A flintlock is a mechanical device that is used on a muzzleloading gun.
It uses the sparks created by mechanically striking a piece of flint against a hardened piece of steel to ignite gunpowder in a small reservoir called the pan.
Once ignited, this flaming powder ignites the gun's main charge as flames pass into the barrel through a small hole called the vent.
Under ideal conditions, ignition is nearly instantaneous.
Many factors, such a high winds, rain and relative humidity can affect the performance of a flintlock ignition system.