Left Handers

Some pistols were made with the lock on the left side of the gun instead of the right. These were known as left handed pistols. The design was not to make it safer or easier to fire the pistol left handed. Virtually any pistol could be fired safely with either hand. The left handed lock had more to do with drawing the pistol with the left hand. Most people tended to wield their sword or cutlass in the right hand which meant that often the left hand became the pistol hand by default. When you tuck a flintlock pistol into a belt it is safer and more comfortable to have the lock facing out. This helps prevents the lock from snagging on clothing as the pistol is drawn. (It also prevents the jagged lock from pressing into your belly.) If you tuck a right handed lock into a belt in a manner suitable for drawing with the left hand, the lock is pressed against the body and this could lead to an accidental firing. Putting the lock on the opposite side solved this problem.