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Related to matchlock: Wheellock


1. A gunlock in which powder is ignited by a match.
2. A musket having such a gunlock.


1. (Firearms, Gunnery, Ordnance & Artillery) an obsolete type of gunlock igniting the powder by means of a slow match
2. (Firearms, Gunnery, Ordnance & Artillery) a gun having such a lock



1. a gunlock that ignites the charge by a slow match.
2. a gun, usu. a musket, with such a lock.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.matchlock - an early style of musketmatchlock - an early style of musket; a slow-burning wick would be lowered into a hole in the breech to ignite the charge
musket - a muzzle-loading shoulder gun with a long barrel; formerly used by infantrymen
References in classic literature ?
In the interior was displayed a stuffed alligator, a rattlesnake's skin, a bundle of Indian arrows, an old-fashioned matchlock gun, a walking-stick of Governor Winthrop's, a wig of old Cotton Mather's, and a colored print of the Boston massacre.
One-third of it was an old muzzle-loading fowling-piece with ragged rust holes where the nipples should have been; one-third a wirebound matchlock with a worm-eaten stock, and one-third a four-bore flint duck-gun, without a flint.
A double rank of soldiers made their appearance, occupying the whole breadth of the passage, with shouldered matchlocks, and matches burning, so as to present a row of fires in the dusk.
Trophies of blunderbuses, matchlocks, arquebuses, carbines, all kinds of firearms, ancient and modern, were picturesquely interlaced against the walls.
Local tiger elimination schemes ranged from traps to primitive matchlock long arms, but these arrangements were often quite risky.
It had been very difficult to use a matchlock weapon from horseback, so cavalry troops, and indeed civilians of quality, who would have ridden rather than walk from place to place, had not before had a firearm which they could carry loaded and ready to fire, and which could be used with one hand, leaving the other free to control the horse.
The first firearm to be shouldered like a modern rifle was the matchlock, which was introduced the 1400s.
One was handicraft industries, like industrial arts and mass production of matchlock "Tanegashima".
It can have matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap or similar early type of ignition system.
But in the 15th and 16th centuries the situation changed, as foot soldiers equipped first with longbows and crossbows and then with pikes and matchlock guns achieved dominance over mounted troops in cumbersome armor.
9 The native armed guards of Manrique's boat were so inexperienced with their matchlock guns that the pirates approached them on both sides.
The first practical handheld firearm, the matchlock musket, was developed in Europe in the mid-15th century.