Language: Catalan
Source: English speaking collector's vernacular


Miquelet is a Catalan word used to describe irregular mountain fusiliers that were equipped with a distinctive form of snaphance lock. The name was later applied to the locks themselves.

A fine dzeferdar rifle

A fine Dzeferdar rifle with miquelet lock.
Sold by Mandarin Mansion in 2019.

According to Claude Blair, there is no indication that the name was used historically, but in his revised edition of Pollard's History of Firearms, sticks to the term as it is considered a useful distinction nonetheless.2

"The "classic" miquelet lock has an external mainspring, two sears working through the main plate to give respectfully full and half-cock and a combined steel and pan-cover." 3

-Claude Blair, Keeper of Metalwork, Victoria & Albert Museum, 1983

Development and use

The origins of the miquelet are unknown but it probably derived off an early form of snaphance. By the early 17th century the miquelet lock is already fully developed. It was primarily used in Spain, where it remained in use until the beginning of the 19th century. 

The lock was widely used along the entire Mediterranean, including Italy, the Ottoman Empire and the Balkans. As such, it is sometimes also referred to as the "Meditteranean lock".

Miquelet half-cocked

Balkan miquelet lock half cocked


Miquelet full cocked

Balkan miquelet lock full cocked


Miquelet released

Balkan miquelet after being triggered, with pan cover open.


Miquelet lock inside

Balkan miquelet mechanism viewed from the inside.


1. Pollard, History of Firearms, London, First Edition of 1926. Pages 35-36.
2. Claude Blair (Editor); Pollard's History of Firearms, Country Life Books, 1983. Page 70.
3. Ibid. Page 70.

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