The matchlock was the first firearm ever invented.
The matchlock was invented in the mid 15 th century.
The first illustration of the matchlock was in 1475 in Austria.
A Primer on firearms, from matchlock to flintlock . (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://blindkat.hegewisch.net/pirates/matchlock.jpg&imgrefurl=http://blindkat.hegewisch.net/pirates/primerW.html&usg=__71zOP8duJC5-R8swgYNnEki1iMo=&h=311&w=408&sz=15&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=wRvzDWWuzruYAM:&tbnh=134&tbnw=198&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dthe%2Bfirst%2Bmatchlock%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Dactive%26biw%3D1003%26bih%3D558%26tbs%3Disch:10%2C3&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=137&vpy=210&dur=671&hovh=196&hovw=257&tx=119&ty=82&ei=mq6HTMupI4fCnAe3_LnADg&oei=mq6HTMupI4fCnAe3_LnADg&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=13&ved=1t:429,r:4,s:0&biw=1003&bih=558&safe=active
How the Matchlock Works
When you pull the trigger, the burning end of the match is pressed into the priming powder, shooting the gun.
Pros: First gun ever introduced.
Cons: Wick was easily extinguished by rain. Dangerous around gunpowder. Wick burns out eventually. Slow reload.
Early Guns: Wheel Lock
The Wheel Lock first appeared in 1517.
It was an updated version of the Matchlock.
It was invented in Germany.
Leonardo da Vinci drew diagrams of a similar device.
The wheel lock works much like a cigarette lighter. A spring, connected to the steel wheel, is wound by a crank. Pulling the trigger releases the spring, spinning the wheel against a flint. Sparks fall onto the priming, lighting the powder.
Pros: More reliable and less dangerous than the Matchlock.
Cons: Slow reload. Heavy. Mechanism breaks down. Parts wear out. Hand winding the spring became tiresome.
Early Guns: Flint-Lock
The Flint-Lock was invented in London in the early seventeenth century.
Ezekiel Baker from London invented the shotgun, which was an example of a Flint-Lock.
Some Flint-Locks had rifling, which is a swirled pattern inside the barrel, which improves accuracy.
When the Flint-Lock’s trigger is released, the tension of the spring’s tension causes the flint to fly forward. The flint strikes a steel object, giving off sparks into a pan of gun powder to begin the ignition.
Pros: Rifling introduced, You can cock it like some of today’s pistols.
Cons: flint and springs wear out or break, slow reload and number of shots limited to number of barrels.
Cartridges and Magazines
The Breech Loading Percussion Paper Cartridge combined paper cartridges and percussion caps. They were introduced in the mid-nineteenth century.
Also invented at the same time were Breech Loading Percussion Metallic Cartridges.
Cartridges and Magazines http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rifle_cartridge_comparison.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:9mm_pistol_magazine.jpg
Cartridge and Magazine Guns
A cartridge gun is a single shot gun.
Cartridge guns are still used today.
Magazine guns use a magazine full of bullets, which inserts a new bullet after the previous one has been fired.
Cartridge and Magazine Guns http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Openboltcropped.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:G36_CMag.jpg
A semi-automatic gun is able to fire each time you pull the trigger without having to cock it.
A famous example of a semi-automatic gun is the M1 carbine.
An automatic gun allows you to fire continuously when you hold the trigger down.
The gun will keep firing until it needs to be reloaded.
The first automatic gun was invented in 1862 by American Richard Gatling.
The automatic didn’t become widely used until the Prohibition Era, when the Thompson 1928A1 was invented.