E'ery Pirate worth his salt has a pistol! Many Crews in the Caribbean would expect ye to have at least one before even letting you join their ranks. As professional pirates we arrrselves have made functioning n' non-firing replica flintlock pistols n' rifles, knowin' full well ye may not need to storm the deck of Spanish Galleon with live ammunition!
Non-Firing Replicas be a permitted weapon prop among folk at Pirate Conventions n' Festivals, or any festivities ye may be attendin'. They also be available in a variety o' materials that be more cost-effective such as plastics n' light woods, or more authentic n' rugged with heavier metals n' woods.
The Flintlock system came into use in the early 17th Century after evolving from the Wheellock n' Matchlock mechanisms. The basic principle o' the Flintlock revolves around a piece o' flint clasped in the "Hammer" striking a tiny steel plate called the "Frizzen" to create a spark. The spark would then ignite black powder n' fire the round in the gun's barrel.
Pistols themselves would see common usage among the military n' civilians alike, n' came in a variety o' shapes n' sizes. The smallest bein' 6 inches and the larger measurin' up to 20 inches to compensate!
Blackpowder weapons were obviously a great tool to have, but they were also tricky to use. Moisture or worn pieces of flint frequently lead to misfires. Even with preventative measures in place if ye were in humid regions ye were screwed! On the other end of the spectrum a pistol could be triggered easily n' a pirate could spontaneously shoot off a round!
To fire the weapon ye would also fully cock the mechanism by pulling the hammer all the way back, a half-cocked pistol was considered a safety measure while also being prepared for action. The only problem with that was that the hammer could still drop n' fire the weapon, Causin' a pirate to "go off half-cocked." Today that be the popular expression to express goin' off prematurely! http://bit.ly/2nk0iT6