Who in­vented the blun­der­buss?

History Revealed - - Q & A -

His­tor­i­cal record doesn’t tar­get a sin­gle in­ven­tor. The blun­der­buss, an early shot­gun, spread around the world, much like the lead balls from its flared muz­zle.

Its name, how­ever, points to the Dutch, as it comes from ‘don­der­bus’, or thun­der tube. And, although not all that ef­fec­tive, it cer­tainly made a racket as it sprayed shot at close range. Though it was around ear­lier, the blun­der­buss peaked in the 18th cen­tury. The wide open­ing made reload­ing eas­ier, ap­peal­ing to cav­alry, car­riage driv­ers and ship-board­ing par­ties. That’s why we now so read­ily as­so­ciate the blun­der­buss with pi­rates.

There was a hand­gun-sized ver­sion too, the dragon, which be­came such a favourite among mounted in­fantry that they be­came known as dra­goons.

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