Musket

The musket carried by the men of the Royal Scots, in the War of 1812, was an Indian Pattern Musket, commonly known as a 'Brown Bess.' The barrel was 39 inches long, an economy saving measure over the 42 inch barrel of the second pattern musket. It was fired by means of a flint-lock mechanism. This means that when the trigger was pulled, the cock, holding a piece of flint, would fly forward and hit the hammer, a flat piece of steel, sending a shower of sparks (theoretically) into the powder waiting in the pan. The small powder charge would pass a flame through the touch-hole and the main charge would be ignited. The musket was a single shot muzzle-loader, which meant that the lead ball had to be put down the end of the barrel and rammed home before every shot. Well trained men could fire four times a minute, but in battle conditions, two per minute was more likely.