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Question of corentin (11.23.2015): Is it possible to find flintlock pistols in working order? Could you also explain their operation? Thank you
Flintlock pistolA: There are still flintlock pistols usable today, provided that they have been properly maintained.

It is possible to buy functional reproductions of the antique weapons for around 230 Euros (for the first price). They are considered weapons of the 8th grade (not subject to the reporting and sellable to adults on presentation of an identity card).

Pirates loaded their flintlock pistols at the last moment before the fight because the sea air moistened the powder and shots might not fire. Loading the gun:

the pirate poured the powder into the barrel and the bucket (pelvis). He then used the floss contained in a box attached to his belt. This floss was essential to stabilize the powder in the bottom of the barrel. He then put on the lead ball and added again to lock the floss.

Under the barrel of the gun there was often a stick to push the floss into the barrel.

The gun was ready to fire. The pirate would back a hammer to cock the gun. The hammer would leave when the pirate pressed the trigger; Flint trapped in the jaws had hit the steel frizzen causing a spark along the trough and the blow fired! Click on the image to enlarge it.
© Photographer: Tina Chambers, Corsairs and Pirates, Gallimard

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