Dating: 18th century
Material: Metal & Wood
Dimensions (cm): 16 x 7,5 x 115
Weight: 3666 g
Inv. no.: PD1065
A muzzle-loading rifle with flintlock, on which the inscriptions “TOWER”, “G R” and a crown topped by a cross are inscribed. This symbol is found on weapons marked on the Tower of London, and the “G R” refers to George Rex, in this case King George III (1738-1820).
Did you know… that the expression “backfire” may have originated due to 18th century firearms?
The first firearms were loaded through the muzzle – the frontal part of the barrel. It is believed that this led to expression “backfire” (in popular jargon, to have the opposite outcome from the one intended).
The loading process consisted of depositing the gunpowder firstly and then the projectile. If the shooter reversed this order, the discharge could backfire. This led to the redesign of firearms from the 18th century onwards, in order to reduce the number of times the shooter was hit by the shot.