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Old 25th February 2020, 04:18 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: USA
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Default 16th Century Spanish matchlock part

Greetings all,

I'm an archaeologist working on the 16th century Spanish colonial site of Santa Elena (1566-1587) in the USA. As part of my work, I have been reanalyzing the collection, and came across several matchlock parts that had previously been incorrectly identified. I know that they are part of the lock mechanism, but am at a slight loss as to what to call them, and my research to date has not provided a clear answer. General lock diagrams typically seem to call them a "sear", but in my mind this description does not exactly fit, at least not when considering what the sear is on later style locks. I did see on one diagram that the part was called an "actuating lever". The part is the lever that connects the trigger to the serpentine on the inside of the lock. So, does anyone know if there is a general consensus on what this part is called? Below are two images of the parts. It is interesting to see that three out of the four broke in the same location, where the part is secured to the lock plate. One of the parts also includes part of the trigger.

Thank you!

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Old 26th February 2020, 11:38 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, Heathley.
Let us see if kowledged members have a name for that part. I agree that "sear" doesn't sound contemporary to such devices. I do read that the whole part is called either "match hammer" or, commonly, "serpentine". I wonder if there is a name for the section you show, i mean, in typologic terms. But i know next to nothing of these things.

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Last edited by fernando; 26th February 2020 at 12:22 PM.
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