The musket was an infantry weapon first developed in Asia and was rapidly assimilated and improved in the Middle East and Europe. The weapon was originally developed as a lightweight alternative to the arquebusiers and was usually combined with pikes in combat. When the mounted bayonet was invented, the musket became the primary infantry weapon of most armies around the globe until the rifle replaced it in the 19th century.
The musket is a long gun with a smooth bore which means that unlike a rifle, the bullet it fires does not have a stabilizing spin. This means that it had a very small effective range. To increase the effectiveness of this weapon, soldiers often massed into lines and fired volley’s into an advancing enemy. Although rifles were more accurate, muskets were easier to load and a well-trained musketman could load and fire up to three shot in a single minute.
Muskets had a variety of ignition systems which includes matchlock, flintlock and finally caplock models.