A flintlock is a firearm that operates in the following manner:
- The operator loads the gun, usually from the barrel end, with black powder followed by shot or a bullet wrapped in a paper patch, all rammed down with a special rod;
- A hammer tightly holding a shaped bit of flint is cocked;
- The gun is aimed and the trigger pulled, releasing the hammer;
- The flint strikes a piece of steel or iron, producing a spark that is directed into a pan filled with powder;
- The powder ignites, and the flame passes through a small hole in the pan that leads to the firing chamber, igniting the powder there; and
- The gun discharges.