Originally Posted by rickystl
Interesting pistol. I note the lock does not have the reinforcing arm that connects the pan to the frizzen. A feature common on locks especially prior to about 1730. Of course it could also have been reused.
Rick, I agree in general. However, this feature came into fashion at different times in Europe. It appeared early in countries like France and England, and there sooner on higher quality locks. However, gunmakers in more conservative areas like Italy and the German-speaking lands weren't sold on the idea, almost to the end of the flintlock era. When was the last time you saw a Jágerbüchse with a lock featuring a frizzen bridle? Or any Italian flintlock or snaphaunce with this element?
The idea behind having a bridle on the pan was to have a two-point support for the frizzen pivot screw, ostensibly for the purpose of preventing misalignment of the frizzen/pan cover unit on the pan in case the screw got bent from the gun being dropped, or from excessive friction wear. However, having handled a good number of well-made German and Italian guns, even those showing signs of considerable use, I've never encountered a bent screw or so much wear that the frizzen got off kilter. The design of the locks was suitably robust, and proper fit and hardening of the parts would ensure a long functional life especially considering that the pressure exerted by the frizzen spring was not that strong.