Originally Posted by Philip
Not only is there no half-cock detent in the tumbler, there appears to be no functioning lockplate safety pawl on the outside of the lockplate as is typical on several earlier Portuguese locks -- the molinhas, the horse-neck or pescoço de cavalo, and the half-Portuguese half-French or meio à portuguesa e meio à francesa systems in particular. On the trade-gun flintlock we are discussing there appears an oblong projection from the plate just ahead of the cock -- I haven't examined one of these locks in a long time but as I recall it doesn't swivel so that it can't perform the function of the "Portuguese brake" on the above-mentioned locks, and would therefore be just a stylistic flourish.
When I was in high school I saw a film about tribal life in equatorial Africa (this was in the 1960s, pre-Kalashnikov era), and a local hunter had a Belgian-type halfstock trade gun with a conventional percussion cap lock. Pretty basic gear, the lead balls weren't remotely spherical, and when he loaded the gun and carried it around, he gently lowered the hammer onto the capped nipple and let it be until he was ready to cock and fire. If this was traditional practice in the culture-sphere, maybe that's why a half-cock detent was considered superfluous! (by the way, he missed a coke bottle on a stick at less than 20 paces...)