31376 Federal Infantry in Sack Coat Defending #2

W. Britains

The first bayonets were used by French hunters when chasing down wild boar. They simply stuck a knife down the end of their musket barrel which kept them a relatively safe distance from their prey. When this principle was applied in warfare, it became known as the “plug bayonet.” Of course, the downside of the plug bayonet was that the user could not fire after affixing it. This system was succeeded by the socket bayonet, which fit over the muzzle of the barrel allowing the rifleman to load and shoot. The primary use of the bayonet was to fend off cavalry charges but in actuality was a pretty poor hand-to-hand weapon. It also added considerable weight throwing off the designed balance of the rifle.

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