The "Snapping Matchlock" was Europe's first attempt at what might be considered a "modern firearm" by today's standards. That is to say, these crude muskets were the first guns that could be fired with one trigger finger, rather than having to be lit by a separate lever or "linstock" held separately in the shooter's other hand. These guns featured serpentines that could be pulled back into a "cocked" position, and fired with a steady pull on the tiller, without ever having to remove oneself from the weapons sights. This allowed for more accurate shooting and the beginning of the concept of "marksmanship" as we know it today.
This particular piece is brand new and entirely custom built by medieval weapons expert Steve Krolick. Steve hand made every single component of this musket; including the .56 caliber smoothbore barrel. Steve copied this piece from surviving examples made in what is now present day Germany and France.
The stock is walnut, and was painted black; a feature found on many original guns from the period which seems to be an early attempt at rust prevention. The stock features a sliding wooden patchbox; another feature found on some original guns. This compartment was likely used to house a flint and steel striker; or additional match cord.
The barrel features a sight of early sights, and the bore is excellent with no rust or pitting.
The firing mechanism was completely made from scratch by Steve. It is operated by pulling the serpentine to full cock and installing a piece of lit slow match its jaws. The gun is then fired by pulling the integrated tiller with one's trigger finger.
This unique musket is sure to turn heads at any firing range, reenactment or imperialistic conquest!