Few American holidays have a closer relationship to a particular firearm than Thanksgiving. Next to turkeys, Pilgrims and Indians the tried-and-true blunderbuss is one of the celebration’s most recognizable symbols. But the unmistakable gun was more than just a tool used to put meat on the table. The blunderbuss — Dutch for “thunder pipe” — was also a merciless weapon favored by pirates, cavalries and colonial militias. Check out the following videos to brush up on some of the finer points of the blunderbuss and, of course, watch a few people drop the hammer on the gun.
The National Firearms Museum gives a short history of the blunderbuss, with a Spanish Miquelet as its example.