Author Topic: Any other wheellock owners here?  (Read 10237 times)

Offline Knecht

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Any other wheellock owners here?
« on: August 27, 2013, 04:27:12 AM »
Anyone else here involved in shooting the idiotic genius wheel lock guns?
I've had a carbine since I was 18 and added a pistol lately. Mainly use both at living-history events and battles, but also like to shoot them real, now and then.
Looking for other lost souls that spend their lives tuning the lock and stone to work together.

Also willing to discuss possible use of such guns in survival situations. Bullet casting, making blackpowder and such.

You can see the carbine in slow motion here, I met some guy with hi-speed camera at the range once.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HR015bgU4PQ

Offline TheRetiredRancher

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Re: Any other wheellock owners here?
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2013, 12:32:46 PM »
That is a neat hobby.  I really appreciate the work of art that many wheellocks were.  I have never seen a replica wheel lock that would be affordable to shoot and would never shoot an original if I had one.    I am glad to know that there are a few of you out there.

Offline Knecht

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Re: Any other wheellock owners here?
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2013, 04:41:44 PM »
It's not a problem to get a replica, it's just expensive. Let me know if you have about $600 extra and I'll get you a neat pistol from the guy who made mine. Guess if we used the same method the Indian makers do, it would be easy and legal to ship internationally. Those guys just don't drill the ignition hole and claim the gun to be a decoration, since it obviously can't shoot.
Don't know how your laws are about muzzleloaders though....ours are very easy on them.

Offline soupbone

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Re: Any other wheellock owners here?
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2013, 05:49:45 PM »
Thanks for the video and the information. As I understand, they were faster to fire and more reliable than flintlocks - just a lot more expensive to make and tricky to use. What period do you reenact? I would guess the Thirty Years War, am I close?

soupbone

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Re: Any other wheellock owners here?
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2013, 06:01:39 PM »
Oregon is pretty strict on what type of firearm can be used for hunting during a muzzleloader season.  If it weren't so wet here during many of the seasons that I would be taking advantage of, I'd own one.

Quote
Oregon Regulations"
"Muzzleloader" is any single-barreled (double-barreled shotguns are permissible) long gun meant to be fired from the shoulder and loaded from the muzzle with an open ignition system (cap or flint exposed to the elements) and open or peep sights. Open ignition in-line percussion, sidelock, under-hammer, top-hammer, mule ear percussion, flintlock and wheellock guns are allowed.

They're an awesome piece of work and I would love to get into them at some point, but just don't see the application to justify one yet.

Great vid. . . .  That rifle was only $600?  Beautiful rifle.


Offline Knecht

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Re: Any other wheellock owners here?
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2013, 12:47:45 AM »
Soupbone, I don't think they were faster or more reliable. They just happened to appear sooner than flintlocks on the market. Actualy first flintlocks appeared by the end of 16th century, much like wheellocks. But the first designs were really less reliable and too complicated, so they weren't nearly as popular as the wheellock (also complicated, but working). The early flintlocks got some more attention in Netherlands, also England, as well as Scandinavia. Dutch gunsmiths were then invited to Russia, where their early flintlocks also became quite popular. Meanwhile, the rest of Europe mainly used primitive matchlock for army muskets and the more expensive wheellock was generaly used for cavalry guns, also hunting rifles and generaly, it was a lock for the rich :)
During the 30years war, the popularity of flintlock slowly raised and it's design was enhanced, but it never replaced matchlocks and wheellocks. It's time came in the second half of 17th century and ever since that. That's when the classic lock developed, also known as the "French type" - that's the one you see on most 18th-19th century flintlocks.
As for reliability and other attributes: wheellock can be very reliable or a total crap to shoot. The stone must be observed carefuly and replaced/moved/turned often (as far as my experience goes). Some people use regular flint, others prefer pyrite. Most of the stones I used won't go reliably past 10-15 shots. Then I usually try to turn or move them in the cock, trying to make them contact the wheel at different angle and such. Flintlocks can take more than that (with good stone, bad one may crack easily), but I think it's much more difficult to knap a good flintlock stone. Wheellock is happy with nearly any piece of flint you give it, once it has some sharp edge (sure, well-made flints work more reliably and last longer). One of the big benefits of wheellock is that it's the most "calm" lock among all other ones. There's no cock, no hammer that falls during the ignition, ruining your aim. If fires from "inaction"  position, when the cock with flint is pressed against the wheel. Then the wheel turns and (hopefully) gets you some sparks by grinding on the flint (yes, it's much like a huge Zippo). This was the reason why the wheellock survived long into the flintlock era on luxurious hunting and target guns.

