Muskets and bayonets aboard the frigate Grand Turk
Breech from Russian 122 mm M1910 howitzer, modified and combined with 105mm H37 howitzer barrel
Flintlock mechanism
An animation showing the loading cycle for a large naval breech-loader. A series of interlocking doors closes and opens the path from the gunhouse to prevent a flash from traveling down the path to the magazine.
Heavy muskets, image produced 1664.
Three-shot experimental breech-loading cannon (burst) belonging to Henry VIII of England, 1540–1543.
Early matchlocks as illustrated in the Baburnama (16th century)
Early types of breech-loaders from the 15th and 16th century on display at the Army Museum in Stockholm.
Various antique Tanegashima.
Henry VIII's breech-loading hunting gun, 16th century. The breech block rotates on the left on hinges, and is loaded with a reloadable iron cartridge. Thought to have been used as a hunting gun to shoot birds. The original wheellock mechanism is missing.
Large Korean Jochong (Matchlock Musket) in Unhyeon Palace with Korean cannon Hongyipao (Culverin).
Breech-loading firearm that belonged to Philip V of Spain, made by A. Tienza, Madrid circa 1715. It came with a ready-to-load reusable cartridge. This is a miquelet system.
Minié balls
Mechanism of Philip V's breech-loading firearm (detail).
An English Civil War manual of the New Model Army showing a part of the steps required to load and fire an earlier musket. The need to complete this difficult and potentially dangerous process as quickly as possible led to the creation of the military drill.
The breech mechanism of the Ferguson rifle.
Diagram of a 1594 Dutch musketry volley formation
de Bange breech
Illustration of a 1639 Ming musketry volley formation. From Bi Maokang 畢懋康, Jun qi tu shuo 軍器圖說, ca. 1639.
Wahrendorff breech
Iron ball mould
300px

This style of musket was retired in the 19th century when rifled muskets (simply called rifles in modern terminology) became common as a result of cartridged breech-loading firearms introduced by Casimir Lefaucheux in 1835, the invention of the Minié ball by Claude-Étienne Minié in 1849, and the first reliable repeating rifle produced by Volcanic Repeating Arms in 1854.

- Musket

Roughly two hundred of the rifles were manufactured and used in the Battle of Brandywine, during the American Revolutionary War, but shortly after they were retired and replaced with the standard Brown Bess musket.

- Breechloader
Muskets and bayonets aboard the frigate Grand Turk

2 related topics

Alpha

A modern round consists of the following: 1. bullet, as the projectile; 2. cartridge case, which holds all parts together; 3. propellant, for example gunpowder or cordite; 4. rim, which provides the extractor on the firearm a place to grip the casing to remove it from the chamber once fired; 5. primer, which ignites the propellant.

Cartridge (firearms)

