!!b5IxBuu9REZ 08/28/11(Sun)01:26 No.16090348|
Y'know, balancing firearms without precluding the use of all other forms of armament isn't all that hard, if you think about it. All it really takes is cost, and maintenance, which affects reliability. Here they are, listed from lowest maintenance, lowest cost, to highest maintenance, highest cost.
Matchlock: The most primitive form of firearms. Typically no more than a metal tube with a tiny hole near the breach for manually igniting the powder. Highly cheap and reliable, but matches are prone to going out when you don't want them to. They can also be somewhat awkward to use. Manually lighting a matchlock has nearly 100% reliability, but it is easy for matches to go out, get wet, or water to get into the flashhole.
Flintlock: Easily the most common form firearms, due to its mix of reliability and speed. Powder is ignited by a spring loaded lever dragging a piece of flint across an iron slab, sparks are created that light powder set into a pan, that leads into the main charge in the barrel. About 70% reliable, as sparks may not ignite the charge, or water could seep into the closed flash-pan during travel.
Caplocks: Only slightly more complex than a flintlock, but much more costly to fire. A cap is placed on a nipple over the barrel, when the hammer strikes the cap, it creates a small explosion, which lights the powder in the barrel. These are 90% reliable and have very little room for malfunction, but caps are hard to come by, and are expensive. Caplock guns can easily be manufactured to fire multiple shots by means of a revolving cylinder or a sliding pan, but this increases the chance of water and other things contaminating further shots.
To be continued