Muskets: Weapons of War
Some Americans owned muskets to comply with the law. Muskets have a large caliber, are heavy and long, and are very durable. This means they use more precious powder and lead every time they fire, but can be reloaded much faster. They can also mount bayonets, and the extra weight is essential in close combat. By law, all colonists were required to own muskets for militia use. However, many Americans simply brought their unsuitable fowlers or rifles to the militia--with disasterous results when the American Revolution started.