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Merge'm. Definitely a duplicate article where a REDIRECT would suffice. -- Randall Bart 10:09, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Delete all...[edit]

Delete entire Wheel lock article and page, say I. The article on Wheellock is now very complete, and there is really nothing in Wheel lock that is worth adding - in fact, there is much that is untrue or faulty in it (although I have tried to correct a lot of it). Nick Michael 18:33, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Wheel lock[edit]

This article was written by me in response to a feature request. I will not sumbit that there where that many errors in it (sprial springs will be one however) there would not be enough in the article to require a separate page. I would support a simple redirect to Wheellock and be done with this. Tirronan 19:57, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

When will Wheel lock get its redirect?[edit]

This discussion has been open for nearly six weeks now (the 'normal' delay is one week). Can an admin please do the necessary (or is it down to editors?? Nick Michael 21:56, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Any editor can do a merge and redirect. The content should be checked and added, but I'll dump it on the talk page for now, and the regular editors of this article can decide what to do with it. Carcharoth 11:18, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Material from wheel lock[edit]

Here is the material from wheel lock to be merged here:

For the term in steering, see Wheel lock (steering).
Wheel lock rifle, from around 1680 to 1690.

The wheel lock was a component of early firearms, and was used before the invention of the flintlock. The wheel lock was an improvement to the existing matchlock firearm, which had previously been in use. The matchlock firearm relied upon a slow match (i.e.: a piece of cord soaked in some form of nitrate that burned slowly), and it had several problems. First, that having any form of fire around black powder is undesirable. Second, that the smoke and smell given off by the match could give away the operator's presence and position. Third, the match could be next to impossible to light in fog or rain.

The wheel lock worked by using a V-spring. A roughened steel wheel was attached to the spring. The spring was tensioned with a spanner that fitted a square shaft in the center of the wheel lock. When the spring was tensioned, pulling the trigger caused the wheel to rotate at speed. A shower of sparks would then be sprayed into the priming pan from a flint or pyrites held strongly against the rim of the wheel, and ignite the black powder. Ignition of the powder in the barrel of the firearm was via the small hole or "vent" drilled into the barrel next to the priming pan.

While a major advance on the match lock, wheel locks were expensive and fragile. The wheel lock was the precursor to the more robust flint lock firearm, which would dominate battlefields for the next two hundred years.


1 and 2

Moved here by Carcharoth 11:26, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Merging of the above material[edit]

I'm going to merge the picture for now. The disambiguation hatnote can also be added. The rest of it needs more care to double-check whether the material is already there or not. Carcharoth 11:32, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Talk page discussion from Talk:Wheel lock[edit]

Article duplicates Wheellock and should be merged. Should never have reached the "featured requests" slot.

I authored this article as a response to a featured request. I happen to agree with the thought however looking at the Wheellock article there are more than a few things to be fixed in that article 1st. The history section is complete crap Tirronan 16:53, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Moved here by Carcharoth 11:30, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Illustration Request[edit]

I can tell how carefully someone went through and explained the workings of this firearm, but a diagram would make it MUCH easier to follow. Any volunteers? Jouster  (whisper) 17:23, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

I am happy to have contributed the description of the wheellock mechanism - and I couldn't agree more with you: a diagram is very much called for. Unfortunately I am quite incapable of producing such a thing and remain frustrated! Let's hope some knowledgable enthusiast answers your call... Nick Michael 20:35, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Done: see the photo of the interior of a wheellock with parts labelled. Nick Michael (talk) 14:52, 1 May 2009 (UTC)


Wait, who got assassinated? Henry I, Duke of Guise, or Francis, Duke of Guise? [1] Can someone find a copy of Ms. Jardine's reference work? Jouster  (whisper) 23:22, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

History source and impact[edit]

This site: [Source] has the source of parts of this article. This other site [Thomas F. Arnold] talks about the impact of this gun. Agre22 (talk) 01:35, 25 September 2009 (UTC)agre22

Numbers produced[edit]

I wonder at the quote "However, there is no record that wheel-lock firearms were ever made in large quantities for military purposes." (Robinson, Ernest Herbert. Rifles and ammunition and rifle shooting, Funk & Wagnalls company, 1915, pg.14.). The armory in Graz currently displays eleven shelves of wheellock pistols at 320 pistols each. They are mainly from Nuremberg and of 16th century "Puffer" and later, more compact build. Additionally, they have four racks with long wheellock guns, at maybe 50 guns each. My point: I think, large quantities for military purposes must have been manufactured, this being only the current display of surviving pieces in this particular armory. Also, military relevant quantities in the 17th century amounted to no more than "thousands of pieces". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Robert Grau 1 (talkcontribs) 16:50, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

