The Spanish Escopeta

The escopeta, a light, smoothbore, muzzle-loading musket or carbine was a popular weapon of the 18th century soldado de cuera. Made with a Spanish or miguelet lock and a Catalan stock, this sturdy and dependable weapon saw use for nearly 200 years on the northern frontier. There were many variations in barrel length, and stock design, but the miguelet lock was commonly used. In 1786, escopetas purchased for frontier use cost the Crown 6 pesos, 5 reales, 9 grains. The Model illustrated was made by Antonio Guisasola of Eibar, Spain, about 1800. It is caliber .75 with a Catalan stock and a 33 1/2-inch barrel. The quality of the piece indicates that it was carried by a gentleman or officer.

This escopeta is in the William Renwick Collection, Tucson. Photograph by BRUCE D. LINDSAY. © 1965, Arizona Historical Foundation

See Also: Indian Trade Musket