Armed for the Cause, early 1800s
The last thing any privateer wanted to do was fight. Battles risked injury to sailors, damage to ships, and lost profits. But privateers had to demonstrate that they were willing to attack and even board an enemy vessel. Officers commonly brought along their personal swords and firearms. Crewmen were issued weapons. Most seamen preferred short-barreled pistols, muskets, and shotguns, which were easier to handle in shipboard fights.