The Very First Ignition Systems

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Over the following four centuries, the primary focus in the evolution of projectile weapons was to search for a more realizable and effective way to ignite gunpowder for an effective delivery system. The underlying goal of this research was to find a way to fire rapid shots with improved accuracy.

The very term ‘lock, stock and barrel’ refers to the firearm design that represents three main components of early firearms. The barrel needs no explanation, the stock is a wooden component atop where the barrel is mounted, and the lock is the mechanical contraption used for igniting the gunpowder charge that’s inside the barrel chamber.

The very first gun to combine the lock, stock, and the barrel was made in early 1400s; the Matchlock was ignited using a slow match. The slow match was a chemically treated cord or rope, that once ignited, continued to smolder and burn. It’s apparent that it was really awkward to fire the Matchlock, as the user had to hold both the slow match and the gun, while trying to aim and dip the match in the touch hole.