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"Arquebus to muskets when the switch over." Topic

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593 hits since 8 Dec 2019
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Irish Marine Supporting Member of TMP08 Dec 2019 1:37 p.m. PST

When did the Matchlock musket take over from the Arquebus during the Renaissance.

MajorB08 Dec 2019 2:11 p.m. PST

Well, the matchlock was certainly in use and the comnmon weapon in England in the 1640s…

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP08 Dec 2019 3:24 p.m. PST

I believe they existed simultaneously at one point, the musket being a heavier weapon both in weapon size and in weight of ball fired.

Old Peculiar08 Dec 2019 4:00 p.m. PST

Part of your problem is that the Arquebus developed in design and construction, and names changed so you have the caliver, hackbut, harquebus. So basically they are all a form of lighter, smaller calibre firearm that became popular with mounted troops and light troops, and they definitely continued in use in some form throughout the 30YW and ECW.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP08 Dec 2019 4:09 p.m. PST

It seems to me that the Arquebus – and its cousin the Caliver, were used mostly in the late 15th and 16th Century
What we call a Musket (known as a Heavy Arquebus in the early period) began to be used alongside Arquebuses for their greater range and armour piercing ability.
Muskets were developing and lighter versions gradually replaced the standard Arquebus in the late 16th through the first part of the 17th century, in Europe, at least.
In the east, Arquebuses were used until the 19th Century in some places.
These dates are generalisations, of course!

Timbo W08 Dec 2019 4:10 p.m. PST

Still in use by Irish confederate / Royalists in 1649

dbf167608 Dec 2019 7:44 p.m. PST

For what it's worth, a Spanish battalion in 1685 had 144 piqueros, 14 mosquetaros, and 148 arcabuceros. Each line had, from left to right: 18 files of mosquetaros, 18 files of arcabuceros, 36 files of piqueros, 18 more files of arcabuceros and 18 more files of mosquetaros. The remaining four arcabuceros formed the color guard between the second and third lines.

"Desperta Ferro", No. Esp. XIX "Los Tercios (VI) 1660-1704" at 37. What the difference was between the two firearms at that point, I don't know.

Brownand09 Dec 2019 3:59 a.m. PST

I thik you mean 148 muskets and 148 arquebus?

dbf167609 Dec 2019 4:11 a.m. PST


Phillius Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2019 11:28 a.m. PST

So the arquebus was probably not really replaced until the musket became light enough to be used in most situations.
But in the sixteenth century the musket became more standardised from about the middle of the century in western European armies.
There is no clear change over point, especially as very few of the European armies were raised by organizations other than, but on behalf of, central governments.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2019 3:11 p.m. PST

The advantage of the Arquebus was primarily rate of fire and lightness (Muskets needed a rest until the development of the 'Dutch pattern' muskets about the early 17th century)
The Arquebus could be said to have morphed into the heavy pistol or carbine, eventually.
As you surmised, most nations went through a period of mixed musket/arquebus, so they combined greater range and penetrating power(musket)- with greater rate of fire (arquebus).

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