Do you remember the picture of the Pilgrim Fathers going to church, shortly after they landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620, and each one carrying along with his Bible a queer-looking gun to protect himself and family from the Indians? Well, the kind of a gun he carried is called a blunderbuss, or scatter gun, and some of them were made with wheel-locks, while others were made with matchlocks for firing the powder.
The blunderbuss, as shown in Fig. 14, is a gun having a short barrel, with a large bore and a funnel-shaped muzzle. It was loaded with shot— that is, pellets made of lead—a number of these being used instead of a single bullet, and when the gun was fired the flanged mouth spread the shot— and also the Indians—for at short range it did great execution.
The Dutch called this gun a donder-bus because it made a loud noise when it was fired; now since donder in their language means thunder and bus means box it has come to be called by the elegant and euphonious name of blunderbuss.
It is no longer made as a gun, but the funnel shaped barrel is still used by magicians, who find it a valuable aid in disappearing small articles in a big noise and in a cloud of smoke. What is of greater importance is to know that the blunderbuss is the daddy of the modern shotgun.
Collins, A. Frederick. Shooting, for Boys,. New York: Moffat, Yard and, 1917. Print.
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