A common misconception about the Golden Age of Piracy is that all pirates travelled aboard large, heavily-armed warships, such as Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge.


However it was more desirable to travel in small, fast ships that were harder to detect and difficult to catch. Most pirate ships were lightly armed at best. Pirates relied more on their speed, stealth, and experience in hand-to-hand combat.

During this time, a pirate would have carried many types of weapons to defend themselves and plunder booty. Most of these weapons were the same as those used by traditional seafarers of the times and were often stolen from their victims. Some of the more popular weapons used in close combat were flintlock and matchlock rifles and pistols, swords like the small sword, rapier, or cutlass, and the dagger. Once the victim ship was chased down by the pirates they would often use boarding pikes and axes to take over control of the targeted vessel. These weapons were often organized and securely stored in what is called a Floating Armory.