Arquebus

From Academic Kids

The Arquebus (sometimes spelled harquebus or hackbut) was a primitive firearm used in the 15th to 17th centuries. Like its successor, the musket, it was a smoothbore firearm although somewhat smaller than its predecessors, which made it easier to carry. It was a forerunner of the rifle and other longarm firearms.

The Arquebus was fired by a matchlock mechanism and had a larger bore than its predecessors. The flared muzzle made it easier to load the weapon and the arquebusier braced the gun's barrel into a pole with a forked end when firing. The name ('hook gun') is often claimed to be based on the bent shape of the arquebus's butt. It might also be that the some of the original arquebuses had a metal hook near the muzzle that may have been used for bracing against a solid object to absorb recoil. Since all the arquebuses were hand-made by various gunsmiths, there is no typical specimen.

The Arquebus came into greater prominence during the Battle of Pavia in 1525. The defeat of French knights by the heavy fire of arquebusiers inspired other people to adopt the weapon.

In the 16th century, muskets began to slowly replace the arquebus except in places like Japan, where the use of firearms was severely curtailed by shogunate decree.

This was a result of the difficulties those in the power hierarchy were facing in the disobedience to the Shogunate's edicts. When the populace had firearms, it was found difficult to collect taxes, seize land, arrest protesters, etc.

External link

es:Arcabuz fr:Arquebuse gl:Arcabuz ja:火縄銃 sl:Arkebuza pl:arkebuz

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