Gunflints were part of the firing mechanism of muskets and pistols. Placed in the cock of a firearm, the flints would strike a metal arm, producing a spark to ignite the gunpowder. Gunflints were mass produced in France and England until the late 18th century. Native Americans quickly learned to chip the rectangular pieces of flint, or chert, for their own use and to trade with Europeans. A total of 318 gunflints were found on La Belle; most are the spall variety and were made of dark flint from the Loire Valley of France.
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