Wednesday, March 15, 2017

How to Fire a Matchlock Musket

In a follow up to last week's post on the wheellock I provide some links to show how the matchlock works. 

The matchlock was the principle firing mechanism for muskets from about 1450 to 1700. Despite being in common use for a longer period than the flintlock firing mechanism, people are more familiar with the flintlock. While part of this is due to the flintlock being used throughout the 18th and early 19th century and especially in the American Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic Wars, but part of it is also due to a lot of movies using flintlock weapons anachronistically instead of the matchlocks or in the case of pistols, wheellocks.

History of the Gun - Part 2: The Matchlock from the "History of the Gun" online video series produced by Ruger and hosted by Senior Editor of Guns & Ammo Garry James. Part 2 examines the Matchlock. This is a clear explanation and demonstration of the matchlock. His loading and firing takes about 45 seconds.

Demonstration of a 1611 Matchlock Musket: Historical Interpreter John Pagano presents a detailed presentation and demonstration of DeGeyn's Manual of Arms for the early 17th century Matchlock Musket. This is a longer demonstration that also discusses the gear that the musketeer is wearing.

Matchlock and wheellock firing according to authentic French 17th century regulation. This video is especially nice. We see two matchlocks: a musket and a carbine loaded, fired, reloaded, and fired a  second time so that the entire sequence can be seen (and timed). Commands are given by an "officer" who is armed with a wheellock pistol. He also loads (much more quickly) and fires his pistol along with his men.

How to fire a Matchlock musket - English Heritage Event (1643 patent matchlock musket). This is a clear and short explanation of the matchlock.

From Matchlock to Flintlock: A clear, succinct explanation of the matchlock and flintlock firing mechanisms. Unfortunately, no smoke or fire in the video though.

And as a bonus...that's how you fire a blunderbuss: from Smith's Castle Rhode Island. And another blunderbuss from Triggers. This shows the blunderbuss fired in super slow motion so you can actually see the balls hit the target.

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