Before the wreckage of Henry the VIII's flagship, the Mary Rose, was discovered, there was one English longbow still in existence, now there is over a hundred and seventy. The longbow was such an important part of the armament  of the Mary Rose in part because they were very effective, they could easily outshoot the guns of the day, and partly because that's the way it always had been.  These men were trained for life to shoot the longbow, and it took a lifetime's worth of training in order to handle a 200 lb. pull on a bowstring.  However, guns would get better quickly, and it didn't take a lifetime's worth of training to shoot one.  Replacing an archer killed in battle wasn't an easy proposition, but you could replace the gunman in a relatively small amount of time.

pic of English Longbow

They have found only parts of fifteen matchlocks aboard the Mary Rose.  She did have big guns, but the tactics of using them were still evolving.  Men mostly fought boarding actions with knives and bows and arrows.  It wouldn't be long before the weapon lockers on board English fighting ships would be filled with gunpowder weapons, and the use of the broadside would be commonplace.  The gundeck would be the new fighting space, not the top deck.

Pointing of Battle of Sluys


The .577 British revolver cartridge was the .44 magnum of it's day.  It was the biggest, baddest, meanest pistol you could get, but wasn't to be handled lightly, and concealment was out of the question.  All the big pistol makers made them, around Birmingham that included Webley & Scott and Tranter. The pistol loaded weighed about 8 pounds, with 5 or 6 rounds on tap.  Pulling the trigger was like launching a Saturn V, you had to mean it.

pic of early .577 round

There are a couple of these huge rounds up for auction.  An early .577, with iron base, and coiled brass and cardboard case is on Auction Arms with a buy now price of $82.50.  The revolvers for these early rounds had to have a steel plate inserted behind the cylinder because the primer would bulge out the back of the weak iron base and jam the cylinder.  The drawback to the plate was that you had to dismount the cylinder and the plate to reload, then reassemble the gun.  All this was solved when they advanced cartridge design to the drawn brass case.  Now the primer would stay put and you could reload the revolver as normal.  One of these drawn brass monsters is up for auction on Gunbroker, and is a bit pricey, as the buy now price is $140.00

pic of later drawn brass round