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The Brown Bess

The weapon that you see here is a Brown Bess musket, which was used by British soldiers during the colonial wars. Unlike modern weapons, the musket was very slow to load, highly inaccurate and frequently unreliable. A well-trained soldier could prime, load and fire three times in one minute. This involved a 12 step process in order to fire just one shot. Also, these muskets did not fire bullets, as we know them in the modern sense, but fired round lead balls, some of which were the size of a quarter. At short ranges, these lead balls could inflict horrible damage on soldiers as they did not pierce a person's body but rather smashed against it. Aside from the fact that this weapon took 20 seconds to load (often under enemy fire) and that it was prone to frequent misfires, it was also inaccurate. It was possible to hit an opponent only if he was standing not more than 50 metres in front of you. Any further away, and the chances of hitting him were greatly reduced. It was often said that soldiers did not aim their weapons, instead they pointed them in a general direction and hoped for the best.