View Full Version : Please help identify this old rifle!

June 8, 2012, 02:32 PM
any idea what the soldier in this painting is working on?


June 8, 2012, 03:03 PM
If the soldier in question is a sentry, he could have been armed with anything.

Could be an old match lock, I would be surprised if it were a flintlock as those were very new in 1654 and things were used until they were worn out.

I really doubt it is a wheel lock as those were very expensive and you would not issue something that high guilder to a sentry.

My best guess is an arquebus match lock. That one has an downward hooked butt. In an emergency, I think you turned your arquebus around and used that end as a spiked club.

There were using matchlocks in the English Civil


Some excellent pictures of a military matchlock here



I can't see the hands well enough to know. Maybe he is adjusting the punk or putting a screw back in.

I just love the Dutch paintings from that period.

June 8, 2012, 03:31 PM
He's killing time trying to look busy.:D

June 8, 2012, 03:54 PM
Some things never change ;)

The knowledgebase in this forum never ceases to amaze me--thanks guys

James K
June 8, 2012, 09:54 PM
Slamfire has a good point about economics, but in the heyday of the wheel lock, they were fairly common, since they had advantages over the matchlock. Today's museums have few of the common guns of any type from before the late 18th century; they were not saved just because they were common, plain guns without decoration. The fancy, engraved and gold inlaid guns made for royalty were carefully preserved; the guns used by the hundreds by ordinary soldiers were destroyed in battle or scrapped when they became obsolete.

It seems to me that that rounded area is pretty characteristic of a wheel lock, and there are a number of pictures of wheel locks of the mid to late 1600's that look almost exactly like that.

As to what the soldier is doing, I am not sure he is doing anything; he has the look of a man who has just been through a firefight and is sitting there trying to get a few minutes rest.


June 9, 2012, 10:42 PM
My guess is matchlock, pic. looks kinda like what was issued to english musketeers.

James K
June 10, 2012, 03:32 PM
Sorry, but the round area leaves little doubt that it is a wheel lock. The picture I am attaching shows a wheel lock with the same kind of stock bulge although it is not quite the same in other respects.