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The Musketeer

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For a swashbuckler character, see Swashbuckler.

A gun and a sword (or other melee weapon) combo... when not used at the same time. Typical combination for characters and armies on the advent of gunpowder, the ranged weapon in this case is often more of a throw-away weapon used to down an opponent before closing to meet with the rest. The gun can be a pistol or a rifle just as well - in fact, the musket itself (which the musketeer is named for) is a long two-handed gun. This sort of a warrior tend toward the Wooden Ships and Iron Menpirates may even wear a bandolier with several loaded pistols, like Real Life Blackbeard did, in addition to two pistols on his sword belt — and Swashbuckler settings, but not limited to them. Samurai Cowboys need both a Revolver and Katana, so they apply as well. It can even be more modern and futuristic, up to Jedi proficient in both the blaster and the lightsaber.

One important thing: these weapons aren't reserve weapons. This trope is for fighters who are proficient in using both the gun and the melee weapon. Someone who is just picking up a lead pipe or something because their gun is out of ammo isn't an example. The character is good with both weapons and will use them as the situation fits.

Bayonets are a special case. They are a blade that attaches to the front of a gun weapon that turned it into a short spear. Many variety of bayonets are basically a modified knife that clips or fixes onto the front of the gun and can be wielded like a fighting knife when not attached to a gun.

Not to be confused with Sword and Gun, which is when this trope meets Dual Wielding. Subtrope of Choice of Two Weapons. See also Bow and Sword in Accord, which often serves the purposes of this trope in older settings. Compare the Multi-Melee Master, who tends to alternate between close-ranged weapons.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Ambition of Oda Nobuna, the titular character uses both a sword and a rifle alternately for different types of engagements.
  • Guts of Berserk has a gunpowder cannon built into his arm as a surprise weapon for enemies who think they have him beat. He also fits Bow and Sword in Accord, using a repeating crossbow and a set of throwing knives along with his BFS. He deviates from the general profile of both wielder types by being heavily armored (since he's a mercenary who mainly favors melee).
  • Setsuna F. Seiei from Mobile Suit Gundam 00 pilots a Gundam that specializes in close quarters combat; Exia and 00 are armed with massive swords that also have integrated beam rifles. The GN Sword on the Exia and the GN Sword III wielded by 00 Raiser are essentially massive switchblade-type broad sword that can rapidly cycle between rifle mode and sword mode. The GN Sword II is used in conjunction with another sword II and also doubles as rifle with a range of firing modes. Setsuna was less proficient with the rifle mode earlier in his career, but eventually becomes a better marksman (to the point where Graham Aker notes that Setsuna's ranged attacks are far more accurate than they were).
    • Humongous Mecha often follow this trope, and Gundam is no exception. Most of the Gundams piloted by the various protagonists, starting with the original series, have historically been armed with a highly effective ranged weapon (typically an energy-based rifle) and a highly effective close-combat weapon (typically a beam saber). For that matter, a substantial number of the Mecha-Mooks in the series also carry and use effective (well, effective as far as mooks go) weapons of both varieties.
  • Moriarty the Patriot: As the series is toward the end of the 19th century, swords and guns were both quite common, but most characters favor one or the other. William, however, favors a Sword Cane but breaks out a revolver for a number of engagements, particularly during The Two Criminals, with no blade to be seen.

    Comic Books 
  • The Marvel Comics Elseworld The 5 Ronin transplants familiar Marvel characters to Japan under Ieyasu Tokugawa's rule. The series' version of The Punisher is an expert swordfighter and an ace gunman, but depending on the situation he will only use one weapon, his rifle or his katana.
  • Deadpool is very agile and has a teleporter, allowing him to swordfight against modern-day opponents while still having guns and grenades as projectiles.
  • Nikolai Dante is this, thanks to the bio blades afforded to him by his weapons crest and his Huntsman 5000 rifle. To the same extent, several other characters are this, due to tactics having regressed somewhat over the last few centuries.
  • During the climax of the Sin City tale, Hell and Back, the main character duel wields a pair of Colts and has a machete available. Incidently, he eventually throws the machete to kill a mook from a distance.
  • Though the modern Phantom is The Gunslinger, his historical predecessors occasionally fulfilled this trope.