The difficulty probably hinges on the semantics of what 'large quantities' means. 'Large' quantities definitely were made if you count hundreds as large. The whole idea of caracoles for instance depends on individual units of from dozens to several hundred mounted men being equipped with two or more wheellock pistols. However these were unlikely to be standardised or the results of a single manufacturing order for issue to whole units; rather more likely to have been ordered in 1 to a few dozen brace of pistols according to circumstance. However, pikes and muskets were made in hundreds to thousands - ie an order of magnitude higher in numbers. The quote that 'there is no record' is probably written by a historian fresh from comparing the Committeh of Safety musket contracts of the American Revolution, or the contractors delivering Short Land Pattern muskets to the Tower. The evidence seems to be that relatively few wheellocks were made in larger batches for individual unit orders or large orders for issue by a town, monarch or state. The preservation issue too reduces the emphasis on munition quality arms - relatively few of those plain guns surviving to have marks examined and provenance graphed.
Just my opinion, that you are right, but the choice of wording reflects a difference in viewpoint between you and me, reading that text, as against the wide knowledge of the people that wrote it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by ChrisPer (talkcontribs) 06:22, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Actually this quote is from a 1915 general book on rifles and rifle shooting. Its clear that this is a very general statement in a broad context of marksmanship with mass produced arms as a strategic force, during WW1. I have replaced it as the Brookner book on Graz has actual production and ordering history for one armoury and is far more relevant. ChrisPer (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 08:17, 30 November 2010 (UTC).

Added references[edit]

I have the Foley paper on PDF about Leonardo and the manufacture of the wheel and pan of a wheellock as an implementation of turning and milling - its excellent. Also just acquired the Brookner book on Landeszeughaus Graz, Austria: Wheellock Collection. Excellent! Graeme Rimer, Wheellock Firearms of the Royal Armouries, Royal Armouries, 2001, 64p. is very valuable particularly for its detailed sketches of the lock mechanism.

Haven't found the Blair or Marco papers yet, they are referred to in Foley.

ChrisPer (talk) 05:39, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Editing Needed[edit]

The first note at the top of this article page states that the “article needs additional citations for verification.” There are only six cited sources under the reference section of which three are books and three are articles. The history section references five of the sources. Needless to say, the article is indeed lacking sources. The article itself is a very short, broad overview of the wheel-lock mechanism. It begins with a brief description of the lock, and then continues with four, very brief and confusing explanations of four components of the lock. Next, it adds two brief and confusing sections about the operation of the lock. The next section is supposed to be the ‘History’ of the lock, but it is extremely short. It only contains nine sentences. The last, brief section is liberally labeled ‘Features’, which contains a mixture of comparisons, features, and production and reliability history. There are only two external links which are very limited in scope. Overall, because the writing attempts to explain the operations of the lock without good, detailed illustrations, the article is only useful as a very basic explanation of the lock mechanism. The ‘History’ section is so short as to be almost non-existent. The first source that is cited is a twenty-nine page scholarly article, but only two sentences reference it. This section must be expanded. By itself, the first cited article could provide several paragraphs of relevant history. The four pictures provided are very nice, but none of them actually show the wheel of the wheel-lock. Some detailed illustrations or drawings need to be added to clarify the operation of the mechanism. In my opinion, the entire article is in need of a major overhaul. The writing needs much editing. The technical explanations need to be written in clearer language and combined with detailed illustrations. The ‘History’ section needs to be re-written and greatly expanded. Additional scholarly sources need to be included throughout the article. The extreme complexity of the mechanism needs to be explained in detail, to which the article only hints. HIST406-11pbrown19 (talk) 23:28, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

Excellent.. so what are you waiting for? Nick Michael (talk) 06:41, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
HIST406-11pbrown19, having read your contribution at Cylinder (firearms) I can see you know of what you write. However, I fearfully must disagree. This article as written and illustrated mostly by Nick Michael is short and clear. It is of a suitable length and verbosity to suit most Wikipedia users. It is in my opinion clearer and more comprehensive, and more clearly illustrated, on the mechanism's workings than the vast majority of books describing it, whether the many coffee-table books or the more considered histories of firearms. There is no doubt it can be improved but it is un-encyclopedic to bring it to the standard expected of a patent specification, which would make the article totally opaque to any but the most, er, EXACTING reader.
With regard to the referencing, the tag should be removed. The addition of some good references has provided excellent further reading, though more and more careful tie to the page numbers of the text would be very welcome I suggest that the topic is not so contentious that a referencing war is anticipated to break out here. (I see someone has slapped one under the ref list without a template - clearly not your style!)
Nevertheless I would LOVE to see the article as good as you describe, being an enthusiast for the wheellock myself - provided the the simplicity and accessibility for the ordinary person is maintained in the introduction. ChrisPer (talk) 00:01, 28 January 2012 (UTC)