Wall Piece
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Basic Information

Also called a wall gun or a jingal/gingal (in South and Southeast Asia). Sometimes also (and confusingly) called a hackbut or caliver … which are names that rightly belong to older weapons. The amusette was a similar weapon, typically with the same large bore but a shorter barrel.

These were essentially muskets that were about as large as could be whilst remaining man-portable and not turning into cannon. Bore could be up to an inch (25mm) and barrel length in the region of 4-5 feet. The longer barrels could provide significant range and accuracy if properly employed.

Owing to their high mass and impressive recoil these pieces were generally fitted with a bipod or a wall hook (hence the name) to secure them for firing. They were generally not infantry weapons and seem to mainly have been issued for garrison work or to artillery units. They also show up from time to time in the arsenals of ships - but in that role they tend to compete with swivel guns. From time to time they show up serving as a form of heavy weapon in terrain which was more or less inpenetrable to contemporary artillery.

Expect the main forms of ammunition to be ball and likely as not buckshot (probably composed of a cupful of standard musket balls) - there's no historical evidence of them firing shell, shrapnel, carcass or anything else complicated, but a gadgeteer might well be able to put a batch together.

In civilian use, they might see use as a punt gun or possibly for hunting things like elephants.

The pre-gunpowder ancestor of the wall piece is probably the arbalest.


Wall Guns at Wikipedia
...and a Jingal

1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • A useful personal weapon for the Ogre PC.
  • Can make cameo appearances for sieges or naval battles and perhaps providing covering fire for a landing party.
  • A good 'surprise weapon' that the PCs turn up rummaging in the armoury (or the gun room of a stately home for the punt gun or the jingal great-grandad captured from a Dacoit Boh in Burma1).
    • Conceivably a US example could be left over from the AWI, especially in the hands of an old enough family.
  • Amusettes were apparently surprisingly common in the American War of Independance, where they made their way up high mountains and into deep forests in support of both sides. PCs might well deploy one against an opponent's musket-proof backwoods cabin, in a place the enemy thought was inacessible to artillery.
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