Are there any good books that focus on matchlock firearms?

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Timuni

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Hello all,
It seems there's at least some literature out there dedicated specifically to flintlock or percussion guns (as an example the book 'Percussion Pistols and Revolvers: History, Performance, and Practical Use' by Johnny Bates and Mike Cumpston), yet I'm having a hard time tracking down any reading material that's dedicated to matchlock firearms. My preference is for European or "western" pieces, but I'm not averse to reading about examples from other parts of the world. Maybe some folks here know of a good book that I've missed?
 

Darto

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and the revised edition:

I think flintlocks take the last 10 pages or so just to show what replaced the firelocks, before that nothing but earlier guns for a couple hundred pages. The illustrations are all period (not modern), so woodcuts . Large format. A fun book.
 

Darto

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It's more of a coffee table book. Was popular years ago, the Stackpole 8.5x11 inch paperbacks looked like half as thick as a phone book and were on racks in many sporting goods stores. You won't learn how to operate the guns, nor classify them. Just sort of a light hearted hobbyist look at them. Not great for information. Was all that most people could learn from back before the internet. Even most large public libraries did not have books covering pre flintlocks back then.
 

Rudyard

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While I know of non specifically on shooting & performance from matchlock & early arms beyound Held's usefull book there are articles written on making matchcord & use of tree fungus which is what went into the small curculer serpentine like holders on some target (mostly) matchlocks . There are disitations written on shooting the matchlock & Wheellocks (Ive written some myself ). And the MLAIC International shooters are no doubt well up on this target aspect in modern times .I know of no contempory accounts but since matchlocks had a long life as part of shooting matches (competitions ) there might be some original accounts in some language .. a gentle name of Ulrich something wrote & videoed shooting hand cannon, and a very old Gun Digest had an account of using period gun powder in early arms giving his findings . But other than my own article I could send to a E mail address (PM me).I cant help further but should have my own & Brer Ulricks articles in back issues of ' Black Powder' the news letter of the M L A G B. hope that helps .
Regards Rudyard
 

Cattywompuss

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Not entirely about muzzleloaders, much less with a focus on matchlocks, but W.W. Greener's "The Gun" is a must read. It's probably in the 50th edition or something insane, but it is excellent and covers development of the gun from beginning to er... Greener's end.
 

Darto

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From Musket to Metallic Cartridge by Flatnes is too expensive but pretty good. But it has very little on preflintlocks. Which can be seen using Amazon's peek inside feature to see the table of contents.

Thanks for the suggested Greener book, I had never heard of that one.

Indian made matchlocks, anyone?

When I was a kid I saw Held's book on a rack the local sporting goods store

and decided I wanted my first gun to be a matchlock, and it was. I did every kind of thing with that gun, even deer hunting. I had to not light the match until ready to shoot (animals could smell the smoke).

In the old days before quick fire starters they had to keep them lit. On both ends so if the smoldering fire went out, they could touch the two ends together to relight. Which is why there were so many steps in military reloading drills (for safety carrying a double ended lit match in your hands while reloading).
 

Sam squanch

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I’m not sure smoke would spook a deer. I know plenty of guys who shot deer while puffing on a pipe or cigar.
 

Rudyard

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While a devotee of matchlocks. I much doubt the smoke is any worse than you the hunter, any hunter not just you .I have a few times hunted with matchlocks I lit the match only if expecting a shot imminently (pre 1640 1840 high plains Bic! ) But slowly yet hot slow burning coals are possible . Despite what Coffee table book experts repeat you Can shoot flying even driven birds with a suitable 12 bore matchlock We used to let the public have a shot at clays on the occasion of big Country 'Game Fairs' common with big country Houses like in my case Chatsworth in Derbyshire '.Driven' means passing directly over head the flash shield seemingly held the priming long enough to fire reliably . held straight up' over the belt' . I hunted deer & goats with a snap matchlock 54 cal rifled , Just adds to the challenge .
Rudyard
 

JCKelly

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The very best information on old matchlocks is on the site www,vikingsword.com Search for anything by "matchlock" He is deceased now. Forget his given name, something like Tromler.
You may have to log in a couple weeks before they accept you.
 

Rudyard

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Mr Tromner is dead but Viking sword site comes up ok .
Rudyard
 

Rudyard

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I’ve smelled a few hunters that were worse than a burning match cord......
Roger that . I'de be one of them, when your pack gets slick with your swet you know you've been covering ground . No one sits in trees in NZ . Except Opossums maybe
Cheers Rudyard
 

Canute Rex

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Making good match is the tricky part. Look on this site for that. I and others have posted directions about that.

A matchlock shoots like a flintlock *except* your hold needs to be backwards. With a flintlock you need "follow through"; the ability to stay motionless for half a second after you pull the trigger, because of lock time. With a matchlock you need "lead in"; the ability to remain motionless for the half second or so that you are lowering the match. Once the match goes behind the flash guard the ignition will surprise you and the ball will be gone before you can flinch.

Otherwise you load it like a flintlock of the same caliber.

Handling the match and priming is tricky, though. Hm. Maybe I should write a book about it, or at least a pamphlet.
 

Rudyard

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Making good match is the tricky part. Look on this site for that. I and others have posted directions about that.

A matchlock shoots like a flintlock *except* your hold needs to be backwards. With a flintlock you need "follow through"; the ability to stay motionless for half a second after you pull the trigger, because of lock time. With a matchlock you need "lead in"; the ability to remain motionless for the half second or so that you are lowering the match. Once the match goes behind the flash guard the ignition will surprise you and the ball will be gone before you can flinch.

Otherwise you load it like a flintlock of the same caliber.

Handling the match and priming is tricky, though. Hm. Maybe I should write a book about it, or at least a pamphlet.
Yes you should though your'e thinking 'common' locks. The' snap 'matchlocks these are much more instantainiousness . The' Mary Rose' type & others'at Ancrum moor saw these as military options .. All good stuff .Felt Wads pics Ive sent will show a Petronel part on its more complete now .
Regards Rudyard
 

FishDFly

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You might send a note to The Log Cabin Shop or to Dixie, both have a large selection of books.
 

rickystl

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Anyone got a pattern for a snaplock?'I feel that urge to start a bildun!
Do you mean a snapping matchlock ? Or a so-called early type snaplock (flint) mechanism from the same period ?

Rick
 

Rudyard

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Dear Lawrence . like Rick says Matchlock or flint sort ?. Ive posted on the one on the Flask post which pics starts with ' I bought this flask from, a junk shop' that series of posts . But Felt Wad kindly ran them from pics I sent him as due to my E ineptitude to sent him to post . There are more to follow it was about flasks & horns but included four matchlocks inc the part finished Petronel cum Hockey stick.
Cheers Rudyard ' Virtuoso on the concert snap matchlock ! ' (I wish)
 
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