Brown Bess – Anglo Sikh Museum

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Brown Bess

SMI 10: Brown Bess Gun
Date: Before 1800
Used: Widely across the world


The brown bess can be described as a muzzle-loading musket. This musket was used in the era of the expansion of the British Empire and acquired symbolic importance at least as significant as its physical importance. It was used in battles such as that of Waterloo. They were also sold to other countries and sometimes it would be used by their foes in war.

The Brown Bess was classified into a variety of distinct “land patterns”, such as the India Pattern utilized by the East India Company, each of which were produced to specific standardized lengths and weights.

During the Anglo Sikh Wars (1845-1846) and (1848-1849) for the British the weapons for the cavalry were the lance for the lancer regiments and sword and carbine for all; the infantry were armed with the Brown Bess musket and bayonet. Sikh soldiers amongst other weapons carried a tulwar (sword) for hand to hand fighting as well as the Brown Bess which was introduced during the time of Maharajah Ranjit Singh.

Additional information

The Enfield Rifle superseded the Brown Bess and was used in many campaigns including the Indian Mutiny of 1875.

This 3d model was first exhibited at the exhibition: Anglo Sikh Wars: Battles, Treaties and Relics in 2017. We have now recreated it so it can be shared widely online.

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