Which was the best mountain man weapon, the flintlock rifle or the percussion cap? Bill Murray Via Internet

marshall-trimble-ask-the-marshallBoth weapons had their problems. Flintlock shooters worried about clogged port holes next to the pan and getting their priming powder wet. If a mountain man lost his flint, he likely found another one or something else that could make sparks. Mountain men who carried percussion caps worried about running out of caps. Without any caps, the shooter was out of business and could lose both “hoss and beaver.” His topknot could also become a trophy in some warrior’s lodge.

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian. His books include The Arizona Trilogy and Law of the Gun.

If you have a question, write:

Ask the Marshall,

PO Box 8008

Cave Creek, AZ 85327

or email him at marshalltrimble@sccmail.maricopa.edu

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