When we think of carrying a firearm for personal safety, pistols are one of the first options that come to mind. Another rather unconventional personal firearm is the blunderbuss.
Sure, there are reasons why a blunderbuss is unconventional. But blunderbusses also have their quirks that may prove to be useful. So, blunderbuss and pistol, which one is the better choice? Let’s find out why so.
In all honesty, A pistol is more of a modern firearm compared to a blunderbuss. A pistol fires a single shot, each time dealing lethal damage to a single target. In other words, It deals all of its potential damage to one target.
At the same time, a blunderbuss fires splinters in a burst shot. It is more like a shotgun. It spreads its damage over an area in front of it. In the real-world scenario, you are more likely to face a threat from a person or two than from a whole gang. So, In a nutshell, a pistol is better.
But the real-life scenario does not occur or finish in a nutshell. There is more depth to cover. Let me break it down. I will discuss what the two weapons are, what are their advantages and disadvantages, which weapon you should carry, and why you should do so. So –
What Is A Blunderbuss?
A blunderbuss is the pocket-carry form of the shotgun. You can make a molded leather holster to carry it. Blunderbuss shells, like a shotgun shell, explode after the shot is fired. It then releases multiple spherical “shots” or “grapes” that scatter in a cone-shaped area in front of the gun.
As I mentioned before, it is not the discovery of modern-day science. The history of the blunderbuss goes way back all the way up to the 17th century. Back then, it was a popular choice of firearm both by the pirates and by the navy.
Over time, the gun evolved. They received many upgrades, partial or even complete transformations. And at this time, it can almost compete with many modern-day weapons as well.
- Advantages of a Blunderbuss
Blunderbuss shells explode into shots and scatter in a wide area in front. That means when you fire a shot, you do not have to be precise with your aiming. As long as the target is more or less in front of you, you are guaranteed to land a hit.
In addition, if there are multiple targets, you are more likely to hit them all in one shot than miss. This makes it a great weapon for crowd control.
- Disadvantages of a Blunderbuss
On the flip side, since your shell explodes and scatters, so does your damage. Even when you do land a direct hit, each shrapnel will have a very little momentum, resulting in a non-lethal hit unless your target is pressed against your barrel.
So, when you have several targets, you will hit them all, but the hits will be good enough to scare them off, not finish them off. This again makes it great for crowd control and not actually finishing them.
On top of that, because of the scattering, they drop accuracy like crazy. Namely, blunderbusses are nearly useless at a considerable distance.
Although, I got to say, when you are firing numerous splinters, some will possibly land at a vulnerable spot like the neck, the face, the palms, or so on, which will cripple them temporarily if not completely take them out.
What Is A Pistol?
A pistol is more of a category of handgun that has its chamber integrated with the barrel. Pistols can be of different types having different functionality and serving different purposes.
In general, by pistol, we usually mean semi-automatic pistols, which have around 20-ish magazine size and shoot a single bullet each time the trigger is pressed. Pistols are one of the first-generation firearms.
The earliest documents mentioning the uses of pistols dates to the mid-16th century. Back then, pistols were fired using flintlock actions and held only one shot at a time. That’s more like the pistols we see in the Pirates of the Caribbean. Some modern pistols can hold up to 33 bullets and are capable of fully automatic firing.
- Advantages Of A Pistol
Unlike the blunderbuss, pistol bullets do not scatter. Rather they keep the shape that they were fired. Since they are not spending any energy in the process of exploding or altering the initial momentum, they are fast.
Additionally, they hit only one target, meaning they deliver nearly the whole momentum to the target, effectively ensuring a kill. Plus, pistol shots are significantly more accurate compared to that of a blunderbuss. Because of the accuracy, they are useful even from a considerable distance.
- Disadvantages Of A Pistol
As I mentioned before, the pistol fires a single target shot. Even if the shot lands on the target perfectly, you can still get overrun if you have more than one threat before you. Granted that modern semi-auto or full-auto pistols can shoot back-to-back shots really fast, still, crowd control is not the best suit for a pistol.
Another arguable issue is that the pistol shot has to be on the target precisely. If you miss the aim even by a bit, you will likely miss the target. It becomes more and more apparent the greater the distance is. So, with all the knowledge about the two handguns in mind,
Which Handgun Is The Best Choice?
I’d say the answer is situational. In the optimal situation, either of the two will outperform the other by a considerable margin. If you are carrying the gun for day-to-day safety, I personally think a pistol will serve you better.
Because in a desperate moment, you need to be able to shoot fast and, more importantly, reliably. A pistol fire is much more predictable and reliable. Even if you miss the initial shot, you can adjust and draw a second shot without even blinking.
Despite the AoE (Area of Effect) of the blunderbuss being enough to threaten and scare away potential robbers even if they outnumber you, it will not be the best choice because of the abysmal reloading time it takes.
They do not hold a lot of shots inside, and it takes some time and effort to reload the gun. Precious time in a desperate moment… It’s a big NO in my book.
Safety is one of the main concerns for everyone; there’s no doubt about that. It has always been the case. But it is getting more of a necessity than assurity for the last couple of decades because of the increased rate of crimes and criminals.
So, when the time comes, you do need to be ready. I know I just said a pistol would be the better option of the two. However, I also said it is my personal opinion. If you liked or prefer a blunderbuss over a pistol, by all means, carry on with it.
There is nothing wrong with it either. And in close range combat, a blunderbuss is no less deadly than a pistol. However, when you add the factor “range” in the equation, that is when the blunderbuss slacks behind. That is a big deciding factor for me.
Another big deciding factor is that, in the do-or-die situations, I’d rather have the ability to shoot 20 back-to-back shots than having to reload after every few shots and hope that one lands a critical. That’s all for the topic on “Which Is Better Blunderbuss Or Pistol?”.