There were five main weapons from the Revolutionary War.
- Flintlock Musket
The most common weapon from the Revolutionary War was the Flintlock Musket. The Revolutionary War musket was notoriously inaccurate and required 13 steps to fire. An experienced Continental or British soldier could fire a musket every twenty seconds. Infantry would line up shoulder to shoulder and fire a round into the enemy. This would send a wall of musket-fire into the enemy which would increase its effectiveness. Muskets would be fitted with a socket bayonet that would slide over the outside of the barrel.
The bayonet would be used in close or hand-to-hand combat. Its design was intimidating especially to an inexperienced soldier. The bayonet was effective against riflemen and was often used to counter the accurate but slow loading rifles. It also aided the infantry when the weather conditions would not allow their muskets to fire.
Cavalry would often use hand-held pistols to fire on their enemy at close range. The revolutionary war pistol had a smooth barrel and used a ball for its bullet. It was accurate at short range, but inaccurate at medium or long range. It was used effectively by the frontiersmen in the Battle of King’s Mountain when the patriots picked up Ferguson’s Provincial Rangers at close range after a bayonet charge.
Cannons were also used and were effective at breaking lines, sieges, and grape shot. A typical Revolutionary War Cannon took seven to fourteen men to operate. They were accurate and important weapons during the Siege of Boston. During the encampment at Valley Forge, General George Washington drilled the Continental Army in firing cannons. These drills resulted in a highly effective artillery unit that was effective during the Battle of Monmouth. British General Cornwallis used grape shot to break up the Battle of Guilford Courthouse.
Other hand-to-hand combat weapons were swords or tomahawks. These were typically carried by officers, cavalry, or riflemen and were used to counter the bayonet.