My main reenacting (or rather living history) era really is the 30years war, though I don't do the classic musketeer/pikeman army. Our group does the cossack infantry. That's right, cossacks did also come into that war, partially as help fom the Polish king (who also ruled Ukraine by then....not knowing he's gonna lose it couple years later) for hs catholic allies, partially as mercenaries looking for job. In the 17th century, cossacks were actualy known more for their infantry than cavalry (as you know them later). Also did great job as raiders and pirates at the Black Sea, raiding Turkish and Tatar lands. They were very strange and unique bunch of folks...a little island of freedom in the royal Europe then. They were not just an army, yet not a nation either. I guess you could call them the first gunmen association that really stood their ground :)) They only obeyed the king and not even he was ever sure about their loyalty (especialy whenever he - or the nobility -  tried to touch their freedom) and there were several cossack uprisings over the years. The one we're also interested in (though it had little to do with our Czech history) and also the most important one started just by the end of 30years war. Led by Bogdan Khmelnitsky (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohdan_Khmelnytsky), this uprising grew into a regular war and ended up with Ukraine torn away from Polish empire, joining...well...joining Russia. But it seemed smart at first...

Offline MississippiJarhead

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Re: Any other wheellock owners here?
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2013, 03:16:44 AM »
I've been wanting a flintlock for a long time. It never occurred to me there are readily available reproduction wheellocks. :popcorn:

Offline Knecht

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Re: Any other wheellock owners here?
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2013, 05:38:47 AM »
http://therifleshoppe.com/catalog_pages/wheellocks/wheellocks.htm
You can choose from there if you have the money they ask for...as you can see, their aseembled lock made of castings costs more than I pay for a whole gun here :)

Offline MississippiJarhead

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Re: Any other wheellock owners here?
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2013, 08:34:45 AM »
http://therifleshoppe.com/catalog_pages/wheellocks/wheellocks.htm
You can choose from there if you have the money they ask for...as you can see, their aseembled lock made of castings costs more than I pay for a whole gun here :)
nevermind!

Offline Knecht

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Re: Any other wheellock owners here?
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2013, 09:15:31 AM »
As I said...let me know and I'll get you a cheaper one...won't be fast (the guy makes them just as hobby), but will be working and better made. Perhaps shipping just a separate lock should be super legal and you can get a stock and barrel from your local sources. I think the lock could cost about $300

Offline Mortblanc

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Re: Any other wheellock owners here?
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2013, 09:56:47 AM »
If a wheel lock ever saw use in the hills of Kentucky it was a rare and long forgotten event lost in the mist of time.

My living history concentrates on the flintlock era, which is all the expense I can stand.

http://friendsoffortharrod.com/2013-old-fort-harrod-settlement--raid.htm
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 10:02:39 AM by Mortblanc »

Offline MississippiJarhead

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Re: Any other wheellock owners here?
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2013, 12:00:08 PM »
If a wheel lock ever saw use in the hills of Kentucky it was a rare and long forgotten event lost in the mist of time.

