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Guns of Thanksgiving; Blunderbuss Rifle, Miquelot Flintlock Pistol, Matchlock Musket & More

With the Holidays fast approaching, it is time to give thanks to our early American pilgrims for help founding our country and this holiday season. Thanksgiving was carved by the firearm used at the time. There were a number of dangerous threats the early pilgrims faced and many relied on their firearms to help feed and keep their families safe. During this holiday season we would like to look at the firearms used during the time of the first Thanksgiving and remember what early Americans had to face.

Blunderbuss Rifle

Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast featured a short rifle used by Gaston which was very similar to the firearm used by early Americans. The short bell tip rifle was rather stubby and was one of the rifles used during the time of the first Thanksgiving. This short style rifle was used for hunting smaller game at short to medium range distances. The Blunderbuss was a flintlock rifle as well as a single shot rifle that was widely used for hunting and during war.

Miquelet Flintlock Pistol

The Miquelet Lock was a Spanish military pistol. Like other firearms of its time, it was also a flintlock single shot pistol used for close range combat. It was not used much for hunting but was more of a secondary firearm. For its time, it was very reliable and simply used pistol. Not just used by the Spanish, the Miquelet Lock was demanded all throughout Europe.

Matchlock Musket

Early settlers in the Plymouth area all carried the Matchlock Musket. This rile had already been around for over 150 years, with little alterations. This reliable and powerful rifle used a burning rope and raw powder system to discharge the bullet or metal ball. This rifle was used for its power during battle as well as hunting as it capable of taking down larger game.

Wheellock Rifle

A modern wonder of its time, the wheellock rifle was considered revolutionary in design. This rile came in both mid to long range rifles and was more powerful and accurate up to 120 to 150 feet. It was widely used during battle, hunting, and many carried it around for protection. It was light weight and easy to carry and reload. This rifle was carried by early pilgrims and military and just about anyone who could get their hands on one.


Not much of a firearm but still well worth mentioning is the cannon. Cannons became widely used during this time for war and primary defense. Cannons provided an extra edge during war and combat and its mere presence alone helped provide defense to many early American camps and settlements.

Custom Shooting Range Design, Manufacture & Installation

Early America was a harsh time and due to the firearms of the time, it helped divert wars. As we look at what the early pilgrims had to use for hunting and survival, we have to appreciate the marvel of modern firearms and how they are used for hunting and protection today. We hope you enjoyed some of these early firearms used during the time of the first Thanksgiving and we wish you happy holidays. Shooting Range Industries is a dedicated range design and installation company that specializes in law enforcement and military ranges. We help provide safe training for our service men and women. Contact Shooting Range Industries for specialized shooting ranges.

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