musket

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musket:

see small armssmall arms,
firearms designed primarily to be carried and fired by one person and, generally, held in the hands, as distinguished from heavy arms, or artillery. Early Small Arms

The first small arms came into general use at the end of the 14th cent.
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Musket

 

a hand firearm with a matchlock.

The musket first appeared in the early 16th century in Spain and then in Germany, France, and Russia. It had a caliber of about 20 mm and weighed from 8 to 10 kg. Because of a powerful recoil, muskets were at first supplied only to select soldiers—the musketeers—who wore a leather pad on their shoulder when firing. Monopods (rests) were introduced to make firing muskets more comfortable. In the late 17th century muskets were replaced by flintlock rifles, at first in France and then in other countries. In Russia the term “musket” denoted flintlock rifles until the early 19th century.

References in classic literature ?
Not one of the men ashore had a musket, and before they could get within range for pistol shooting, we flattered ourselves we should be able to give a good account of a half-dozen at least.
Tis you that are the cat, rat, and rascal," replied Don Quixote, and acting on the word he fell upon him so suddenly that without giving him time to defend himself he brought him to the ground sorely wounded with a lance-thrust; and lucky it was for him that it was the one that had the musket.
The carriage stopped, the officer descended, approached the guardhouse, a dozen soldiers came out and formed themselves in order; Dantes saw the reflection of their muskets by the light of the lamps on the quay.
On the crest of a small hill was the thick gleam of many departing muskets.
Thence they marched to the Common with loaded muskets, fixed bayonets, and great pomp and parade.
One, day about noon, happening to be at the Ti, I had lain down on the mats with several of the chiefs, and had gradually sunk into a most luxurious siesta, when I was awakened by a tremendous outcry, and starting up beheld the natives seizing their spears and hurrying out, while the most puissant of the chiefs, grasping the six muskets which were ranged against the bamboos, followed after, and soon disappeared in the groves.
The fire from the distant part of the field had driven a single pigeon below the flock to which it belonged, and, frightened with the constant reports of the muskets, it was approaching the spot where the disputants stood, darting first from One side and then to the other, cutting the air with the swiftness of lightning, and making a noise with its wings not unlike the rushing of a bullet.
Reuben and his son, their muskets on their shoulders and their axes slung behind them, kept an unwearied pace, each watching with a hunter's eye for the game that supplied their food.
Five minutes had not elapsed, when a stroke upon a drum called the eight soldiers of the garrison to arms, and they showed themselves on the other side of the ditch with their muskets in hand.
came peals of such healthy and good-humored laughter from the soldiers that it infected the French involuntarily, so much so that the only thing left to do seemed to be to unload the muskets, muskets, explode the ammunition, and all return home as quickly as possible.
Amid these cries, the citizens ran along faster and faster, cocking their muskets, brandishing their hatchets, and looking death and defiance in all directions.
Either consulting their usual wary method of advancing, or admonished by the threatening attitudes of two figures, who had thrust forth the barrels of as many old muskets from behind the stone entrenchment, the new comers halted, under favour of an inequality in the ground, where a growth of grass thicker than common offered the advantage of concealment.