A flintlock blunderbuss, built for Tipu Sultan
An English flintlock blunderbuss.
A French blunderbuss, called an espingole, 1760, France.
Musketoon, blunderbuss and coach gun from the American Civil War era.
A blunderbuss pistol, or dragon, found at a battlefield in Cerro Gordo, Veracruz, Mexico
An 1808 Harper's Ferry blunderbuss, of the type carried on the Lewis and Clark Expedition
A pair of early blunderbuss pistols from Poland fitted with the miquelet lock
A recreation of one of Lewis and Clark's pirogues with a blunderbuss mounted to the bow with a pintle.

Firearm with a short, large caliber barrel which is flared at the muzzle and frequently throughout the entire bore, and used with shot and other projectiles of relevant quantity or caliber.

- Blunderbuss

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Long-barreled firearm designed to shoot a straight-walled cartridge known as a shotshell, which usually discharges numerous small pellet-like spherical sub-projectiles called shot, or sometimes a single solid projectile called a slug.

Series of individual 1/1,000,000-second exposures showing shotgun firing shot and wadding separation
Vincent Hancock in the men's skeet finals at the 2008 Summer Olympics
A Gurkha Contingent trooper in Singapore armed with a folding stock pump shotgun
An American marine fires a Benelli M4 shotgun during training in Arta, Djibouti, 23 December 2006
Confederate cavalryman
A United States Marine carrying a Winchester M97 shotgun during World War II
A view of the break-action of a typical double-barrelled shotgun, shown with the action open
A Winchester M1897, one of the first successful pump-action shotgun designs
A modern reproduction of the Winchester M1887 lever-action shotgun
Closeup of MTs255
A Browning A-5 semi-automatic shotgun
A United States Army soldier armed with a Mossberg 500 shotgun
Bond Arms Cowboy Defender .45 Colt/.410 Shotshell Derringer
U.S. Marines fire their shotguns
Loading 12-gauge shells
Two rounds of Fiocchi 12-gauge rubber buckshot
A homemade lupara
A RCMP officer in 2010 armed with a shotgun outfitted to fire beanbag rounds
Barack Obama skeet shooting with a Browning Citori 525 on the range at Camp David

The muzzleloading blunderbuss, the direct ancestor of the shotgun, was also used in similar roles from self-defense to riot control.

Mail coach

Stagecoach built to a General Post Office-approved design operated by an independent contractor to carry long-distance mail for the Post Office.

The Edinburgh and London Royal Mail, 1838. The guard can be seen at the back. John Frederick Herring
North Country Mails at The Peacock, Islington 1821. James Pollard
Royal Mail coach preserved in the Science Museum, London
A preserved Cobb & Co Australian Royal Mail coach with Concord mud-coach undercarriage
Imported Concord stagecoach 1853, Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia

The guard was heavily armed with a blunderbuss and two pistols and dressed in the Post Office livery of maroon and gold.


Dragoons were originally a class of mounted infantry, who used horses for mobility, but dismounted to fight on foot.

Mounted Russian dragoon armed with an infantry long gun, c. 1710
Cartoon of a French dragoon intimidating a Huguenot in the dragonnades
French dragoon of the Volontaires de Saxe regiment, mid-18th century
French Dragoons with captured Prussian flag at the Battle of Jena
German dragoons near Reims 1914
Baden dragoon in a World War I monument at Karlsruhe. 
 While almost an anachronism after the early stages of that war, German dragoons did see continuing service on the Eastern Front until 1917. Note the functional Stahlhelm helmet.
Memorial stained glass window at Royal Military College of Canada of 2770 LCol KL Jefferson, a member of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons, an armoured regiment of the Canadian Army and Canadian Forces
United States dragoons charging Mexican infantry at the Battle of Resaca de la Palma in May 1846.

The name reputedly derives from a type of firearm, called a dragon, which was a handgun version of a blunderbuss, carried by dragoons of the French Army.

Dragon (firearm)

A pair of early dragons from Poland fitted with the miquelet lock
A dragon, found at a battlefield in Cerro Gordo, Veracruz, Mexico

A dragon is a shortened version of blunderbuss, a firearm with a short, large caliber barrel which is flared at the muzzle and frequently throughout the entire bore.


Shorter-barrelled version of the musket and served in the roles of a shotgun or carbine.

