Early Americans relied on firearms in their daily lives. They had many uses, from hunting, to scaring pests away, to self-defense, to sport, and even to militia muster days.
American colonists were familiar with several types of firearms including fowlers, rifles, muskets, and pistols. Each had their own advantages and disadvantages. Some Americans owned multiple types of firearms, or multiple firearms of each type, while others could only afford one firearm and had to choose which worked best for them.
Gunsmiths primarily made flintlocks during the 1700s. These rely on flint striking steel to ignite gunpowder in the pan, which then ignites gunpowder in the barrel, firing the gun. They function poorly in bad weather, as the powder can easily get wet and fail to ignite. However, early Americans would have been accustomed to flintlocks and proficient in their operation. Whatever differences there are in 18th century firearms, they all shared this lock.