Matchlock

matchlocksDoghead (firearms)gunmatch-lockmatchlock gunmatchlock gunsPischalPishcaltufang
The matchlock was the first mechanism invented to facilitate the firing of a hand-held firearm.wikipedia
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Firearm

small armsfirearmssmall-arms
The matchlock was the first mechanism invented to facilitate the firing of a hand-held firearm.
Further classification may make reference to the type of barrel used (rifled) and to the barrel length (24 inch), to the firing mechanism (e.g. matchlock, wheellock, flintlock, percussion lock), to the design's primary intended use (e.g. hunting rifle), or to the commonly accepted name for a particular variation (e.g. Gatling gun).

Hand cannon

hand cannonsgonnehand-cannon
Before this, firearms (like the hand cannon) had to be fired by applying a lit match (or equivalent) to the priming powder in the flash pan by hand; this had to be done carefully, taking most of the soldier's concentration at the moment of firing, or in some cases required a second soldier to fire the weapon while the first held the weapon steady. Robert Elgood theorizes the Italian army used the arquebus in the 15th century, but this may be a type of hand cannon, not matchlocks with trigger mechanism.
Unlike matchlock firearms it requires direct manual external ignition through a touch hole without any form of firing mechanism.

Gunpowder

black powderpowderblack-powder
Before this, firearms (like the hand cannon) had to be fired by applying a lit match (or equivalent) to the priming powder in the flash pan by hand; this had to be done carefully, taking most of the soldier's concentration at the moment of firing, or in some cases required a second soldier to fire the weapon while the first held the weapon steady.
The matchlock arquebus was first used by the Janissary corps of the Ottoman army in the first half of the 15th century, possibly as early as 1394 but certainly by the 1440s.

Slow match

fuseincendiary waterproof ropematch
The classic matchlock gun held a burning slow match in a clamp at the end of a small curved lever known as the serpentine.
Slow match, also called match cord, is the slow-burning cord or twine fuse used by early gunpowder musketeers, artillerymen, and soldiers to ignite matchlock muskets, cannons, shells, and petards.

Snap matchlock

snap matchlocks
A type of matchlock was developed called the snap matchlock, in which the serpentine was held in firing position by a weak spring, and released by pressing a button, pulling a trigger, or even pulling a short string passing into the mechanism.
The snap matchlock is a type of matchlock mechanism used to ignite early firearms.

Wheellock

wheel-lockwheel lockflint wheel
This was one reason why soldiers in charge of transporting and guarding ammunition were amongst the first to be issued self-igniting guns like the wheellock and snaphance.
It was the next major development in firearms technology after the matchlock and the first self-igniting firearm.

Flash pan

flash in the panpanpriming pan
Before this, firearms (like the hand cannon) had to be fired by applying a lit match (or equivalent) to the priming powder in the flash pan by hand; this had to be done carefully, taking most of the soldier's concentration at the moment of firing, or in some cases required a second soldier to fire the weapon while the first held the weapon steady.
Flash pans are found on gonnes, matchlocks, wheellocks, snaplocks, snaphances, and flintlocks.

Arquebus

arquebusierarquebusiersarquebuses
Robert Elgood theorizes the Italian army used the arquebus in the 15th century, but this may be a type of hand cannon, not matchlocks with trigger mechanism.
The addition of a shoulder stock, priming pan, and matchlock mechanism in the late 15th century turned the arquebus into a handheld firearm and also the first firearm equipped with a trigger.

Military of the Ottoman Empire

Ottoman ArmyOttoman militaryOttoman
The matchlock arquebus began to be used by the Janissary corps of the Ottoman army in the first half of the 15th century, by the 1440s.
The matchlock first began to be used by the Janissary corps in the first half of the 15th century, by the 1440s.

Tanegashima (gun)

tanegashimatanegashima (Japanese matchlock)(''tanegashima'')
In Japan, the first documented introduction of the matchlock, which became known as the tanegashima, was through the Portuguese in 1543.
Tanegashima, most often called in Japanese and sometimes in English hinawajū (火縄銃, "matchlock gun"), was a type of matchlock configured arquebus firearm introduced to Japan through the Portuguese in 1543.

Snaphance

snaphauncesnaphaunces
This was one reason why soldiers in charge of transporting and guarding ammunition were amongst the first to be issued self-igniting guns like the wheellock and snaphance.
(The snaplock had a manually operated pan cover similar to that of the matchlock.

Gun control in China

ChinaChina, Firearms ownership law inChinese used the term "bird-gun" to refer to muskets
The Chinese used the term "bird-gun" to refer to muskets and Turkish muskets may have reached China before Portuguese ones.
During the Ming and Qing dynasties matchlock muskets were used in China.

Flintlock

flintlock musketflintlock pistolflintlocks
It was eventually completely replaced by the flintlock as the foot soldier's main armament.
The term may also apply to a particular form of the mechanism itself, also known as the true flintlock, that was introduced in the early 17th century, and rapidly replaced earlier firearm-ignition technologies, such as the matchlock, the wheellock, and the earlier flintlock mechanisms.

Babur

BabarZahir-ud-din Muhammad BaburBabur Beg
Improved versions of the Ottoman arquebus were transported to India by Babur in 1526.
Babur's early relations with the Ottomans were poor because the Ottoman Sultan Selim I provided his rival Ubaydullah Khan with powerful matchlocks and cannons.

Battle of Tamsui

Tamsui1884 victoryattacked
During the Sino-French War, the Hakka and Aboriginals used their matchlock muskets against the French in the Keelung Campaign and Battle of Tamsui.
Liu Mingchuan took measures to reinforce Tamsui, in the river nine torpedo mines were planted and the entrance was blocked with ballast boats filled with stone which were sunk on September 3, matchlock armed "Hakka hill people" were used to reinforce the mainland Chinese battalion, and around the British Consulate and Customs House at the Red Fort hilltop, Shanghai Arsenal manufactured Krupp guns were used to form an additional battery.

Touch hole

spikedspikespiking
The flash from the primer travelled through the touch hole igniting the main charge of propellant in the gun barrel.

Gun barrel

barrelmuzzlebarrels
The flash from the primer travelled through the touch hole igniting the main charge of propellant in the gun barrel.

Akira Kurosawa

KurosawaKurosawa AkiraAkira Kurosawa Prize
The distinctive smell of burning match-cord was also a giveaway of a musketeer's position (this was used as a plot device by Akira Kurosawa in his movie Seven Samurai).

Seven Samurai

The Seven SamuraiShichinin no samuraiKyuzo
The distinctive smell of burning match-cord was also a giveaway of a musketeer's position (this was used as a plot device by Akira Kurosawa in his movie Seven Samurai).

Janissaries

JanissaryJannisaryJannisaries
The matchlock arquebus began to be used by the Janissary corps of the Ottoman army in the first half of the 15th century, by the 1440s.

Ottoman Empire

OttomanOttomansTurks
The matchlock arquebus began to be used by the Janissary corps of the Ottoman army in the first half of the 15th century, by the 1440s.

Austria

AUTAustrianRepublic of Austria
The idea of a serpentine later appeared in an Austrian manuscript dated to the mid-15th century.

India

Portugal

PortuguesePortuguese RepublicPOR
The matchlock was claimed to have been introduced to China by the Portuguese.

Japan

JPNJapaneseJP
In Japan, the first documented introduction of the matchlock, which became known as the tanegashima, was through the Portuguese in 1543.