Sea of Thieves

Pirates weapons we need

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Bow and Crossbow : These proven weapons had been used for centuries by many countries. When in range, the bow and arrow could be used by the pirates to pick off personal from the decks and rigging of the victims ship before boarding. The bow was eventually replaced by the developement of firearms. The effective range of the bow as compared to firearms at that time varied. Due in part to the skill of the user, and the quality of the firearms of the period. However, the bow could be difficult to accurately use aboard moving ships unless the wind and seas were relatively calm.

Boarding pike: Pikes were basically long spears with a wooden handle and metal point. The ship board version of the pike was usually slightly shorter than it's land based counterparts. They could be thrown at a target, or used held by the sailor while fighting. The boarding pike weighed around six pounds, and was between four to six feet in length. It was a common weapon on board a ship. They were often kept in racks around the base of the ships mast. Because of there length, they would have been most effective against swords and knives in a boarding action.

Grenade: An early form of hand grenade that was in common use by 1700. They were also called powder flasks. The ones used by pirates were normally small hollow ceramic balls with a fuse sticking out. These weighed about two pounds, and were roughly four inches in diameter. Grenades could also be made of iron, glass or wood. Common items like small glass bottles may have been used by some pirates to make them. Most were filled with gunpowder and small metal objects, which exploded into fragments. The explosive result could cause great bodily damage, and might totally demoralize a merchant ship crews will to fight on. Some may have been stuffed with tar and rags to create a fire or smokescreen effect. The grenades fuse was lit just before being thrown at there intended target. However, they were not totally reliable, and could present a serious danger to the person using them as well. Damp weather and climate conditions could effect the fuses and gunpowder, causing them to not always burn at the same predictable rate of speed.

Rapier: The rapier was another straight bladed sword that may have been used by some pirates. It's use and popularity had diminished by the end of the 17th century, having been replaced by the small sword. However, some skilled pirates may still have prefered it, especially the Spaniards. Rapiers were usually about a foot longer than the smallsword, and were used in much the same way. One of the more difficult swords to master, it's blade could also break when used against a heavier sword. Because of it's size and the space needed to properly use it, the rapier probably was not used much by pirates as a boarding weapon. But rather for it's intended purpose of dueling.

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Dagger and Dirk: The Dagger was eccentually a small knife much the same as it is today. It was small enough to be hidden under clothing. And deadly in cramped areas where there was no space to swing a sword. Daggers weighed between one and two pounds, and were twelve to eighteen inches in length. They were carried by most sailors and pirates because of there small size and variety of uses. Such as in cutting rope, sail, and food to eat. Daggers also served as the last means of self-defence in a fight. A Dirk was just a specific type of small dagger. It was designed to be used mainly as a thrown weapon.

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Musketoon: This was a shorter version of the musket type rifle. It was less accurate than it's longer brother. But because of it's short barrel, it was easier to use while fighting in the cramped conditions aboard a ship, where accuracy was not as important. It used the standard flintlock firing mechanism of the time. The musketoon weighed between ten and fifteen pounds, and was around two to three feet long. Many had a large bore diameter that would normally be loaded with multiple pistol type balls which spread as the shot traveled. The musketoons damage could be quite devastating at close range. Like the standard musket, it was considered a shoulder fired muzzle loaded weapon. Although the large bore versions of this weapon would probably have been uncomfortable to shoot from the shoulder, and may have been braced against something solid like the railing of the ship when fired. Unlike pistols, pirates probably only carried one of these at a time in battle because of there size.

Boarding Axe: Common and popular on ships for fighting fires and boarding parties alike. It was used by pirate crews as often as the cutlass. The boarding axe helped pirates climb the high wooden sides of a large ship. It was also very useful in cutting through the rigging lines, bring down the enemy ships sails. The boarding axe weighed around four pounds, and was roughly two to three feet in length. They were a handy tool in opening closed doors and hatches while boarding. The axe was used effectively as a deadly hand to hand fighting tool as well.

Swivel cannon: Swivel guns or Patarero were small cannon that were mounted on swivels along the railing of a ship. They were mainly used against personnel on the deck of an enemy ship before boarding, or in a defensive role to repel boarders. The guns were generally loaded with grapeshot just before battle. Then lifted into there swivel socket mounts which were strategically located around the railing of the ship. This allowed the guns to be placed where they would be the most effective. It also meant that a ship did not need to carry as many swivel guns. These relatively small 1 to 3 pounder guns, were more lightly constructed than regular cannon, and normally weighed roughly fifty times the weight of there shot. Swivel guns were not very effective at long range, but at close range against enemy crewmen, there firepower and maneuverability made them a devastating weapon. Chase guns could also be placed at the bow and stern of a large enough ship. This was done to attack a vessel being chased down or to damage an enemy ship in pursuit.

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Multi-Barreled pistol: this was a muzzle loaded pistol that normally had between two and four barrels. Each barrel was designed to be fired separately. There was a wide variety of multi- barreled pistol styles that were produced at this time by the different countries of the world. Most were simply double barreled, side by side types that used two flintlock firing mechanisms and two triggers. Some used one firing mechanism, and two or more barrels that had to rotate into the correct position to fire each shot. This was known as a turnover type pistol. Multi-shot pistols were difficult and more expensive to produce than there single shot counterpart. Some were custom made for wealth individuals who could afford to adorn them with gold, silver or ivory. Making them less available and more popular among the pirates who prized them. But it could also be an awkward and heavy pistol to carry around. There reliablity could be questionable at times depending on the design type and quality.


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