HOME OF THE LADY DENMAN - Local history isn't always about the big story - the everyday story of life in the early development of the region can be a fascinating, entertaining and educational journey.

17 December 2013

Flintlock pistol


One of many remarkable items on display from the collection.
When this pistol was developed it was an amazing advance in technology and quickly became the weapon of choice by the navy and pirates. It revolutionalised ship to ship and land based combat.
It was loaded with a metal ball wrapped in a piece of fabric  which was pushed down the barrel with the gun powder then rammed home with a metal rod that you can see in this picture attached to the bottom of the barrel. The hammer was then pulled back (cocked) and the trigger squeezed causing a small spark to be created by the flint held in place by a small grip, this ignited the gunpowder and fired the pistol. As you can imagine the injuries the metal ball would inflict were severe.
Moisture was the main problem stopping the powder from igniting, The hammer was usually pulled back half way (half cocked) in preparation for firing, sometimes this would cause the gun to pre fire which is where the name “going off half cocked” came from.
Video of a pistol being loaded and fired.

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