The wheellock pistol is so-named because it relies on the wheellock mechanism, which is similar in concept to a modern day cigarette lighter, although more complex. The pistol had a smoothbore barrel and a shorter wooden handle than other pistols of the time.
- Range: 25 yards
- Weight: 3.5 lbs
- Ammo: .50 ball
- Wood and steel
The wheellock was an ignition system designed after the matchlock in the late 16th century. Although the cost of manufacturing and complexity of the wheellock slowed its widespread adoption, it was a more reliable mechanism than the matchlock and was suitable for cavalry. The mechanism was supplanted by simpler designs such as the English lock (doglock) that were later refined into the flintlock mechanism. The wheellock mechanism is actually faster firing than it's flintlock predecessors, but its complexity made it unreliable under the rigors of campaign. Wheellock mechanisms were made for sport rifles through the 18th and early 19th centuries because of their shorter ignition time. The misfire of the wheellock is between 15%-10% chance depending on maintenance.
The design of Wheellocks allowed lighter muskets to be made; including the first carbines and thus, the first Calvary-Musketeers.