  • The Empire Strikes Back sees Luke carrying a lightsaber and a blaster into battle, although he never uses them in concert. For instance, in the climax, he uses a blaster to shoot down several Stormtroopers, then puts it away in order to go after Darth Vader in a lightsaber duel. This is the transitional point in his fighting style across the original Star Wars trilogy. In A New Hope Luke only ever used blasters in battle, being too inexperienced with the lightsaber to use it outside of training exercises; while in Return of the Jedi Luke stuck with his green lightsaber throughout, never picking up a blaster.
  • In The Last Witch Hunter, when fighting the witches, Kaulder alternates between his Cool Sword and Hand Cannon.
  • In Sucker Punch, the girls, other than Amber, are this. Sweet Pea uses assault rifles/shotguns (for long-range) and a claymore (for melee). Blondie uses BFGs (for long-range) and an axe (for melee). And Rocket uses assault rifles/shotguns (for long-range) and a short sword (for melee). Babydoll uses both her Sword and Gun straight-out.
  • In Sukiyaki Western Django, the villain Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune uses a six-shooter like the rest of the characters, but also owns a katana. He even throws his gun away to make his fight with the hero more thrilling.

  • The Dresden Files: Both the Knights of the Cross and the Wardens carry magical swords (holy swords for the Knights, Anti-Magic swords for the Wardens) as their primary weapons. However, the Knights' swords lose their power if used in a way that contradict their principlesnote  and killing a human with magic is punishable by death, so both groups round out their arsenals with firearms and high explosives.
  • In the John Carter of Mars stories, John Carter often carries (and uses) both his long sword and a radium pistol (the bullets of which have explosive warheads).
  • The Lords of Creation: In the Courts of the Crimson Kings is a reconstruction of the John Carter of Mars stories. The first pictures from Mars show the inhabitants are armed with firearms and swords. Some speculate that it's due to a code of honor, but it's pointed out that it would give the cheaters too much of an advantage. It turns out Martians use biotechnology guns that are slow to reload, so they need to have a backup weapon handy in the interim.
  • In the Old Kingdom books, military stationed in the Perimeter are armed with guns, swords, and sometimes bows and arrows. The guns are their normal weapon of choice; the swords are for when technology fails due to the proximity of magic. The most experienced soldiers become proficient with both.
  • Richard Sharpe carries a Baker rifle and a 1796 pattern cavalry sabre. It's distinctive because rifles and muskets were only carried by the rank-and-file infantry, while swords were the weapons for gentlemanly officers. Sharpe's choice to wield both represents his rise from "the ranks".
  • Solomon Kane's usual tactic when confronting multiple attackers is to discharge both his pistols, then draw his rapier and dagger.
  • The Three Musketeers do this, though they're better known for using swords. Since swords were the standard sidearm of the day, most of the book isn't spent in line combat, and guns of the day were single-shot weapons, it's quite understandable.

    Live Action TV 
  • Deadliest Warrior features a French Musketeer in the second season.
    • There have been other warriors that also fit the trope in style if not in name, such as Season 1's Pirate and Season 2's Vlad the Impaler.
  • The titular character of The Mandalorian is occasionally seen using a knife in combat, but he becomes this full on in Chapter 13, after receiving the Beskar spear. Becomes a Chekhov's Gun come Chapter 16, when he takes it to fight Moff Gideon... and comes away as the holder of the freaking Darksaber.
  • Many of the characters on The Walking Dead are this. They'll use firearms when they're far away from the walkers and/or there are a lot of them to deal with at once. But when they only need to worry about one or two at close quarters they will usually use a knife so as not to waste ammunition.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In any game of Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder where guns exist, this trope will be ubiquitous. Due to the Class and Level System, a character's chance to hit is highly dependent on whether they belong to a fighting class and their level, barring Game-Breaker exploits of the system. Every character is going to carry at least one hand weapon and at least one missile weapon, even the Squishy Wizard. Many characters are far more powerful at range or in melee, and many other characters would only resort to physical attacks when desperate, but they all will still follow this trope. If there are no guns, expect Bow and Sword in Accord to be just as common, with characters who can't use bows using slings, crossbows, or anything else they may have.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • While most warriors using both ranged and melee weapons in the setting in the pistol and close-combat weapon style, it is possible to deck out most leader-type models with a rifle of some sort and a melee weapon on the ready.
