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French Pirate Flintlock Pistol
HISTORY: The first flintlock firing mechanism was created by a French courtier for King Louis XIII, and by 1630 was in use by armies throughout Europe.
Some gunmakers sought to overcome the flintlock's lengthy re-loading process by adding multiple barrels, but multi-barrel models were expensive and couldn't be depended upon to fire reliably, so the most popular usage continued to be a single-barreled flintlock, accompanied by a sword or saber.
The flintlock firing mechanism remained in use for about two hundred years, before the invention of the percussion cap brought its long run to an end. Though the American army ceased to use flintlock muskets by the 1840s, there were still flintlocks in use during the early years of the Civil War by Confederate troops.
Pirates of the 18th Century carried pistols similar to this French flintlock when they went raiding. But given the long reloading time, they often carried several pistols, and the primary weapon was still the cutlass. This non-firing flintlock replica is decorated with a skull and crossbones, making it a great costume piece for Ren Faire pirates, or a wonderful addition to a collection of antique firearms--especially since an original flintlock can easily run several thousand dollars!