Thanks for the info guys!
Got a question.. most of the pictures I've found online of these things seem to be pretty chunky, highly ornate German hunting arms. Were they used for regular military service much at the time? Also, were they used much on this side of the pond for hunting/defense, or were they pretty much obselete by the time the Colonies really got going (1710-ish, as I recall, for the lasting settlements?)
Did wheel-locks ever make it onto what we'd call long rifles today, or were they pretty much confined to muskets, pistols, and whatever you'ld call those smoothbore things in-between in size?
And lastly.. a call for wild speculation. *grin* Had the flinter and snap-haunce not come along, do you think the wheel-lock was advanced/servicable/cheap enough that firearms still would have rose to prominance, or would they have remained a pricey curiosity while most folks held onto their crossbows?
Thanks again for the knowledge -- it's great to hear!