    • Certain other models, such as the Ta'u Empire's Kroot hunters does this as well - if only because the Kroot's melee weapon is their rifles as well.
    • Meanwhile, Ogryns use ginormous shotguns that were specifically designed to be used as clubs.
  • Early versions of BattleTech RPG spinoff Mechwarrior encouraged player characters to do this; to-hit rolls in infantry battles were all determined by the dexterity stat, and most of the commonly available weapons didn't have magazines that would hold more than ten combat turns' worth of fire. Reloading was a 'complex action' that took a whole turn to complete and could be interrupted, which meant that in a close-range battle it was faster and more efficient to simply draw your melee weapon (a simple action, which you could make at least two of per turn) and go to town on the nearest enemy. As the system evolved and rolls could be checked against skills, this trope became less prevalent, but is still present. Bearing in mind that Battletech is a Space Opera, the romanticized nature of melee combat on the infantry scale is in full effect.

    Video Games 
  • Many, many combat games have dual weapon sets that can be quickly switched between, and many players have melee gear in one set and ranged weapons in the other.
  • Age of Empires III had musketeer units - true to the trope, their ranged attack is useful against melee-based units, but their melee attack is what makes them good against cavalry and had a better damage per second statistically.
  • Age of Wonders 2: The Wizard's Throne has Swashbuckler unit, good both in melee with his cutlass and ranged attack with a pistol.
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura permits this combination.
  • In the Assassin´s Creed franchise:
    • Connor can use up to two guns combined with either a tomahawk, a sword or even an axe.
    • Edward can use four of them (Understandably as he is a pirate) combined with two swords of different kinds.
    • Shay can use either normal guns or a Grenade Launcher combined with a sword and a small dagger.
    • Arno uses pistols and rifles as well as rapiers.
    • The Frye twins carry revolvers as well as Kukris and Cane Swords.
  • The Kid of Bastion is capable of using both a variety of guns and various melee weapons. In the setting, the Slingers were known to use machetes and dual revolvers.
  • The Dwarvish Thunderer line of units in Battle for Wesnoth. While their primary weapons are definitely their single-shot "thundersticks", their backup daggers aren't too shabby in melee either (indeed, the basic Thunderer's dagger attack is straight-up more powerful than the human Bowman's short sword).
  • Kenji from Battle Realms gains a pistol halfway through the campaign to complement his sword, and will fire it when he's not engaged in a melee or ordered to attack.
  • Bayonetta being something of a Spiritual Successor or Expy of Dante also fights like this. Unlike most Musketeers, she also has guns on her feet.
  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! has the Player Character Athena's Xiphos tree (having skills to make enemies bleed from your melee attacks and then also causing your shooting to benefit from that), Nisha's Order tree (largely increases survivability from taking lots of damage, but has melee and gun damage-related skills to benefit from that as well), and Claptrap's Fragmented Fragtrap (skills that relate to pretty much everything, at the cost of the mechanics causing the bonuses being Random Effect Spells with appropriate drawbacks as well that the player must constantly adapt to to maximize).
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has the Commando perk that make your knife attack from farther away at no cost to your ability to shoot down range, and the 'Tactical Knife' attachment for Handguns that allow you to hold your knife while using a handgun to make your knife hit faster, also at no cost to your ability to shoot with it. World at War allows for bayonets with most rifles, and the trench gun.
    • These are actually part of the reason for some players' dislike of Modern Warfare 2, where the knife has an infamous reputation for being better than firearms, due to the knife's instant-kill property no matter where it hits on an opposing player's body, whereas almost all firearms take multiple hits to kill unless they hit the head, which is rather difficult to do intentionally.
  • Musketeer units in Conqueror's Blade can all switch between muskets and daggers if they need to fight in melee. However, they are all pretty much worthless in close combat. Tercio Arquebusiers are a unique case: they are intended to be equally good in melee and at range, so they have actual swords instead of just daggers and are passably good at using them.
  • Kyle Katarn and his apprentices Mara Jade and Jaden Korr, the protagonists of the Dark Forces Saga, are lightsaber-wielding Jedi who also make use of blaster weapons, heavy machine guns and rocket launchers.
