FLINTLOCK IGNITION SYSTEM
by Doug Blair
The flintlock system of ignition has endured, in one form or another longer than any other kind of ignition system. It still continues to be used to this day! The flintlock as we know it today, was invented in the 1600's and was the most reliable source of ignition until the Rev. Alexander Forsyth invented the percussion cap in the early 1800's. The long reign of the flintlocks overshadow the the relatively short period of both the percussion and cartridge guns. When the percusson system came out, some of the mountain men changed over but a large number stayed with the flintlocks. They had a good reason for doing so. Some of the early percusson caps were of poor quality and were prone to poor weather conditions. Also they were in short supply in a lot of the areas, but anyone could find a piece of flint when needed. Also if you lost your caps you were "up the creek".