Harquebuses and muskets

Matchlock musket, Styria, c.1620

The harquebus is a firearm that is about a metre long and which could be used by the cavalry due to its weight and length. The use of the musket by foot soldiers fell into decline at the end of the 16th century.


Muskets are heavy, long guns which had to be laid on a supporting fork – a musket fork. Unlike harquebuses, muskets had an increased range and penetrating power and as a result of this became the infantry's main weapon.