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Old November 25, 2012, 09:07 PM   #19
Bill Carson
Join Date: September 20, 2012
Posts: 29
good topic. there's a good account of the firearms actually used by the plymouth adventureist writen by Capt.Miles Standish. on Dec 8th,1620, a group of colonist landed at what became known as wellfleet bay. a skirmish broke out immediately with local natives. in Standish's account, he says they used their snaphunce muskets to hold the savages at bay while members of the landing party ran back to the shallop(landing boat) to bring up the extra matchlock muskets left in the shallop. he also states that every man be equiped with a musket sword and corslet. corslet is a period term for light armor. edged weapons were also brought along, halberds, pikes, broad swords, rapiers. nothing dealing with the prilgrims at this time mentions pistols, other than those carried by M.Standish. detail study indicats they may have been scottish snaphunces pistols. there is no mention of wheelocks. in coloinal america it seems wheelocks don't show up in arms inventories much past the 1620s. having used wheelocks, I can understand why colonists would be reluctant to have them. cost is a big factor. then as now,there is a limit to how many times they can be consecutively fired. the best I ever did was 12 shots befor the wheel jammed up. priming powder residue and pryrite debre lodge between the wheel and lock plate making the wheel unspanable or slowing it down till it won't give fire . finally, the high maintenance, the chain drive stretches and breaks, sears wear down not allowing the wheel to hold. ect. not to mention losing the spanner. without this tool the wheelock is useless. it is what is used to wind the lock. by the way, they only wind a quarter of a turn. as for the wheelock in the nra museum, its Italian 1630-1650s and it is from the work shops of Brescia. supposably restocked in america oak. the stock style is classified as a club butt. this style didn't appear untill the 1660s. while the gun may have been used in colonial times it was probably much later in the 17th century. perhaps by Brewster's decendants, hence starting the story. I digress, hope this helps answer your question.
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