Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
This is an exact replica of an early English snaphaunce lock. The castings were taken from an original lock from a private collection. If my memory serves, the first reference to the snaphaunce lock was from about the 1570's. One difference between this original style, early lock and the latter Moroccan variations, is the extra large proportions of this lock. The lockplate measures just over 9.5 inches long by 1.5" wide. Part of the reason for it's large size may be that back in this period it was easier to forge larger parts than small.
This lock would have been fitted to a gun closely resembling the English matchlocks of the period. Or re-fitted to an existing matchlock.
These snaphaunce locks were made with only a full-cock position. The only "safety" feature being to leave the frizzen (battery) in the forward position, away from the stricking hammer, till the need was anticipated. However, on this lock, there is a clever additional safety feature added. There is a swinging bar on the tail of the lockplate, when positioned rearward, blocks the trigger bar from any movement. This way, the lock/gun could be kept in the full, ready position during transport. Must have been considered a big improvement back then.
Anyway, you can probably see the details in these photos. One of the earliest lock designs to succed the wheellock.