A Short History of Scottish Firearms, Part I: Scottish Steel Pistols

By Eric McCracken of Wainwright, amateur historian and student of arms, for the Flagstaff Scottish Club, Sedgwick Alta.



Most people with an understanding of, or an interest in Scottish history and material culture know that Scotland has always developed quite uniquely from other European cultures; this unique development is well reflected in many different areas. The evolution of the kilt and Highland garb distinctly from English and European ‘trousered’ attire, and the development of piping and Piobaireachd instead of the continental classical music tradition, are probably the two most obvious examples. One aspect of Scottish history that is less commonly covered is the interesting development, mainly through the 17th and 18th centuries, of uniquely Scottish firearms.


In order to understand Scottish firearms history, one must first have an understanding of the broader historical context.


1. Early days:

The first European and Asian firearms were usually based around

shoving a burning match into the gunpowder to set it off, either by hand or with the