Firearms and Armor

Matchlock Musket (reproduction)

To be added


Wheellock (rifled) carbine

This piece is still being researched.

The wheellock was a reliable, but complicated and expensive means to ignite the main charge in a firearm. The wheellock was used principly by mounted troops on both pistols and carbines.

The provenance of this piece is unknown but it takes the form of the heavily ornamented style used in the mid 1500’s by both soldiers and civilians in Northern Europe. The picture below shows the lock in firing position:

The striker arm, holding a flint, is lowered into the pan which contains fine gunpowder. The edge of the flint rests on a hardened steel wheel with grooves or an abrasive surface. When the trigger is pulled the spring-loaded wheel spins against the flint (much like a modern cigarette lighter) producing a shower of sparks that ignites the fine gunpowder which in turn fires the main charge.

A close-up of the lock shows the wheel spindle (shaft or axle) protruding toward the camera. A spanner (wrench) can be attached to the shaft to wind the spring loaded wheel. An unknown maker’s mark appears below the spindle:

A detail view of the decorative inlay on the stock:

A possible date is engraved in the inlay along the bottom of the stock. It is puzzling to read since the various strokes are of different styles and depths suggesting that it was altered at least once. The only two digits that seem certain are the two sevens.

It was not uncommon for the wheellock barrel to be rifled as is this one. The inside diameter is roughly a half inch making this piece approximately .50 caliber. The tip of the wooden ramrod (likely not original to the piece) can be seen below the barrel:

The stock is hollowed out with a slide cover. This allowed for a compartment to carry extra flints and oiled patches for the ball shot:


Flintlock (firelock) (reproduction)

To be added


This piece is still being researched.

Originally worn as part of a full or three/quarter set of plate armor, by the 1640’s they were often worn alone to protect the (usually) left forearm (the bridle hand) from swordcuts. This application resulted in them occasionally being called “Bridle Guards” (not to be confused with “Bit Guards”).

Earlier armor and helmets were adapted for use during the civil wars so this piece could come from a much earlier period. It would original have had articulated lams covering the fingers and thumb (the attachment rivets above the knuckles are still quite noticeable). They have been lost or possibly removed during it’s active life to accomidate a more flexible heavy glove:

The heavy lams above the forehand are fully articulated to facilitated movement:


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