It's very strangely but information about Tannenberg hangonne is very contradictory. Some sourced says that caliber of is barrel is 14,3 mm, some says that 15 or 16 or even 17,9. Unfortunately it's hard to say exactly what is the shape, diameter and length of the chamber. According to some data diameter of the chamber is 9 mm but some sources says that diameter of chamber is 15 mm. There's information that shape of the chamber is cylindrical but some sources says that chamber have bottle necked shape or cylindrical shape with short partition between chamber and barrel. So, whats the truth?
The German Military Archiv gives the following dimensions of the "Tannenbergbüchse":
Total length 320mm
Length of the bore 272mm
calibre at the bottom of the barrel 16,8mm
calibre at the muzzle 17-17,3mm
Do You know, what is the real shape of chamber of Tannenberg handgonne?
I hope, this will answer your question.
I have this plans and a lot of other but Unfortunately this pictures (top and bottom) contrary to each other. In addition the bottom picture is absolutely incorrect because it shows rear part conical although I know that it is a prism with parallel edges
By the way who can translate on English this text?:
"So reichen die Angaben zum Kaliber von 14,3 mm, bis 17,9 mm, an der Mündung und von 14,6 bis 16,8 mm vor der Kammer. Die Länge des Fluges wurde zwischen 154 und 165 mm angegeben. Der Durchmesser der Kammer reicht von 9,0 bis 15,0 mm bei Pulverraumvolumina von 7,2 bis 13,8 cm³. Der Büchsenlauf der wurde im Gussverfahren aus Bronze hergestellt. Flug und Kammer verlaufen nicht exakt mittig entlang der Längsachse des Rohres. Die Oberfläche der Büchse weist grobe Feilriefen auf, die Flächen sind nicht wirklich symetrisch zueinander ausgeführt. Der Lauf wurde innen nach dem Guss geglättet und Kammer und Flug sind durch eine leichte Verengung geteilt. Die Vertiefung um das Zündloch war ursprüglich nicht als Pulverpfanne ausgearbeitet und entstand möglicherweise beim Gebrauch der Büchse durch Ausgebrennen oder Korrosion. Insgesamt erscheint die Büchse recht nachlässig gearbeitet."
"Gesamtlänge: 320,0 mm
Kaliber: 15,16 mm (nach Wlassaty: 17,2–17,9)
Länge des Laufes: 286,4 mm max.
- davon Seele: 168,4 mm
- davon Kammer: 118,0 mm
Gewicht: 1.235 g
The data concerning the caliber reaches from 14,3mm to 17,9mm at the muzzle and from 14,6 to 16,8mm before the chamber. The length of the flight (the length of the bullet way) is between 154 and 165mm. The diameter of the chamber is from 9,0 to 15,0mm, the powder volume from 7,2 to 13,8cm³.
The barrel was casted from bronze. Flight and chamber are not exactly arranged around the length axis of the pipe.
The surface of the rifle shows some rough traces from a file.
The surfaces are not really symmetrically.
The inside of the barrel was smoothed after casting.
Powder chamber and flight are separated from each other by a slightly contraction.
The cavity around the touch hole was originally no powder pan and was formed during usage by burning and corrosion.
Altogether the rifle seems to be quite careless made.
Total length : 320,0 mm
Caliber: 15,16 mm (according to Wlassaty: 17,2–17,9)
Length of the barrel: 286,4 mm max.
Length of soul (bullet way): 168,4 mm
Powder chamber only: 118,0 mm
Weight: 1.235 g
Oh you found my article on the Thannenberg handgonne on our webpage. I am really not sure which data are the correct ones or at least which will be the most reliable. Normally thinking they should be from Germanisches Nationalmuseum, but it may be possible that the Museum has not re examined the gonne for the data posted on their homepage. So they have not specified where the data for the caliber has been taken (at the nozzel or on the narrowes point right before the chamber?). Many of the differing measurements mentioned in several scientific articles may result from an incorrect conversion of pre metric lenght units stated in the first publication from Hefner, Wolf (1850). Actually the detailed shape and measures of the flight and chamber are still not demermined. Peter Dannecker and Joachim von Wlassaty tried to clarify the data with the Museum in 1980, but without success - and it is still unclear.
Tanks for all who tried to help me. I've contacted with Germanischen Nationalmuseums, Nürnberg and got following answer:
Museum: "Dear Alexander, as the Tannenberg rifle is handmade, it isn't that easy to measure. The length differs between 318 and 320 mm, the diameter of the chamber between 15,9 up to 20 mm. The shape in general is cylindrical, but is has a partition in the middle. Please find a photo attached.
Spiridonov: "Thank You. So, As I understand the real shape inside hangonne is like on this picture variant A but not B"
Museum: "Yes, the shape inside the Tannenberg handgonne is closer to version A than version B. "
The design of the chamber in picture "B" is definitely wrong and has already been contradicted in an article from the museum in the early 20th century. They´ve done a new 3D-computer-analysis of the barrel a few years ago, but unfortunatelly the results have not been published until now.
Maybe it´s the best idea to pick up the measurements given by the museum. They can be found in one of the latest publications containing the oldest clearly datable handguns from Tannenberg, too - the PhD thesis of W. Tittmann (Bochum 2015).
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