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A gunpowder trail aboard the Interceptor.

"Gunfire and gunpowder don't mix."
―A pirate[src]

Gunpowder was a chemical explosive and propellant used in many weapons in the Age of Piracy, including flintlocks and cannons. Prior to the invention of gunpowder, many incendiary and burning devices had been used, including Greek fire.

Listed as one of the "Four Great Inventions" of China, the invention of gunpowder is usually attributed to Chinese alchemy. The invention was made perhaps as early as during the Tang Dynasty (9th century), but certainly by the Song Dynasty (11th century). Knowledge of gunpowder spread throughout the Old World as a result of the Mongol conquests of the 13th century. It was employed in warfare to some effect from at least the 14th century, although the development of effective artillery took place during the 15th century, and firearms came to dominate Early Modern warfare in Europe by the 17th century.


"And I am short on powder. I’ll need half of yours."
"Half my powder. That’s asking a lot. There are pirates in these waters, love.
Esmeralda and Jack Sparrow[src]

For flintlock weapons, the flint springs forward where the trigger is pulled, striking to ignite gunpowder. Marksmanship took a little longer for Jack Sparrow to master. He trained himself to shoot by taking aim at empty wine bottles tossed from the Black Pearl's deck rail. A bucket of shot and a sack of gunpowder later, he could hit nine out of ten bottles.[1] There's enough gunpowder and ammunition aboard the Pearl to start a small war.[2]

Behind the scenes



External links

WP favicon Gunpowder on Wikipedia

Notes and references

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