The following table indicates which were the principal weapons in use in each period throughout Russian history. Return to main page Russian armor.

Historical period and battles


Cold Weapons

Defensive armament

Fire Weapons


X - XI Cent.

907 - Campaign of Oleg to Byzantium;

865 - 975 Wars of Svyatoslav with Khazars, Bolgars and Pechenegs

Cavalry: Princely druzhina;

Infantry: town and rural pop.

Mech ; topor

saber; nozh

Shlem ;

kol'chuga, almond shape shield

Bow and arrow;

XII Cent.

Campaign against Polovetsi - 1185 Campaign Svyatoslav Vsyevolodovich;

1187 Campaign Igor Svyatoslavich

Cavalry: princely druzhina, mounted town and rural pop.;

Infantry: foot town and rural population

Saber; kop'ya ;

mech ; topor;




Helmet with barmitsa; kol'chuga; round and almond shield

Bow and arrow;

XIII Cent.

Alexander Nevski victories

1240 - over Swedes;

1242 - over Teutonic Knights


Cavalry: princely druzhina, mounted town and rural pop.;

Infantry: town and rural pop.

Mech ;

kop'ya; topor; rogatina; nozh; oslop

Helmet with barmitsa; kol'chuga, kuyak; round and almond shields

Bow and arrow; arbalest (crossbow)

XIV Cent.

Battle with Mongols - Dmitri Donskoi;

1378 at Vozhye; 1380 at Kulikova field; 1382 Siege of Moscow by Toktamish

Cavalry: princely druzhina, mounted town and rural pop.; Infantry: town and rural pop., Moscow posadski people

Saber; kop'ya; mech; konchar;


rogatina; nozh

Helmet (shlem - shishak) with barmitsa, kol'chuga; baidana; kuyak; round shield; moskovskii

Bow and arrow, drota; crossbow arbalest

XV Cent.

Battle for unification of state -

1480 Akhmat Khan at Oka River

Cavalry: pomestniki; mounted pososhnie; Infantry: poshchal'niki; pososhnie people; artillery: pushkari

Saber, kop'ya; shestoper ; toporka; klyevtsa; rogatina; nozh

Helmet (shlem- shishak) with barmitsa; kol'chuga; pantsir; baidana; shapka bumazhna, tyegilyai; shchit

Bow and arow; drotika; pishchal (wheellock) fitil'nii

XVI Cent.

1st half:

1514 Campaign to Smolensk; 1524 & 1530 first campaigns to Kazan

Cavalry pomestniki: boyari; dvoryani; mounted pososhnie and datochnii people; cossacks;

Infantry: pishchalniki, pososhnie and datochnii people; cossacks;

Artillery: pushkari, kuznetsi, plotniki

Saber; kop'ya; kisten; rogatina; topor; shestoper; nozh; klevtsa

Helmet (shlem-shishak); shapka zheleznaya (iron), myedniye (copper), bumazhni (paper); kol'chuga, baidana; tyegilyai; narucha; zertsalo; nakolyennika

Bow and arrow; drotika; pishchal-ruchnitsa; fitil'nii

Pishchal- pushka iron; bronze, great pushka; mortir; pishchal in fortress or (zatinnia)

XVI Cent.

2nd half:

1552 Capture Kazan; 1552 - 1558 Livonian War

Cavalry (pomestnik): Moscow and town dvoryani; zhil'tsi; deti boyarski; Tatar princes and murzi; town cossacks; mounted datochni people; mounted strel'tsy;

Infantry: strel'tsy; foot cossacks and datochni people; Artillery: pushkari; kuznetsi; plotniki

Saber; kop'ya; shestoper; klyevtsa; toporki; kistena; berdish; rogatina; nozh; topor

Helmet shlem - shishak with naushnikami; shapka iron, bronze, paper; misurka; pantsir; baidana; kol'chuga; iushman; bakhterets; nakolyennika; zertsalo; naruchi; tyegilyai;

Bow and arrow; drotika; pishchal ruchnitsa; fitilina; postol; karabina kremlina

XVII Cent.

1st Qtr.

Destruction Polish intervention

People's militia (horse & foot)

Saber; kop'ya; Rogatina; berdish; toporka;

shestoper; klyevtsa; nozh

Helmet (shlem-shishak); epikhonka; shapka iron, bronze, paper; misurka; pantsir; kol'chuga; baindana; naruchi; zertsalo; nakolenniki;

Bow and arrow; drotika; pishchal; fitil'nii; pistol and karabina kremnev'i

XVII Cent.

2nd Qtr.

