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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 ?
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.
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.
On matchlocks to flintlocks, the priming area is a pan on the side of the barrel for the priming powder.
Lest you mistakenly suppose the desire for a fancy-looking firearm is a new, impractical fit of indulgence among today's crop of irrepressible shooters, allow me to suggest a perusal of vintage firearms ranging from prewar German double rifles to Pennsylvania longrifles to the earliest matchlocks.
Can you also tell me more about the matchlocks and their place in history?
14) It appears that the advasis in their initial attempt were not inclined to surrender the gun and matchlocks which they seized from the Company's forces.
His men were apparently more skilled with their hickory longbows and snares than the Pilgrims were with their smoothbore matchlocks.
Rohlfs, who visited Doulo and Mora in September 1866, states that the Tlikse's 'entire army amounts to some thousand men, including about 100 cavalry and 20-30 armed with matchlocks.
The discussion of matchlocks and wheel locks is particularly instructive, but the absence of any treatment of flintlocks is an unfortunate omission, and entirely belies the "to the Industrial Revolution" reference in the subtitle.
There are Kentucky rifles, carbines, matchlocks, rolling block and numerous percussion long arms and hand guns.