Types of Muzzleloaders—Matchlocks and Wheel Locks
Matchlocks were developed in the early 1400s. Pulling the trigger causes a lighted wick to drop into a pan of priming powder. The ignited primer ignites the powder inside the barrel.
Wheel Locks replaced the matchlock in the 1500s. Pulling the trigger releases a coiled spring, forcing the rough edges of a steel wheel to spin against a piece of iron pyrite. This creates sparks to ignite the powder in the priming pan, which then ignites the powder inside the barrel.