A modern round consists of the following: 1. bullet, as the projectile; 2. cartridge case, which holds all parts together; 3. propellant, for example gunpowder or cordite; 4. rim, which provides the extractor on the firearm a place to grip the casing to remove it from the chamber once fired; 5. primer, which ignites the propellant.
A variety of rifle cartridges: (1).17 HM2 (2).17 HMR (3).22LR (4).22 Win Mag R/F.22 WMR (5).17/23 SMc (6)5mm/35 SMc (7).22 Hornet (8).223 Remington (9).223 WSSM (10).243 Win (11).243 Win Improved (Ackley) (12).25-06 Remington (13).270 Winchester (14).308 Win (15).30-06 Springfield (16).45-70 Government (17).50-90 Sharps
Three straight-walled cartridges (9×19mm Parabellum, .40 S&W and .45 ACP) on the left, three bottleneck cartridges (FN 5.7×28mm, 5.56×45mm NATO and .300 Winchester Magnum) in the center, and two polymer-cased 12-gauge shotshells on the right.
Smokeless powders used for handloading
A large portion of the energy generated by the propellant is released as a muzzle blast and a bright flash, instead of transferring to the projectile
Percussion caps, the precursor of modern primers
Comparison of primer ignition between centerfire (left two) and rimfire (right) ammunitions
Flash hole profiles on Berdan (left) and Boxer (right) primers.
0.30–30 Winchester case, stages in the drawing process, book; from Hamilton
US Cartridges 1860–1875 
(1) Colt Army 1860 .44 paper cartridge, Civil War 
(2) Colt Thuer-Conversion .44 revolver cartridge, patented 1868 
(3) .44 Henry rim fire cartridge flat 
(4) .44 Henry rim fire cartridge pointed 
(5) Frankford Arsenal .45 Colt cartridge, Benét ignition 
(6) Frankford Arsenal .45 Colt-Schofield cartridge, Benét ignition
Historic British cartridges
Chassepot paper cartridge (1866).
(From Left to Right): A .577 Snider cartridge (1867), a .577/450 Martini-Henry cartridge (1871), a later drawn brass .577/450 Martini-Henry cartridge, and a .303 British Mk VII SAA Ball cartridge.
French Army Fusil Gras mle 1874 metallic cartridge.
The 8 mm Lebel ammunition, developed in 1886, the first smokeless gunpowder cartridge to be made and adopted by any country.
Fired rimfire (left) and centerfire (right) cartridges. A rimfire firing pin produces a notch at the edge of the rim; a centerfire pin produces a divot in the center of the primer.
Schematic of a rimfire cartridge and its ignition
Slow motion shots (1/1,000,000-second exposures) showing shots and wadding separation after firing from a shotgun.
A 12-gauge Brenneke slug
Two views of intact bean bag round and one view of the projectile
A cutaway showing a Japanese Navy 7.7 mm rimmed rounds as fired by the Type 92 and Type 97 machine guns—copies of Vickers and Lewis designs. The round is effectively interchangeable with .303 British.
A variety of common pistol cartridges. From left to right: 22 LR, .22 WMR, 5.7×28mm, 25 ACP, 7.62×25mm Tokarev, 32 ACP, 380 ACP, 9×19mm Parabellum, 357 SIG, 40 S&W, 45 GAP, 45 ACP, .38 Special, 357 Magnum, 45 Colt
CCI .22LR snake shot loaded with No. 12 shot
An example of caseless ammunition. This disassembled round, the 4.73×33mm, is used in the Heckler & Koch G11 rifle.
Dardick 1500 with trounds
Blank cartridges:
23×152mm cartridge, drill round
9 × 19 mm Mek-Porek
An assortment of snap caps of varying calibers
Rimless .380 ACP semi-automatic cartridge
Rimmed .38 special revolver cartridge

A cartridge or a round is a type of pre-assembled firearm ammunition packaging a projectile (bullet, shot, or slug), a propellant substance (usually either smokeless powder or black powder) and an ignition device (primer) within a metallic, paper, or plastic case that is precisely made to fit within the barrel chamber of a breechloading gun, for the practical purpose of convenient transportation and handling during shooting.

The alteration of the military flint-lock to the percussion musket was easily accomplished by replacing the powder pan with a perforated nipple and by replacing the cock or hammer that held the flint with a smaller hammer that had a hollow to fit on the nipple when released by the trigger.

Conventional rifling of a 90 mm M75 cannon (production year 1891, Austria-Hungary)

Rifling

Machining helical grooves into the internal surface of a gun's barrel for the purpose of exerting torque and thus imparting a spin to a projectile around its longitudinal axis during shooting to stabilize the projectile longitudinally by conservation of angular momentum, improving its aerodynamic stability and accuracy over smoothbore designs.

Machining helical grooves into the internal surface of a gun's barrel for the purpose of exerting torque and thus imparting a spin to a projectile around its longitudinal axis during shooting to stabilize the projectile longitudinally by conservation of angular momentum, improving its aerodynamic stability and accuracy over smoothbore designs.

Conventional rifling of a 90 mm M75 cannon (production year 1891, Austria-Hungary)
Rifling of a 105 mm Royal Ordnance L7 tank gun.
Traditional rifling of a 9 mm handgun barrel.
Conventional rifling (left) and polygonal rifling (right). Both types of rifling use a spiraling pattern.
The spiraling pattern (here with polygonal rifling) is shown.
Rifling in a French 19th century cannon.
57-N-231 standard 7.62×39mm military bullets with steel core - the one on the left is unfired, the one on the right is fired, with the rifling grooves visible. Notice the copper wash scraped off and the steel jacket is exposed on the groove marks.
Three recovered 7.62×51mm NATO bullets (next to an unfired cartridge), showing rifling marks imparting anti-clockwise spin
Russian 122 mm shrapnel shell (which has been fired) showing rifling marks on the copper alloy driving band around its base, indicating clockwise spin
Cannonball equipped with winglets for rifled cannons circa 1860
Ogival shell of the La Hitte system, 1858, designed to engage with clockwise rifling
A Parrott rifle, used by both Confederate and Union forces in the American Civil War.

In some cases, rifling will increase the twist rate as the projectile travels down the length of the barrel, called a gain twist or progressive twist; a twist rate that decreases from breech to muzzle is undesirable because it cannot reliably stabilize the projectile as it travels down the bore.

Muskets were smoothbore, large caliber weapons using ball-shaped ammunition fired at relatively low velocity.