A flintlock pistol is a handgun that uses the flintlock system of firing. The flintlock mechanism works by using a spring-loaded striker to strike a piece of flint, creating a spark. This spark ignites a small amount of gunpowder in a priming pan, which in turn fires off the main charge. Flintlock pistols were generally carried by officers, cavalry, sailors, and pirates, and others who needed a weapon lighter than a Flintlock Musket. Like all pistols, the flintlock's light weight was the expense of range, though this was especially pronounced with early pistols such as the flintlock, being most effective extreme close or even point blank range.