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Muzzleloaders > What You Should Know | Introduction | Safety | Types | Equipment | Loading | Field Safety
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Types of Muzzleloaders

Types
Main Features
Limitations
MATCH-LOCK
(14th Century)
  • Used lighted wick to fire priming powder
  • Muzzle-loaded
  • Wick easily extinguished by rain
  • Wick burns out
  • Dangerous around gunpowder
  • Clumsy
  • Slow reload
WHEEL-LOCK
(17th Century)
  • Spring driven wheel rubbed against a flint/iron pyrites to produce sparks
  • Muzzle-loaded
  • Musket and pistol type
  • Spring required hand winding
  • Flint/iron pyrites wears out
  • Mechanism breaks
  • Heavy, slow reload
FLINT-LOCK
(17th Century)
  • Flint snapped against a surface to produce spark
  • Muzzle-loaded
  • Rifling introduced
  • Paper cartridge introduced
  • Flints wear out or break
  • Springs can fail
  • Slow reload
  • Number of shots limited by number of barrels
PERCUSSION CAP
(19th Century)
  • Small explosive metal cap replaced flint
  • More certain of firing
  • Revolving action repeater introduced
  • Slow reload
  • Cap separate from powder and bullet