  • Darksiders
    • The first game has War starting out with his Chaoseater, but he'll eventually acquire Mercy, one of his brother Strife's guns.
    • Darksiders II has Death starting out with his Sinister Scythe and acquiring various other melee weapons, but he'll canonically acquire Redemption, Strife's other gun as well.
    • Darksiders Genesis shows that Strife himself, in addition to carrying around Mercy and Redemption, also wields two swords for when something survives his barrage long enough to get into close range, meaning he was The Musketeer before any of his siblings.
  • Devil May Cry
  • Common in Eternal Darkness; every character from the 18th century onward can wield a combination of a bladed melee weapon and a firearm. Maximilian Roivas has a saber and flintlock pistols; Peter Jacob has a bastard sword, a revolver and a rifle; Edward Roivas has the saber, a revolver, a double shotgun and an elephant gun; Edwin Lindsey has a kukri, a pistol and a shotgun; Michael Edwards has his fire ax and an OICW; and Alex Roivas has a gladius, a revolver and a shotgun.
  • The hero in Fable II has a sword and a gun, which can be a pistol or a rifle. He/she can also wield a crossbow.
  • Fable III has completely gotten rid of crossbows, as they're just not as powerful anymore. It is the Industrial Revolution. But just like the previous two games you're wielding three weapons essentially: melee, ranged and Will (magic).
  • In the first two Fallout games, it was possible to switch quickly between two weapons without AP costs if equipped for that. Too close? Break out the sledgehammer. It's still possible, but not as intuitive, in the third and fourth games (you have to assign weapons to number keys, like in traditional FPS games, and New Vegas takes away one possible slot to use its key for an entirely different mechanic instead).
  • Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII is an interesting case because her sword and gun are combined into one weapon that changes between the two.
  • The Stranger, the protagonist of Furi, uses a pseudo-laser katana and a laser pistol. You can switch between them fast enough, but since he two-hands both of them, he never dual-wields them.
  • In a very literal version of this trope, in Guts & Blackpowder, every class with a firearm would be this. Since 18th century firearms take forever to reload (the fastest one in-game have a reload time of 5 seconds while boosted by a Fifer), pulling out your melee weapon to fend off zombies is done regularly.
  • In the Halo series from Halo 2 onward, the player can wield a plasma sword in addition to their ranged weapon, with Halo 3 adding in the gravity hammer.
  • Left 4 Dead 2 introduced melee weapons to the franchise as an alternative to the pistol. As such, when you find a crowbar, fire axe, shovel, nightstick, knife, frying pan, or a number of other instruments of death, you have the option to carry both it and a large two-handed primary firearm. The game even encourages it with the "shove fatigue" mechanic, where you get tired from shoving too many times in sequence and need to wait longer and longer for each shove; swinging a melee weapon has no such cooldown. To compensate for the lack of range, melee deals extremely high damage in a wide arc, downing any Infected less sturdy than a Charger in one single swing.
  • Alph from Luminous Arc mainly uses a sword, but he pulls out a rifle for his special attacks.
  • The titular character of Mega Man Zero is capable of using his Buster Shot and his Z-Saber in tandem, depending on your control set-up.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty plays with this a lot. Raiden uses guns for most of the game, but is able to quickly master using a katana near the end. Likewise, Solidus Snake, the game's Big Bad, prefers to fight Dual Wielding but is capable of using the P90.
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire & Sword is set in 17th century when firearms technology were at its early stage and coexisted with older combat weapons & tactics. As such, there are lots of combatants capable in fighting with both of these weapons, like the Musketeers itself, obviously with their muskets & swords, the Russian Streltsy which is armed with older guns but carries a large battleaxe, the Zaporozhian Cossacks, formidable swordsmen who also had handmade carbines, and the heavily armored Reiters, gunpowder-era knights who traded their lances with pistols.
  • Rachel from Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 fights with a large hammer and a machine gun. She also uses this combo as a guest fighter in Warriors Orochi 3.
  • PAYDAY 2 allows for this to an extent, as the player characters are equipped with two guns and a Quick Melee weapon. Normally the melee is just Pistol-Whipping or even putting the gun away for a second to engage in Good Old Fisticuffs, but they can also take anything from small knives to heavy great swords and katanas.
