Eighteenth-century warfare took place in the age of the flintlock firearm, and both muskets and rifles were employed by combatants. Sapporo Subway Map The term flintlock refers to the way in which the weapons are fired: on pulling the trigger, a hammer bearing a small piece of flint strikes the steel lid of a pan containing a small amount of gunpowder, which then ignites the main charge of black powder in the barrel of the weapon, propelling a lead ball out of the barrel and toward its target.
Muskets are smoothbore weapons that can be loaded quickly and can accept a bayonet, but they have a very short range. During the eighteenth century, flintlock muskets served as the main weapon of soldiers, but small numbers of soldiers and many civilians carried rifles.
Unlike smoothbore muskets, the barrels of rifles contained grooves called rifling that caused the ball to spin when fired, offering far better range and accuracy. Those grooves made rifles far slower to load, however, and meant that any units of riflemen would be extremely vulnerable to a swift counterattack or to troops on horseback. In addition, black powder caused rifles to foul rapidly, requiring them to be cleaned often, and rifles could not accept a bayonet without damaging the barrel of the weapon.