The Civil War Musketeer

The musketeer was the mobile fire power of a 17th century army.  They fought in blocks of up to 400 men because the basic matchlock musket was slow to load and individually inaccurate{A Musket is only accurate upto about 50 feet)  Fighting en-mass enabled the accuracy question to be overcome whilst also making the block easier to defend from cavalry.The full range of those muskets would probably be about 200 yards, although the type and quality of powder used, affected this range considerably.

An average musketeer would probably achieve about 2 rounds a minute although there are records of well trained men achieveing 4 rounds a minute. This slowness in turning around a volley meant that the Musketeer invariably became involved in hand to hand fighting. At this point the musket would be held by the muzzle and it would become an effective club.

However this still made the Musketeer open to Cavalry attacks and it is why they would work closley with the Pikemen in their huge pike blocks.

Clothing and equipment consisted of a muzzle- loading matchlock musket, a coat or suit of clothes which often included a montairo (a soft hat similar to a balaclava), a bandolier, bullet bag & powder flask and the wealthier ones actually had a sword for close combat.

 

The Sealed Knot Musketeer.

As a musketeer in the Sealed Knot you will be firing in blocks from 10 to 200 (army volleys), as well as engaging pike, cavalry and other musket blocks with clubbed muskets and sword.

Because fighting with the musket block is less physically demanding than fighting with the pike, it is ideal for women who want to take part in the fighting.  The regiment owns several muskets which can be used for your first season.  Musketeers often then buy their own (£150 - £200) but you can continue to borrow subject to availability.