The Mind Blowing Weapons Used by America’s First Settlers

The Mind Blowing Weapons Used by America’s First Settlers

Keith CRACKSHOT.TV No Comments

The Weapons of America’s First Settlers

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. To celebrate this thanksgiving, we thought it would be fitting to do a video documenting the weapons of America’s first settlers, the Mayflower Pilgrims. In the early seventeenth century, a group of English Puritans embarked on a quest for religious freedom. These brave souls, sought refuge from religious persecution in their homeland. Leaving behind the familiar shores of England, they journeyed across the vast, treacherous Atlantic, bound for the uncharted territories of the New World.

A People Hardened by Challenges

Their voyage was fraught with challenges. Stormy seas and cramped conditions tested their resolve, while the specter of the unknown loomed ahead. Landing at Plymouth Rock in sixteen twenty, they faced a harsh New England winter, a far cry from the gentle English countryside they had left behind.

In this new landscape, self-defense became paramount. Wild animals, unforgiving weather, and potential conflicts with the native population presented a constant threat. The Pilgrims brought with them a collection of weapons, essential for their survival in this New World. Let’s dig in.

Armed for Survival

The Pilgrims’ survival depended not only on their ability to cultivate the land but also on their ability to defend themselves. Puritan doctrine and theology is undoubtedly peaceful, however, the first pilgrims were far from unarmed, bringing with them an assortment of weaponry that was vital to their survival. Among their arsenal were muskets, the most popular ranged infantry weapon of the day. These hefty weapons were essential, used not only in combat but also in hunting for food.

The Long Guns of the Pilgrims

The first muskets were most often match lock designs due to their ubiquity. The muskets here were believed to be originals from the Plymouth colony.

More advanced wheel lock designs

as well as flintlock designs are also documented to have been in the pilgrim arsenal.

To this day there is only one known preserved musket from the original Mayflower settlers. It is currently housed at the NRA museum. Originally belonging to John Alden, one of the leaders of Plymouth Colony, the rifle was found hidden in the cubbie of his house during a renovation in 1924.

However, rifles would not have been the only firearms found amongst the early settlers. Inventory documents from the early settlers also include a variety of pistols, including even, a “double pistol” per the manifest.

Indeed, small arms played a fundamental part in the defense of the colony, as well as in the day to day sporting needs required to feed the early settlers. It is an interesting thought to ponder that these were amongst the first firearms to enter into a land that in modern times by conservative estimates houses over 350 million firearms in private ownership.

Body Armor of the Pilgrims

The pilgrims also brought along body armor from the era.
This standard loadout for a musketeer would have included a steel helmet.

Additionally, metal breast plate armor of the day was more than capable of stopping musket fire.

An early pilgrim would have also carried a powder flask since these early firearms were loaded with black powder.

Painted here is Myles Standish, the British officer who was placed in charge of security for Plymouth Colony.

Edged Weapons of the Pilgrims

Edged weapons would have also been commonplace amongst the pilgrim settlers.

Pictured here is myles standish’s rapier.

Primarily carrying swords and daggers, these swords belonged to a few of the first governors of Plymouth County.

Beyond swords, the settlers would have also carried pikes and halbeards. These two weapons were found in the cellar of John Alden, in the same house that the Mayflower musket was previously discovered.

Artillery of the Pilgrims

Beyond individual armaments, the colony was also equipped with heavier ordinance. The colony was originally protected by ten cannons, 6 of an unknown type, likely having been procured from the mayflower itself, and 4 small patreros cannons that were mounted to protect the governors house.

Pictured here is one of the first forts built to protect plymouth colony.

These iconic armaments ultimately are a reminder of the enduring spirit of the Pilgrims, their determination for survival, and their pursuit of a new beginning.


The pilgrims have left an indelible mark on the American landscape, reminding us of our ancestors’ relentless pursuit of freedom.

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