are easy to train For the sake of clarifying my position and including new supporting research, this post was updated June 20th, 2020. Or, as internet commentators like to say, it took years, even decades, of training to make a decent archer, but any peasant could be trained … Continue reading Musketeers Were Not Easier to Train than Archers

Plymouth Plantation Bow vs Musket Battle

A Relation or Journal of the Proceedings of the English Plantation Settled at Plymouth, by Edward Winslow and others (London, 1622) About midnight we heard a great and hideous cry, and our sentinels called, Arm, Arm. So we bestirred ourselves and shot off a couple of muskets, and noise ceased; we concluded, that it was … Continue reading Plymouth Plantation Bow vs Musket Battle