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19 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Gunpowder history

introduced to Europe in 13th from china

made of 15% charcoal, 10% sulphur, 75% potassium nitrate

Rapid combustion in compressed chamber, not impact sensitive

Smokey until late 19th C.

Early Modern guns?

Smooth bore, not great aim, good for spray shots, muzzle loaded, could be loaded with on large lead ball or multiple smaller ones


in 1500s created grooves in barrel to put a spin on bullets and give better aim

Ball shots

all gunpowder weapons used lead ballshots until 1850s/60s

could be made at home because doesn't have a high melting temp


Earliest guns (1300s) had hot wire shoved into a hole in barrel

Matchlocks in 1400s - touch a fuse to powder sitting in a pan

Wheel lock

made in 1500s

crank a handle, wind up spring, pull trigger, which rotates against iron pyrite chunk to creak spark.

Flint lock

made in early 1600s

priming powder in a pan, frizzen covers pan, trigger throws arm with flint to strike frizzen and creates spark, ignites powder in pan

Gun flints

made by flint knapper (flint is very hard sedimentary rock) have a distinct squarish shape

Caplock guns/percussion caps?

discovered in early 19th C that mercury fulminate explodes with struck sharply, put in little brass caps

popular towards 1830s

place cap over chamber and drop hammer on it, bam. No need for powder, used lead ball with this

Breech loading guns

Don't load from muzzle, load a barrel, replaces muzzle loading guns by 1880s

However First Nations still liked the Flint lock guns



combined bullet with powder, primer in one item

insert in barrel

Pinfire cartridge


early single shot cartridge

had pin in the side of cartridge

Rimfire cartridge

invented 1857

had mercury fulminate primer loose inside base, then powder, then bullet

Hammer hits the rear of the rim of bullet and ignites primer

Centrefire cartridge

made 1870s

has separate little primer built into centre, firing pin hits this to ignite


the size of the cartridge

diameter of the bore of the bullet in hundredths of an inch

Smokeless gunpowder

made end of 19th C

has nitro-cellulose additive

more explosive


for shot gun

hold pellets, form of centrefire cartridge

sizes by guage (larger the gauge number, the smaller it is)

Wheel lock (invented 1500s)

Flintlock (invented 1600s)