  • In Phantasy Star Online 2 and PSO2 New Genesis, a combination of a melee class and ranged subclass (and vice versa) via the Job System allows players to equip and swap between weapons such as swords, partisans, assault rifles, and launchers.
  • It's possible to have a character equip melee weapons and guns in Pillars of Eternity and it's even the starting set of Kana Rua (who starts with a two-handed sword and an arquebus). This is apparently fairly typical of the clergy of Magran, goddess of war and fire.
  • The Pirates from Pirates Vikings and Knights, in particular The Captain and the Skirmisher, who use cutlasses in combination with a blunderbuss and pistol, respectively.
  • Ratchet & Clank is mostly known for its bigger weapons, but the wrench is not to be lightly discarded, especially in the early game. There's also the Plasma Whip from Up Your Arsenal, basically a vamped up, longer ranged version of the wrench, and the Shock Ravager in Tools of Destruction.
  • The O'Carroll brothers in Sang-Froid: Tales Of Werewolves carry an axe and either a rifle or a musket as their personal weapons switching between the two at need.
  • Invisible Black Musketeers appear as enemies in Episode 1 of Scooby-Doo! First Frights.
  • In many Shin Megami Tensei games, the player character can use both swords and guns. Swords are typically preferred for raw physical damage, while guns tend to be more specialized in party-targeting attacks, elemental damage, and inflicting status ailments.
    • Persona: In the first Persona, the playable characters can alternate between a melee weapon or a ranged weapon with the grid based battle system. The ability to equip every character with both melee weapons and firearms then disappeared from the series for a decade, before finally returning in Persona 5.
    • Raidou Kuzunoha XIV of Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army and Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon uses both Sword and Pistol when going against demons, and while generally the sword does better damage, guns are very useful in both games due to their secondary properties (ability to load elemental bullets in The Soulless Army, the ability to stun foes in King Abaddon).
  • In Sid Meier's Pirates!, your character can have a flintlock pistol to fire at the opponent before a sword fight, having them start out pushed back.
  • A variation in Starcraft II: While all units have a single damage value (sometimes two for different target types), they can use a hidden animation if attacked in melee that does the same damage but isn't considered a ranged attack (i.e. hydralisks, queens and roaches who normally spit needles or acid will use their massive, otherwise unused except for cutscenes claws).
  • Star Trek Online allows this, as the player character can equip two weapons and switch between the them while in combat. It's completely possible, and often very helpful when fighting enemies that like to get in your face, to pair a standard issue Federation phaser with a Klingon bat'leth, or any other combination of ranged and melee weapons.
  • Star Wars
    • Possible in Knights of the Old Republic with a blaster and a melee weapon. There's not always a lot of point to it though, unless you're far enough away from the enemy to get in two shots before melee begins.
    • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords makes this easier than the first game by making guns more useful through a host of new feats and damage boosts. It also features a weapon swap hotkey so you can quickly swap between ranged and melee weapons if you want to.
  • Several of the musket units in the Total War series are pretty good in melee, such as the Matchlock Samurai in Total War: Shogun 2. Same with the Shinsengumi Police in Fall of Samurai, a special unit of "Battlefield Police" who are armed with both Katanas and modern rifles.
  • Clementine from The Walking Dead tends to hold a handgun and a melee weapon on her at all times. In Season Four, she initially fights walkers with just a knife — having given her revolver to AJ — but after acquiring a bow, she can use either one.
  • Every Tenno in Warframe can be equipped with a melee weapon, primary ranged weapon, and secondary firearm. The former often sees just as much use as the latter two, especially with the right mods equipped.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 2 has Tactical Marines which are durable units that shoot at enemies by default, but actually achieve a better damage per second with melee attacks, and have a 'Melee Resistance' aura for themselves that reduces melee damage taken (all other melee units in the game has this).
    • A number of units in the Dawn of War series are like this, in fact, armed with both a long-range firearm and some form of melee weapon, with the player given the choice to make them use one or the other depending on the situation. They also automatically switch to melee if attacked at that range, which creates quite a headache when Crippling Overspecialization happens. Interestingly, the Tau commander has no melee attack, so he flies up, shoots at the ground, and lands, then starts again.