My living history concentrates on the flintlock era, which is all the expense I can stand.

http://friendsoffortharrod.com/2013-old-fort-harrod-settlement--raid.htm
I'm there with you. I like the idea of having a flintlock largely because it's not dependent on primers to function. I think of wheel-locks being something a European aristocrat would have.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: Any other wheellock owners here?
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2013, 12:21:55 PM »
ignorant dude here, explain the difference between flintlock and wheel-lock please.

Offline Mortblanc

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Re: Any other wheellock owners here?
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2013, 01:53:38 PM »
http://www.scotwars.com/equip_firearms2.htm

http://home.insightbb.com/~bspen/flintlockfaq.html

Wheel lock works like a spring loaded Bic lighter.  Was most popular from 1400-1650.  They were a very expensive/delicate tool of the aristocratic and seldom filtered down to the populace.

Flint lock works like a flint and steel striker.  Developed in 1625 and remained in use into the mid 1800s.  Some were still in use in remote areas of Africa, SE Asia, Canada and Alaska into the 20th Century.  The Hudsons Bay Company ordered their last flintlocks just before WW1 started up.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 01:59:14 PM by Mortblanc »

Offline Knecht

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Re: Any other wheellock owners here?
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2013, 04:57:06 PM »
I know I also wrote about the wheel lock being mainly for the rich, yet it doesn't mean it was something unique in Europe and it was impossible to get one unless you were a nobleman or general. Imagine tens of thousands cavalrymen in the 30years war armies. Most of them having two pistols, some also had a wheel lock carbine along. Merchants and craftsmen in the bigger cities also armed themselves with such guns, even bought them for arming the city's militia. On all battlefields, the weapons were looted by locals. I even read about some Swedish general, complaining to the king that his troops aren't getting enough food and trading their swords and pistols for food with local peasants. So, while wheel locks were always more expensive to BUY, the weren't all that big deal to GET. Wheel locks and early flint locks were also very popular among the cossacks. The excavatons of battlefield by Beresteczko only discovered one torso of a match lock, while there were many flintlocks and several wheel locks there.

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Any other wheellock owners here?
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2013, 05:20:27 PM »
     I have a number of flintlocks and a dandy Rev War cannon. I believe prior to the wheel lock mechanism, matchlocks were in use. Similar to a flintlock, but instead of a flint there was a clamp to hold a piece of "slowmatch". This was cotton cord soaked in potassium nitrate and dried. When lit, it smoldered slowly. Pulling the trigger just lowered the glowing ember into the priming pan. I use it for my cannon and of course nobody sells it. I make mine from 100% cotton clothesline (very important, only cotton). At the lawn and garden store I buy Stump Remover granules. This is actually pure potassium nitrate. I make a super-saturated solution in a mason jar of warm water, dissolving granules until no more will dissolve. Soak a length of cord overnight and hang to dry. The potassium nitrate will crystallize in and on the cord. This is not fuse, it smolders at about one inch a minute and is used with a short pole called a linstock to keep you well away from the touch hole when firing.

Offline Knecht

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Re: Any other wheellock owners here?
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2013, 06:18:07 AM »
Sure, matchlocks were used both before and along with wheel locks and early flint locks. They were the main gun of the 30years war infantry.
I never really liked them much, yet one has to admit that a matchlock musket is sort of "17th century AK" - simple, rugged, reliable.


Offline Jim H

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Re: Any other wheellock owners here?
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2014, 01:57:49 PM »
http://therifleshoppe.com/catalog_pages/wheellocks/wheellocks.htm
You can choose from there if you have the money they ask for...as you can see, their aseembled lock made of castings costs more than I pay for a whole gun here :)

Their wheellock pistol is beautiful!

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Any other wheellock owners here?
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2018, 04:28:59 PM »
 Oh, this wheellock tease video is almost to much to bear: https://youtu.be/-YKrmnRFZJQ!

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Any other wheellock owners here?
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2019, 03:36:05 PM »
Oh my...these are gorgeous: https://youtu.be/ldz0AviUYvI