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Old November 27, 2012, 12:41 AM   #23
Bill Carson
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Join Date: September 20, 2012
Posts: 29
need to make a correction on my thread of Nov.25 8:07. The wheelock in the nra is from the Alden family, not Brewster, my mistake. there is an English gun maker cost sheet dated 1631, describing wheelocks, snaphunce and matchlocks and there accouterments. I don't understand the monetary conversion though. its in a book, 'The Age of Firearms' by Robert Held 1957 #56-8764. while wheelocks had mechanical issues, they were well suited for hunting and use on horseback. nobility hunting in eruope only needed to fire a few shots per hunt. becuse the wheelock has no hammer to fall and the wheel runs through the priming pan, the sparks are generated in the priming powder. the ignition is so fast the priming charge is still a light as the ball is leaving the muzzle. calvery in the late 16th and 17th century carried braces of wheelock pistols and were used as shock troops. here, they fired their pistols into the opposing line to break it up, then road off. in europe, both civilian and military wheelocks were maintained by military articifers or skilled gunsmiths on retainer by the noble huntsman. not so in colonial America. before leaving the 17th century and wheelocks here's something of interest. in 1645 Peter Kaltoff built 100 wheelock magazine repeaters. they were issued to picked marksmen of the royal danish foot guard. they saw heavy use in the scandinavian war of 1675-79. these rifled guns were 38 cal. and held 30 rounds worth of powder and ball held in tubes in the stock. the trigger guard operated a series of square valves, gears and cams that moved powder and ball to the breech/chamber. also it used the same gears to wind the wheel and dispense priming powder from a seperate magazine in the dog(thats the appendage that holds the pryrite). this was all accomplished by tilting the muzzle downward and swinging the trigger guard horizontally half a turn out and back. modern arms scholars believe these guns could be fired as rapidly as a henry rifle. though no one in modern time has tried this. Kalthoff also made these military repeaters in miquelet and flintlock, these were made in 1667 and in 52 cal. none of these ever saw use in the Americas. but in 1756 John Cookson of Boston was making 20 shot flintlock repeaters. there is a advertisement for them in the april 1756 edition of the boston gazette with a full description of there capabilities. there is one of the boston made cookson repeaters in the vault of the Milwaukee Public museum. its frame is cracked and there's a split in the barrel, but the mechanics of it still work. having working the action on this one, I do believe it could fire nearly as fast as a henry! how cool would that be to bring out to the range, I mean one that was sound to shoot. as always, hope you found this informative.B.C.
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