Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Black Powder and Primitive Weapons

Any other wheellock owners here?

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Soupbone, I don't think they were faster or more reliable. They just happened to appear sooner than flintlocks on the market. Actualy first flintlocks appeared by the end of 16th century, much like wheellocks. But the first designs were really less reliable and too complicated, so they weren't nearly as popular as the wheellock (also complicated, but working). The early flintlocks got some more attention in Netherlands, also England, as well as Scandinavia. Dutch gunsmiths were then invited to Russia, where their early flintlocks also became quite popular. Meanwhile, the rest of Europe mainly used primitive matchlock for army muskets and the more expensive wheellock was generaly used for cavalry guns, also hunting rifles and generaly, it was a lock for the rich :)
During the 30years war, the popularity of flintlock slowly raised and it's design was enhanced, but it never replaced matchlocks and wheellocks. It's time came in the second half of 17th century and ever since that. That's when the classic lock developed, also known as the "French type" - that's the one you see on most 18th-19th century flintlocks.
As for reliability and other attributes: wheellock can be very reliable or a total crap to shoot. The stone must be observed carefuly and replaced/moved/turned often (as far as my experience goes). Some people use regular flint, others prefer pyrite. Most of the stones I used won't go reliably past 10-15 shots. Then I usually try to turn or move them in the cock, trying to make them contact the wheel at different angle and such. Flintlocks can take more than that (with good stone, bad one may crack easily), but I think it's much more difficult to knap a good flintlock stone. Wheellock is happy with nearly any piece of flint you give it, once it has some sharp edge (sure, well-made flints work more reliably and last longer). One of the big benefits of wheellock is that it's the most "calm" lock among all other ones. There's no cock, no hammer that falls during the ignition, ruining your aim. If fires from "inaction"  position, when the cock with flint is pressed against the wheel. Then the wheel turns and (hopefully) gets you some sparks by grinding on the flint (yes, it's much like a huge Zippo). This was the reason why the wheellock survived long into the flintlock era on luxurious hunting and target guns.

My main reenacting (or rather living history) era really is the 30years war, though I don't do the classic musketeer/pikeman army. Our group does the cossack infantry. That's right, cossacks did also come into that war, partially as help fom the Polish king (who also ruled Ukraine by then....not knowing he's gonna lose it couple years later) for hs catholic allies, partially as mercenaries looking for job. In the 17th century, cossacks were actualy known more for their infantry than cavalry (as you know them later). Also did great job as raiders and pirates at the Black Sea, raiding Turkish and Tatar lands. They were very strange and unique bunch of folks...a little island of freedom in the royal Europe then. They were not just an army, yet not a nation either. I guess you could call them the first gunmen association that really stood their ground :)) They only obeyed the king and not even he was ever sure about their loyalty (especialy whenever he - or the nobility -  tried to touch their freedom) and there were several cossack uprisings over the years. The one we're also interested in (though it had little to do with our Czech history) and also the most important one started just by the end of 30years war. Led by Bogdan Khmelnitsky (, this uprising grew into a regular war and ended up with Ukraine torn away from Polish empire, joining...well...joining Russia. But it seemed smart at first...

I've been wanting a flintlock for a long time. It never occurred to me there are readily available reproduction wheellocks. :popcorn:

You can choose from there if you have the money they ask you can see, their aseembled lock made of castings costs more than I pay for a whole gun here :)


--- Quote from: Knecht on August 28, 2013, 05:38:47 AM ---
You can choose from there if you have the money they ask you can see, their aseembled lock made of castings costs more than I pay for a whole gun here :)

--- End quote ---

As I said...let me know and I'll get you a cheaper one...won't be fast (the guy makes them just as hobby), but will be working and better made. Perhaps shipping just a separate lock should be super legal and you can get a stock and barrel from your local sources. I think the lock could cost about $300


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