Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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Via Dixiane 8th June 2019 01:22 PM

Handgonne or not ?
6 Attachment(s)
Hi !

on top of being a collector i do quite a lot of metal detecting in the south of France.

A few days ago i found what i think to be a "handgonne". I found it not far from a ruined tower and a small spanish church in the vicinity of Perpignan in the south of France. The spot is a strategic hilltop in a region where the kingdom of France and the Kingdom of spain fought over centuries.

When i cleaned it, it was packed with remains of black powder. But i can not find a "touch hole".

I read somewhere that some kind of early handgonne had no touch hole and were ignited by the front end of the barrel .

thanks for sharing your knowledge

fernando 8th June 2019 01:39 PM

Welcome to the forum, Via Dixiane :).
I have re-uploaded your images using the forum attachment features and moved your thread to the European section, where members should come around to comment on your curious item.

BUCC_Guy 8th June 2019 11:54 PM

Certainly too small for a handgonne, but not too small to be a signal mortar.

BUCC_Guy 8th June 2019 11:59 PM

Does the bottom have any kind of socket, or what remains of such?

Canít edit my prior post... it takes a while to show up.

fernando 9th June 2019 02:24 PM

Originally Posted by BUCC_Guy
Canít edit my prior post... it takes a while to show up.

Be patient Guy. This is why you are not yet a regular member. Due to forum safety (spam) protocol, beginners posts wait in moderating status, before being validated.

fernando 9th June 2019 02:37 PM

Via, i confess it is new to me that early gonnes might not have a touch hole.
Still this is a mysterious piece. Can you take a picture of it, but not inclined, you know, featuring its actual front look? and give us its measurements (height, width and bore) ?

Pukka Bundook 9th June 2019 02:52 PM

To me, it looks like a breech from an early breech-loader, but why no touchhole I cannot say, unless it is filled with rust and hidden....

Best regards,

fernando 9th June 2019 03:19 PM

A rather reasonable guess, Richard.
But then, a couple things to figure out ...
- Lack of a handle; could it have fallen with time ?
- Its conical format; aren't loading chambers more cylindrical, only tapering in their very end to couple (seal) with the barrel ?
Judging by its outer condition, it sure looks rather early. The bore opening looks perfect, though.
Let us see if a straight front picture and its dimensions enlighten us a bit further.

Via Dixiane 9th June 2019 07:28 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Hi everyone and thanks a lot for your interest.

No socket
240 gr
50 mm length
33 mm diameter
15 mm caliber

Should mention that the spot is also a 1793 battle field

fernando 10th June 2019 12:41 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Amazing; i have seen quite a number of these things, also have a few in my little collection but, this one seems to be atypical, so to say. So small in size and with so small bore for a signal or celebration 'banger'.
Honestly, i wouldn't know what to make of it ... but hopefully other members will.
By the way Via, isn't that a touch hole ? It certainly looks like one :o.


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