View Full Version : A Break-Action Flintlock Circa 1720

October 12, 2012, 07:45 PM
Bet not to many of you have seen one of these.


More photos and info can be found here:

4V50 Gary
October 12, 2012, 08:12 PM
Nope, haven't seen it. However, guns like this were mentioned in W. W. Greener's book, The Gun and its development.

Note that it is a back-action lock. I examined a French Seven Years' War wall gun that had a back-action.

October 12, 2012, 08:29 PM
Tipping up the barrel automatically primes the flashpan. A cylinder incorporated into the pan rotates into and out of a magazine. The magazine is preloaded with priming powder via a hinged cover located below the pan. In the photo the hinged cover is open.

James K
October 12, 2012, 11:06 PM
Externally primed cartridges were known in the flintlock period and became fairly common in the percussion era, but of course by then were rapidly overtaken by fixed ammunition. That one, though has something I don't think I ever saw or heard of in both using a cartridge and automatically priming the pan. Neat.

The main problem with a cartridge at that time was that the cartridge was steel and did not obturate well, so powder smoke and residue clogged the chamber and soon made the gun inoperable. The use of a powder magazine for automatic priming had been tried repeately, but also had problems. If the fitting was not very close, there was the risk of a spark reaching the magazine, at which point the gun tended to disassemble itself rather rapidly.