The army, navy, ship owners, governors, they all buy their arms and ammunition at the Arms Manufacturer in a port. Gamers that like this potentially lucrative business can buy such a business and become masters at it. All arms businesses start as a simple Blacksmith and can be expanded with a Gunsmith, a Gunpowder factory and bunker and a Cannon foundry.
There is a great variety in arms. Edged and pointed weapons such as swords or bayonets are the simplest to produce. Creating fire arms like a musket or pistol requires combining a lock, stock and barrel of different types and materials, all influencing the qualities and price of the weapon. Some metals are more durable, others can handle a greater velocity. Some lock types are more reliable while other are a lot cheaper. Rifled barrels fire slower but more accurately, smoothbore barrels faster but less accurate, a screw breech can have advantages over a muzzle loader.
If you buy a personal fire arm for duelling you might want the best there is. If you buy muskets for your Company of soldiers, a good balance between price and quality might matter. If you want to equip a militia, a low price might matter more than quality. But if you buy someone a gift, exquisite decoration counts for a lot. Only the Arms Manufacturer, aided by a lot of crafting and testing, knows the qualities of the many options.
Cannons can be cast in different metals, all leading to different advantages. But most important are the calibers, ranging from a general 6 to 42 pounds, and some specialist barrels like the 68 pound Carronade and the Long 9. Depending on what their decks can carry, Captains can experiment with different configuration until they have the quality of firepower that suits their style. The type of ammunition used is yet another configuration that can determine fighting styles.
Arms Manufacturers can create a stock supply of weapons and ammunitions to be instantly available for purchase in the shop, trade in second hand weapons and create weaponry to order. For the production they have to recruit, manage and develop specialist staff, make sure resources are available, set up projects for production, collect new weapon designs (patterns) and close lucrative contracts with armies, navies, governments and companies.