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Flintlocks appeared in the late 1600s. Pulling the trigger releases a hammer holding a piece of flint that falls against a steel cover (called the frizzen) sitting over the priming pan. The hammer knocks the cover out of the way, and the collision of flint and steel causes sparks that ignite the powder in the priming pan. This then ignites the powder inside the barrel.

Muzzleloading rifle with parts labeled