A small iron or brass handgun employed during the days of sail. It was fitted with an iron pin on the stock which was inserted into a socket so that the gun could be traversed easily by hand. Sockets for these guns were fitted in several places in a ship so that they could quickly be taken where most needed. They were purely anti-personnel guns for use against boarders. Their use in navies went out during the early 18th century, when marines became a permanent part of a warship's complement, but they continued to be used by merchant ships as a protection against privateers and piracy up to the beginning of the 19th century.
Subjects: Maritime History.