  • Captain Titus in Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine can attack equally effectively with his ranged weapons and melee weapons.
  • The Ranger class in XCOM 2 wields a shotgun and a machete-like sword. The Slash ability allows them to close in and attack even if they have to dash (use two action points to cover distance) to do so, and there's an entire skill tree that benefits and unlocks melee attacks.
  • Every playable character in Xenoblade Chronicles X carries both a melee and ranged weapon, making a good number of them examples of this trope.

    Western Animation 
  • By the time of Season 5, Samurai Jack has been in the future long enough as well as losing his sword that he no longer has any compunctions against using guns and starts the season with a pistol and a machine gun. However once he regains his sword he sticks with it to the end.
  • Kanan and Ezra primarily use blasters in the early seasons of Star Wars Rebels, as it's the time of the Empire and pulling out a lightsaber gets a very big target on your back. Ezra's weapon even has a lightsaber and blaster mode that it switches between. This is phased out when they grow more well-known within the Empire and there's less reason to hold back the lightsabers, with Ezra going the Sword and Gun route while Kanan quits using his blaster after being blinded.
  • Tygra in ThunderCats (2011) uses a laser pistol in tandem with his signature whip.

    Real Life 
  • This was the standard for European troops from the mid 16th to early 19th centuries:
    • European gunpowder infantry in the 15th to 17th centuries all carried a musket/arquebus and a sword, popular variants including the sidesword, broadsword, rapier, saber, and arming sword. The musket/arquebus was almost always a matchlock, though early flintlock mechanisms were infrequently used since the mid 16th century. The cavalry on the other hand carried a sword, multiple flintlock or wheellock pistols, and possibly a carbine, lance, and/or axe. After the invention and quick spread of the socket bayonet, swords were mostly restricted to the cavalry, the infantry by and large deciding that bayonets were adequate enough that carrying a separate melee weapon was unnecessary (exception: throughout the 18th century and well into the early 19th it was expected that grenadiers, officers, and sergeants would still carry a sword to use in addition to their bayonets).
    • When the arquebus was first invented, pikemen were supposed to support the gunpowder units, which were separate from them. Halberdiers or troops armed with similar weapons (e.g. billhooks, greatswords) would supplement the pikemen in the "push of pike" while the pike would keep the cavalry and melee infantry off of the gunmen. Gunmen could engage in hand-to-hand combat with their swords, but if they did, this was usually a sign that something had gone wrong. But pikemen became progressively less important as guns got more common and advanced; whereas the late 15th century wars had firearms troops comprising only 10% of armies on average, by the time of the Thirty Years' War the proportion varied from 50% to 70% depending on the country and year. The death knell for purely melee infantry was the invention of the socket bayonet combined with the profileration of the flintlock musket (which effectively tripled the musketeer's firing rate); the pike element was dropped entirely by the early 18th century, as what both sides were holding were basically short spears that fired stuff. The Nine Years War (1688-1697) was the final confirmation of this in the minds of contemporary military thinkers, as units armed solely with muskets and bayonets actually fended off cavalry better than those armed with both muskets and pikes.
  • All modern real life examples should include a caveat. This trope is about characters who are both swordsmen and riflemen, not guys who "swing a lead pipe because they're out of ammo." It is quickly becoming a Dead Horse Trope in the real world because modern weapons make hand to hand fighting extremely rare – of course, there are exceptions, such as when the British Army performed a successful bayonet charge against the Taliban, but they're far from the norm. Thus, in almost all cases, the use of any hand weapon is a case of either extremely strange circumstances or simple desperation. Elite commando units may occasionally train in using entrenching tools, knives, and tomahawks, but this is very secondary to shooting. Infantrymen practice bayonet drills in basic training/boot camp primarily because it teaches aggression, confidence, and that "I'm gonna gut you" mentality that an infantryman's life may depend on. After initial training, bayonet drills are far less common than time at the shooting range or battle drills with rifles and heavy armaments. Most close quarters battle training focuses learning to clear rooms quickly, on shooting quickly and accurately, prioritizing targets and controlling fields of fire, and on responding to a chaotic urban environment where targets can pop up at any range from two feet to two hundred yards or more. There usually is no time and no reason to switch to a hand weapon in this kind of environment. Unarmed combat training is more common, but the goal is usually to get an enemy off a soldier so the soldier can just shoot them.
