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From Matchlock to M9

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Kleanbore, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    The subject line comes from the title book, From Flintlock to M1, by Joseph W. Shields. Published in 1954, the book covered the history of US military long arms from the dawn of the Republic to that year, and it discussed the development of the T44, which was to become the M24, and of the competing T47, or the FAL.

    I just bought a book about the history of military pistols , US and foreign. Pistols, an Illustrated History of Their Impact by Jeff Kinard, is part of the Weapons and Warfare series.

    It starts with matchlocks, which were obviously particularly unsuited for use by mounted warriors; it goes into flint and steel ignition systems, and the end of chivalry at the hand of early pistols; and it takes us through single shot and revolving percussion guns; through revolvers that used self-contained metallic cartridges; and into the semi-automatic era.

    I came upon it while researching the history of pin-fire revolvers.

    It's a good one for the book shelf.
     
    bannockburn and NIGHTLORD40K like this.
  2. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Unsuited or not match locks and even cannon locks were used by mounted warriors.

    -kBob
     
  3. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Matchlock guns made very poor cavalry weapons.

    The rider had to keep an ignition fire with him while handling and pouring flash powder and powder for the main charge while on horseback I wouldn't want to try that.

    For that reason, most matchlock guns were employed by infantry.

    The development of the wheel lock, which allowed the burning match to be dispensed with, led to the use of pistols by mounted warriors.

    What is a "cannon lock"?
     
  4. kBob

    kBob Member

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    first a cannon lock is what predated the match lock

    A match lock has an actual mechanism, even if it is just a pivoted holder for the slow match.

    a cannon lock is simply a vent in the tube and the firer holds the heat source in a holder in the hand not used to support the tube and places it on the vent by hand with a linstock or wire.

    a good war horse can work with leg and balance commands only so handling a matchlock or cannon lock is no different for a trained mounted warrior and a man on foot.

    There are historical drawings and paintings of mounted men with both cannon lock and match lock guns in use.

    There was a woman locally that did the mounted cowboy scene that was a wonderous thing to watch as she used Single action revolvers in both hands and rode a twisting path between the balloon targets that would be an excellent example of the sort of leg and balance control I mean.

    talk to some horsey folks.

    what the wheel lock gave us was reasonable concealed carry and the flintlock gave us cheaper options

    -kBob
     
  5. kBob

    kBob Member

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    I believe Captain John Smith (Jamestowne fame) used a matchlock pistol in at least one of his duels against Turkish Champions about 1600.

    -kBob
     
  6. FlSwampRat

    FlSwampRat Member

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    We have a pin fire double barrel pistol out for sale and you have no idea how many times I have tried to explain the concept and its place in the history of ignition systems to people. 98% of whom have no clue even after I've explained it, naturally.
     
  7. Heir Kommt Die Sonne

    Heir Kommt Die Sonne Member

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    I do enjoy Pinfire firearms. It's amazing how they were a step ahead, but not too far ahead to make muzzleloaders obsolete. Civil War era, a good number of people ditched their pinfire for a percussion revolver any day of the week.
    Because of their lack of collectors interest, so easy to find. I've had two over the years.
     
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