The Wheel-lock Gun
The next noteworthy improvement in guns was the invention of the wheel-lock (see Fig. 12), in or about 1510. A few of these guns were made with smooth bores, but the larger part of them were rifled, and so part of them were muskets and the others were rifles, though they shot the same kind of bullets.
The wheel-lock was the first gun to do away with the lighted fuse of the matchlock. It was formed of a small steel wheel about 1/8 inch wide and having a milled periphery, or rim; a spring was fastened to the wheel and when the trigger was pulled it released the spring which made the wheel go round.
A bit of flint was fixed over the wheel, and this rubbed against the rough edge of the latter when it turned, thus making a lot of sparks which ignited the powder in the flash-pan and the fire was carried to the barrel. The wheel-lock was slow in operation because it had to be wound nearly every time it was used. It was invented in 1525.
Collins, A. Frederick. Shooting, for Boys,. New York: Moffat, Yard and, 1917. Print.
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