24 November 2013 ~ 2 Comments

GGR 095 – Thankfulness & Guns of Early America

Gun Guy Radio 095 - Thankfulness & Guns of Early America

Thoughts on Perspective and Guns of Early American Pilgrims

Welcome to Episode 095 of Gun Guy Radio,—-this is the podcast that shines a positive light on the firearms lifestyle. I’m Your host Jake Challand and this is your weekly dose of positive firearms talk, without the politics.


Firearms Insider Devin has been promoted to Senior Producer.  Changing the format to more of a discussion panel.  Seeking hosts for this new format.  Experience with Handguns, Rifles, Shotguns, Competition, Reloading & Gunsmithing

Email Jake@firearmsradio.tv

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Gun and Gear Review Hosts Needed

Devin Promoted to Senior Producer and we’ll changing the show format

I’m looking for an assistant producer and co-host for Gun Guy Radio. Email me at Jake@firearmsradio.tv of interested.  Must have experience with audio editing, have knowledge of wordpress and of course be a Gun Guy.

Thankfulness: Thoughts for the week of Thanksgiving….

Main Topic: Guns of early America

MayFlower Gun

John Alden’s – Italian Wheel Lock Carbine : 20 year old cooper maker of barrels and casts. Provided for common defense of the Plymouth Colony. Currently Resides in the National Firearms Museum

Type of rifle actions: “Descriptions from Wikipedia

matchlocks:  “The classic European matchlock gun held a burning slow match in a clamp at the end of a small curved lever known as the serpentine. Upon the pulling of a lever (or in later models a trigger) protruding from the bottom of the gun and connected to the serpentine, the clamp dropped down, lowering the smoldering match into the flash pan and igniting the priming powder. The flash from the primer travelled through the touch hole igniting the main charge of propellant in the gun barrel. On release of the lever or trigger, the spring-loaded serpentine would move in reverse to clear the pan. For obvious safety reasons the match would be removed before reloading of the gun. Both ends of the match were usually kept alight in case one end should be accidentally extinguished.”

The matchlock appeared in Europe in the mid-15th century, (The matchlock was obsolete around 1700 in Europe)

wheel locks: (Like a modern cigarette lighter)“The wheellock works by spinning a spring-loaded steel wheel against a piece of pyrite to generate intense sparks which ignited gunpowder in a pan, which flashes through a small touchhole to ignite the main charge in the firearm’s barrel. The pyrite is clamped in vise jaws on a spring-loaded arm (or ‘dog’) which rests on the pan cover. When the trigger is pulled, the pan cover automatically opens, and the wheel spins as the pyrite is pressed into contact.”

Snaphance: “ the snaphance drives a flint onto a steel to create a shower of sparks to ignite the main charge (propellant).”


  • A cock tightly holding a sharp piece of flint is rotated to half-cock, where the sear falls into a safety notch on the tumbler, preventing an accidental discharge.

  • The operator loads the gun, usually from the muzzle end, with black powder from a powder flask, followed by lead shot, a round lead ball, usually wrapped in a piece of paper or a cloth patch, all rammed down with a ramrod that is usually stored on the underside of the barrel. Wadding between the charge and the ball was often used in earlier guns.

  • The flash pan is primed with a small amount of very finely ground gunpowder, and the flashpan lid or frizzen is closed.

  • The gun is now in a “primed and loaded” state, and this is how it would typically be carried while hunting or if going into battle

To fire:

  • The cock is further rotated from half-cock to full-cock, releasing the safety lock on the cock.

  • The gun is leveled and the trigger is pulled, releasing the cock holding the flint.

  • The flint strikes the frizzen, a piece of steel on the priming pan lid, opening it and exposing the priming powder.

  • The contact between flint and frizzen produces a shower of sparks (burning pieces of the metal) that is directed into the gunpowder in the flashpan.

  • The powder ignites, and the flash passes through a small hole in the barrel (called a vent or touchhole) that leads to the combustion chamber where it ignites the main powder charge, and the gun discharges.

The Royal Infantry and Continental Army used paper cartridges to load their weapons.[12] The powder charge and ball were instantly available to the soldier inside this small paper envelope. To load a flintlock weapon using a paper cartridge, a soldier would

  • move the cock to the half-cock position;

  • tear the cartridge open with his teeth;

  • fill the flashpan half-full with powder, directing it toward the vent;

  • close the frizzen to keep the priming charge in the pan;

  • pour the rest of the powder down the muzzle and stuff the cartridge in after it;

  • take out the ramrod and ram the ball and cartridge all the way to the breech;

  • replace the ramrod;

  • shoulder the weapon.

The weapon can then be cocked and fired.

Long guns most often had one of two different firing mechanisms – matchlock or firelock. The

matchlock relied on a smoldering matchcord to ignite the powder, while a firelock used flint and steel.

Matchlocks were less dependable than firelocks. They could not be fired in the rain, for instance,

because moisture dowsed the match.

The flint was clasped in the jaw at the top of the cock. When the flint struck the steel frizzen, the

resulting sparks ignited the powder and fired the pistol. The butt of the pistol has a round knob to

make it easy to grab. A number of pieces are lost from the lock plate, as is the ramrod.

French Indian War & Revolutionary War:

The rate of fire depended on the skill of the soldier, which was typically about 2-3 shots per minute. Smooth bore muskets in general have an accuracy of only about 50 to 100 meters. Military tactics of the period stressed mass volleys and massed bayonet charges, instead of individual marksmanship. Weapons were usually  fired en masse at 50 yards (46 m) to inflict the greatest damage upon the enemy.

Hikok45 FlintLock: http://youtu.be/wz56I4n9O4U

How to load a paper cartridge: http://youtu.be/CqEJRph9km0

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