Firearms as Tools

Just as forks, knives, and spoons have their specific purpose, so too did 1700s firearms. Colonists hunted waterfowl with fowling pieces. They hunted deer with rifles or fusils. Many firearms were used for unintended purposes as well, such as shooting competitions or scaring away pests.

Mountain longrifle

A longrifle, for hunting medium to large game.

Hudson Valley Fowler

A fowler, for hunting waterfowl.

Boxlock Pistol

Pistols, for personal defense.

Doglock Musket

A musket, for military use.

In several colonies, colonists were required by law to bring firearms to church. Most colonies also required  households to own one firearm for each adult male to use in the militia. The militia would be called out periodically for drill. Colonists often brought unsuitable hunting firearms to drill, while some failed to comply with the law at all.

Firearms as Tools