Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A cord so attached to the hammer of the lock of a cannon that by pulling it the hammer is made to strike on a percussion primer and so fire the gun.
“These, when in good order, are not apt to fail if the lock-string be properly pulled; as, however, a slight deterioration may interfere with the regularity of salutes, the precaution of dropping a few grains of gunpowder into the vent will be found effectual.”
“The men should be practised at unloaded guns, in placing the primers, both percussion and friction, properly, and in pulling the lock-string so as to insure their explosion, until this very essential knowledge and skill have been perfectly attained.”
“Before firing, he is to throw his hand well up as a signal for the men to "drop tackles," and is to give the word "fire" when he pulls the lock-string.”
“No. 1 puts in the vent-plug, wipes and lays the hammer in place and the lock-string around it, then puts on the lock-cover; sees his gun properly secured, and the implements and spare articles returned to their places.”
“CAPTAIN assists in casting loose and middling breeching; takes off and places amidships sight-covers, selvagee straps, and toggles; handles quoin; provides thumbstalls, priming-wires, and boring-bit, and equips himself with the first two; clears lock-string and lays it in a loose coil round the lock, convenient for use, and buckles on his waist-belt furnished as 1st Captain's.”
“It will occasionally happen, either from carelessness or inattention to the instructions given for the proper manner of pulling the lock-string, that the head of the primer will be crushed without exploding it.”
“The Gun Captain puts in the vent-plug, lays the hammer of the lock in its place, and the lock-string in a coil around it.”
“No. 1 to lock-string; when the object comes in view, Officer of piece gives order.”
“_Saratoga's_ boarding-officer passed along the deck of the _Confiance_ he accidentally ran against a lock-string of one of her starboard guns, [Footnote: A sufficient commentary, by the way, on James 'assertion that the guns of the _Confiance_ had to be fired by matches, as the gun-locks did not fit!] and it went off.”
“The canvas covering was torn off and cast aside, the gun trained, and the lock-string pulled.”
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