Last week I went down to Westhampton Massachusetts to see Len Day Sr. and Jr. and pick up my new wheellock. I thought I'd share my joy with you folks. This is a long saga that started with much pipe dreaming. I got kind of obsessed and started looking around for a maker. Of course, the world champion is Bolek, the Polish gunsmith, but he had a wait list years long. Steve, a friend of mine and fellow matchlock shooter had listened patiently to my rambling and that paid off. He was at an event at Fort #4 in Claremont NH and looked over at another sutler and saw a wheellock lock on the table. He asked about it and the sutler, a gunmaker, told him it was a lock made by some Polish guy. Bing! Steve made the connection and I bought the lock. It was a copy of an Italian lock used in the so-called John Alden gun found in Massachusetts. I didn't like that style so I did some research and found a regional Brescian style gun that I liked. I have a Len Day matchlock I like, and he is into wheellocks, so I gave the job to Len and Len. Fast forward a year. Here are photos of the original: The original, from the 1640s, is 43" long with a 32" barrel in about 54 caliber. It has a LOP of only about 10", being a transition cheek stock. There are other similar guns with longer shoulder stocks. I decided that a longer 14" LOP for me would demand a longer barrel for visual balance, so I went with a stock 42" Coleraine octagon-to-round barrel. I wanted to save my overworked shoulder from recoil so I went for 45 caliber. These two things together are problematic in terms of weight. In retrospect I probably should have gone for a 50 or 54 and/or had the barrel shortened to 36" or so. I'll get steadiness and a left arm like Popeye. Here's the new version: I took it out shooting the day I picked it up, but it was about 7 degrees out and fumbling with patch and ball was ridiculous, so I got three shots off. It is heavy (about 10 pounds) but it balances nicely and doesn't waver. The cheek/sighting position is better than you'd think given the stock shape. Len moved the top ridge of the butt to the right a little and the surface is slightly concave. There is essentially zero recoil with 65 grains of 3F. It feels like a 22. The trigger pull is light and the ignition is plenty fast. Now I have the happy labor of finding a ball/patch/powder combination it likes.