  • The Highland Charge was developed to give Scottish armies an edge against better equipped and better trained armies in this way. The enemy line could be broken up and their morale shattered while the Scots were just getting started with their new one-handed claymores. Against armies who held ranks they tended to get massacred though. In fact, the dreaded Highland Charge helped lead to the development of the socket bayonet, which unlike the previous plug bayonet, fit over the barrel of the musket and allowed it to shoot and stab all at once. Therefore, the English units were able to enter the battle with already fixed bayonets instead of having to equip them while a horde of screaming Scotsman with BFS bore down on them. The swords of this period were one-handed light swords similar to a later broadsword. It was certainly not the claymore most people envision when they hear the word. By the 17th century, gunpowder had completely dominated the battlefield and any heavy infantry with full armor and a BFS was a relic waiting to be slaughtered. The charge relied on a light targe, a broadsword or dirk, momentum, and a movement which left the English infantry helpless just long enough for them to be cut down.
    • The Highland Charge was a practical shock tactic of closing to roughly twenty yards, firing a volley, then dropping one's firearm. The follow-through then followed up with sword/dirk and targe. The attacker would drop to a knee or stoop just outside the range of the bayonet, use the targe to come up and knock the musket off to his left, and with the same motion spring forward and kill his defenseless target with his sword or dirk. The man with the musket had absolutely no time to bring his musket back around to stop his attacker. If he had a hand weapon (which he usually didn't), he had no time to draw it. He could not retreat to make space, since he was part of a battle line and someone was right behind him. The English were fed several devastating defeats in this manner. The English eventually created a defense which shut down the charge for good and was even more badass than the charge itself. First, the above-mentioned socket bayonet meant a unit could always have its bayonets mounted. There was no time to fiddle around with plug bayonets. Each man, finding his bayonet knocked to the right (the charger's left), would forgo his own defense and instead stab the exposed side of the man to his front-right, similar to how pawns in chess attack. He would then be helpless to defend himself and would have to rely on the man to his left to protect him, just as he protected the man to his right. The discipline a formation of soldiers would need to have each man forgo personal defense and put his life in someone else's courage is simply mind-boggling.
  • Early Russian musketeers would use a two-handed battle-axe called a bardiche as their melee reserve weapon, and as a gun rest to steady their aim.
  • As soon as guns made it to Japan, the Samurai became Musketeers. Miyamoto Musashi's famous Book of Five Rings covers the importance of the gun and of using it well as an essential part of a samurai's training. Guns saw heavy action in the Sengoku Jidai period before the unification of Japan under the Tokugawa shogunate. The Battle of Nagashino is the most famous example of what happened to those who didn't see the writing on the wall, where already-common firearms were used by Oda Nobunaga from behind wooden fences in rotation to deliver devastating fire that destroyed Takeda Katsuyori's cavalry. During the Imjin War, Korean accounts mention the samurai both for their devastating gunfire (the Koreans having no equivalent corps of musketeers) and their swordsmanship, as many a battle was ended by volley fire followed by a melee charge. These tactics were less successful against the Koreans' Chinese allies, who showed up with their own arquebuses (albeit not as well-utilized as the Japanaese) plus lots of heavy cavalry and cannons.
  • As the numerous modern examples make clear, the Musketeer has largely vanished from the battlefield in favor of the pure rifleman. It seems plausible that the trope is now more relevant to the civilian world, where carrying a firearm at the ready is considered unacceptable and any attacks will probably come by surprise. This is becoming more commonly stressed by trainers, who are finally branching out from the old pigeonholes of "shooting", "martial arts", etc, and addressing the need for a more well-rounded skillset. This is not uniform, of course, and there are abundant martial arts schools and firearm training ranges that work exclusively with one form of defense or another.
    • Note that this is not limited to civilian self-defense. Police officers are encouraged to be able to defend themselves with Mace, a Taser, or a nightstick as well as with a conventional firearm, at least in the United States. Not all take advantage of the opportunity, of course. Private security guards for armored cars sometimes carry a pistol in the cab of the truck and Mace cans on their person, and SWAT teams may issue both truncheons and submachine guns.