A list of the guns on board the Mary Rose in 1545 says there should have been 50 handguns on board.
Only one complete gun was found by the divers. Parts of four others were found on the wreck. These guns were muskets, and the complete one was probably made in Italy.
The Hailshot piece is a rectangular hand gun. The gun would have been rested against the side of the ship making the gun stable to use. It would fire small iron squares, called ‘dice shot’. The hailshot piece was not in use for long, as the rectangular barrel was weak, so the gun would start to split and eventually explode!
Gunshields were a strange weapon, a wooden shield with a gun fixed in the middle. Henry VIII’s guards were issued with them, but the gunshield was a very clumsy weapon and soon vanished from history!