Various muzzle loading arms, to scale; number 8 is identified as a blunderbuss or musketoon (Encyclopædia Britannica, 1910)
Replica of a Pattern 1861 Enfield musketoon.

Musketoon barrels were often flared at the muzzle, resembling a cannon or blunderbuss.

Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties

2006 live action/computer-animated film directed by Tim Hill and written by Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow.

Theatrical release poster

Dargis barges in, holding a blunderbuss and threatening the solicitors if they do not sign the papers giving him ownership of the estate, and also taking Liz hostage.

Don Caballero

American instrumental rock group from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In the fall of 1993 bass player Pat Morris left Don Caballero to form the band Six Horse with Louisville transplant Shannon Burns and Blunderbuss drummer Bill Baxter.

Homage to Catalonia

George Orwell's personal account of his experiences and observations fighting in the Spanish Civil War for the POUM militia of the Republican army.

"There were still women serving in the militias, though not very many. In the early battles they had fought side by side with the men as a matter of course." (Barcelona, 1936. Militiawomen on beach near Barcelona. Photo: Gerda Taro).
"I knew that I was serving in something called the P.O.U.M. (I had only joined the P.O.U.M. militia rather than any other because I happened to arrive in Barcelona with I.L.P. papers), but I did not realise that there were serious differences between the political parties." (Republican soldiers, June 1937. Photo: Gerda Taro).
"And I hope the account I have given is not too misleading ... consciously or unconsciously everyone writes as a partisan ... beware of my partisanship, ... and the distortion inevitably caused by my having seen only one corner of events. And beware of exactly the same things when you read any other book on this period of the Spanish war." (Ch. XII)
La Sagrada Família in 1980 "When Orwell speaks about the cathedral of Barcelona, he is talking in fact about La Sagrada Família temple, designed by Antoni Gaudí ..." "... I went to have a look at the cathedral—a modern cathedral, and one of the most hideous buildings in the world. It has four crenellated spires exactly the shape of hock bottles ... I think the Anarchists showed bad taste in not blowing it up ... though they did hang a red and black banner between its spires."(Ch. XII)
In 1996 a public square in Barcelona was named after Orwell.

Assault Guards from Valencia arrive—"All of them were armed with brand-new rifles ... vastly better than the dreadful old blunderbusses we had at the front."


Town in County Cavan, Ireland.

Bailieborough's main street
Road signage mentioning Bailieborough on the R165 regional road
Jetty on Castle Lake, near the former Bailieborough Castle demesne

Included in his duties of planting the area, he had to ensure that there were blunderbusses and muskets available so he could arm his men to defend the new plantation.

Society of United Irishmen

Sworn association in the Kingdom of Ireland formed in the wake of the French Revolution to secure " an equal representation of all the people" in a national government.

Bastille Day, 1792, Belfast. Volunteer companies parade "The Colours of Five Free Nations, viz.: Flag of Ireland – motto, Unite and be free. Flag of America – motto, The Asylum of Liberty. Flag of France – motto, The Nation, the Law, and the King. Flag of Poland – motto, We will support it. Flag of Great Britain – motto, Wisdom, Spirit, and Liberality."
William Drennan: "what is a country properly considered but a free constitution?"
Martha McTier, "'Tis only the Rich are alarmed, or the guilty. I am neither."
Inscription, Bodenstown
Cartoon entitled 'Peep O' Day Boys' (Daly's Ireland in’98) (1888) (but as the villains are in uniform, more plausibly their allies, Lord Charlemont's Volunteers)
"Terrors of Emancipation"--The final Roman Catholic Relief Act, 1829
"Preparing for French Invasion". United Scotsmen 1797
Militia pitch-capping in County Kildare, 1798
"Father Murphy's flag"
Detail of the Battle of Ballynahinch 1798 by Thomas Robinson. Yeomanry prepare to hang United Irish insurgent Hugh McCulloch, a grocer.
"God Save the Queen" and a United Irish motto "Erin Go Bragh", Ulster Unionist Convention, 1892
Belfast Politics or A Collection of Debates and Resolutions.. Henry Joy, 1794
.R.R.Madden, Memoirs of the United Irishmen, 1867

Most would have been able to arm themselves only with simple pikes (of these the authorities had seized in the previous year 70,630 compared to just 4,183 blunderbusses and 225 musket barrels).