Polish Campaign

Conquest of Ukraine

Pomestie cavalry: boyars; Moscow and town dvoryani; zhil'tsi; deti boyarski;

pozharskii princes and murzi, Cossack horse; strel'tsy;

New order horse: dragoons; reitari; Infantry: strel'tsy; New order foot: soldati; kopyeishchiki (pikemen);

Artillery: pushkari

Composition of forces the same, but added to new order horse is hussars

Saber; kop'ya; rogatina; berdish; shpaga

Without change; hussar armed with sabers and kop'ya

Same as in first quarter, in addition reitari shishaki; lati (pikemen helmet)

No change:

Bow and arrow; drotika; pistolet; karabina; pishchali; mushket; pishchali fitil'ni; and kremnevii; mushketi and pishchali

No change

XVII Cent.

4th Qtr.

Crimean Campaigns

No change

No change

No change

No change

No change


1st Qtr.

1700- 1720

Great Northern War

1709 Poltava

1714 naval battle at Hangut

Infantry: mushketerski regt.; grenadirskii company, but later regt.; Cavalry: dragoon; Artillery: field regimental, siege, fortress; Irregular forces: cossacks

Shpaga; protazan; alebard; pikeman kop'ya; palash; cossack pike

Defensive armor was abolished by Peter I

Fusil with bagineta (bayonet) from 1700 to 1708; fusil with shtik (bayonet) from 1708; hand mortar; pistol

Iron guns - field in 12, 8, and 6 fitil'ni pushka; mortars in 1 and 2 pud; siege and fortress pushka of 24 funtov, mortir of 5 pud


2nd Qtr.

1735- 1739

Russo-Turkish war;

771- 1773

Russo-Turkish war

Infantry: musketer and grenadier regt.; Cavalry: dragoon; curiassir; Irregular troops: Cossacks

Shpaga: spontoon; hussar saber; Cossack pike

Curiass (chest)

Infantry fusil; pistol; dragoon fusil; pistol; musket; carbine

Artillery in caliber the same as in 1st qwarter, but bronze with the exception of naval which continued to be made of iron


3rd Qtr.

1756- 1762

Seven Years' War

1 Aug. 1759 Engagement at Kunersdorf;

28 Sept 1760 Battle of Berlin;

1773- 784

Russo-Turkish war

10 May 1773 Capture of Turtuka by Suvorov

Infantry: musketer, jager;

Cavalry: dragoon, caribiner, curiassir, hussar;

Irregular horse: cossack;

Engineer troops

Shpaga; half-saber; espontoon; palash; hussar saber; cossack saber; kop'ya; cossack pike

Curiass (chest)

Infantry fusil; Dragoon fusil; pistol; carbine; cavalry musket; pistol; jager shtutsyer (rifle)

Artillery the same as in 2nd quarter, but again made howitzer and "edinorogi"


4th Qtr.

1787- 1791 Russo-Turkish War

1798- 1799 Expedition in Mediterranean Sea

1799 War with France Italian campaign of Suvorov

Infantry: musketer, jager;

Cavalry: dragoon, carabiner, curiassir, hussar; Irregular horse: cossack;

Engineer troops

Shpaga; half-saber; espontoon; dragoon saber; hussar saber; dragoon palash; kop'ya; cossack pike

Curiass (chest)

No change

No change

XIX Cent.

1st Qtr.

1808- 1814 Russo-French War;

2 Aug 1812 Borodino Battle

Infantry: musketeer, grenadier, naval, jager, carabineri regts.;

Cavalry: curiassir, dragoon, hussar, mounted-jager, ulan regts.;

Artillery and engineer units:

Irregular forces: cossacks and national (ethnic)

Shpaga with krivii klinka (half-saber); palash; saber; ulan pike (lance); cossack pike; tesak krivii

Curiass (chest and back)

Artillery weapons 1805 system: 12 funtov cannon, 1/2 pudov "edinorogi"; 6 funtov pushka; 1/4 pudov "edinorogi"

XIX Cent.

2nd Qtr.

1828- 1829

Russo-Turkish war

Infantry: guards, grenadier, naval infantry, jager regts.;

Cavalry: curiassir, mounted-jager, dragoon, hussar, ulan regts.; Engineer forces; artillery; irregular units: cossacks, national (ethnic) units

Spaga, half-saber; tesak; palash; saber; cossack pike; ulan lance; shashka

Curiass (chest and back)

No change

XIX Cent. 3rd Qtr.

1852-1855 Crimean war

Defense of Sevastopol

Infantry: guards, infantry, naval regts.; rifle battalions and then regts.;

Cavalry: dragoon, curiassir, hussar, ulan regts.; Engineer troops; Irregular horse: cossacks, national units

Spaga; tesak; half-saber; saber; shashka; cavalry palash; naval palash; cossack pike; ulan lance

Curiass kept as a parade uniform

Hand held

Artillery of 1867 model

XIX Cent

4th Qtr.

1877- 1878

Russo-Turkish war

No change

No change

No change

Vintovki (rifles): Baranov model 1869; Krnka model 1869; Berdan 1, model 1868; Berdan 2, model 1870

No change

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