Detail of a 16th century painting of the Battle of Pavia

16th Century

By the early 16th century hand-held firearms were being used in battles. They were basic, heavy to carry, slow to load, fired only short distances and were largely inaccurate.

Battle of Pavia

This battle was the first battle in which infantry armed with firearms (harquebusiers) were victorious over fully armoured knights. Metal plate armour proved no defence against bullets.



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Finest Sheffield steel

One of the finest pairs of Colt 1861 navy revolvers in the world, in mint, unfired condition, are in the Royal Armouries collection. They were presented to Mark Firth, the Sheffield Steelmaker who supplied Colt with steel.