Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   Guns From Space? Maybe not! (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=6451)

David 26th May 2008 08:16 PM

Guns From Space? Maybe not!
 
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Hey guys, this isn't my field at all, but i ran across this article and thought some of you might find it interesting.
One thing i found of specific interest to me is that apparently there is a way to determine if something is forged meteoric ore without destroying part of the item. At least according to this article. :shrug:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7414544.stm

fernando 27th May 2008 07:40 PM

Hi David,
I wish the museum curator got frustrated with the fiasco and threw them away, over to this continent :eek: .
I wouldn't mind to keep them, even made with current steel ... the pair of them :cool: .
Fernando

Lew 27th May 2008 08:57 PM

First of all the pistols seem to be of Moroccan origin based on the inlaid spiral silver work motif. Second there is no way you want to make gun barrels from meteoric iron there are too many impurities that would cause the barrel to explode in the users face during use. So maybe these curators need to stop believing in these stories. :shrug:


Lew

fernando 27th May 2008 10:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by LOUIEBLADES
First of all the pistols seem to be of Moroccan origin based on the inlaid spiral silver work motif...


Is that so, Lew? Moroccan ? With such lock and mountings ?:confused:

Fernando

Lew 27th May 2008 10:45 PM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Is that so, Lew? Moroccan ? With such lock and mountings ?:confused:

Fernando


Fernando

Who is to say that these could have been European style pistols that were reworked? I have a Moroccan dagger with the same spiral motif on the scabbard and damascus gun barrels were more often seen on Ottoman and Arabic guns than European ones. Of course clearer pictures would help ;) . If these guns were from Argentina than they could have originally came from Spain or surrounding area tell me how far is Spain from Morocco anyway?

Lew

ward 28th May 2008 12:32 AM

that looks a lot more like european influenced turkish to me

fernando 28th May 2008 12:36 AM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOUIEBLADES
Fernando

Who is to say that these could have been European style pistols that were reworked? I have a Moroccan dagger with the same spiral motif on the scabbard and damascus gun barrels were more often seen on Ottoman and Arabic guns than European ones. Of course clearer pictures would help ;) . If these guns were from Argentina than they could have originally came from Spain or surrounding area tell me how far is Spain from Morocco anyway?

Lew


Well Lew, if you put it that way :shrug:
But let me take this chance to point out where my place is in Portugal :cool:
Fernando

fernando 28th May 2008 12:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ward
that looks a lot more like european influenced turkish to me


More likely ... maybe even European trade parts :)

Lew 28th May 2008 03:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Well Lew, if you put it that way :shrug:
But let me take this chance to point out where my place is in Portugal :cool:
Fernando


Fernando

I know you live in Portugal ;) I was only joking :) .


Lew

fernando 28th May 2008 04:48 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by LOUIEBLADES
Fernando
I know you live in Portugal ;) I was only joking :) .
Lew


I know, i know :cool:
Just couldn't resist to spot my place, when i saw that map :eek: .
Fernando

Jeff Pringle 28th May 2008 05:26 PM

There was a discussion a while back on whether or not you could positively identify meteorite in keris blades, looks like science has caught up with our speculations!
:D :cool:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=2899

kronckew 28th May 2008 06:16 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Well Lew, if you put it that way :shrug:
But let me take this chance to point out where my place is in Portugal :cool:
Fernando


Aha! now i know what that spikey thing is in the other thread, you tie a rope to it and yourself, and drive it into the mountain to keep you from falling off while you tend the grape vines in the douro valley. (i & the then wife spent two weeks driving around northern portugal a few years back, loved it. especially liked staying in small pensions in fortified hilltop villages in the area. she was a vegetarian, so had a bit of trouble with the food, and ate green salads for 2 wks. but i loved it. :) )

fernando 28th May 2008 08:17 PM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
Aha! now i know what that spikey thing is in the other thread, you tie a rope to it and yourself, and drive it into the mountain to keep you from falling off while you tend the grape vines in the douro valley. (i & the then wife spent two weeks driving around northern portugal a few years back, loved it. especially liked staying in small pensions in fortified hilltop villages in the area. she was a vegetarian, so had a bit of trouble with the food, and ate green salads for 2 wks. but i loved it. :) )


Then you must come back ... and visit me at the sea side :) . You may bring Blue and Millie :cool: ; we shall introduced them to my "grandson" Afonso (my daughter's doggy) :eek: .
... And no green salads for them; we can spare some Afonso's dry biscuits ;) .
Fernando

Gonzalo G 30th May 2008 03:17 AM

With all due respect, they look like european pistols to me, though decorated in a moroccan fashion. By the way, spaniards forged (not produced) wootz from India, and made mechanical damascus until mid 19th Century. There is documental evidence of this fact. The style of the pistols, does not reminds me any of the styles seen in North Africa, the Middle East and Turkey. Of course, I can be wrong.
Regards

Gonzalo

David 31st May 2008 12:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Pringle
There was a discussion a while back on whether or not you could positively identify meteorite in keris blades, looks like science has caught up with our speculations!
:D :cool:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=2899

Jeff, thanks for bringing this up. This was what i was most hoping to get into discussion about in this thread. My feeling is that they really have not caught up. I am inclined to believe that what they were able to prove here was not that there is no meteoric ore in these pistols, merely that there is not meteorite from the Campo del Cielo crater in Argentina. By comparing the metals they can find dissimilarities, but i still don't see how they can conclusively state that after going through an intensive forging process of repeated melting, heating and hammering that no meteoric ore was used in these pistols....or that it was. :) :shrug:

Lew 31st May 2008 03:55 PM

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Hi Fernando

I dug this out of my closet. This is an early 20th century or earlier Moroccan/Algerian dagger with the same inset wire design as seen on the pistols.

Lew

Lew 31st May 2008 04:06 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Jeff, thanks for bringing this up. This was what i was most hoping to get into discussion about in this thread. My feeling is that they really have not caught up. I am inclined to believe that what they were able to prove here was not that there is no meteoric ore in these pistols, merely that there is not meteorite from the Campo del Cielo crater in Argentina. By comparing the metals they can find dissimilarities, but i still don't see how they can conclusively state that after going through an intensive forging process of repeated melting, heating and hammering that no meteoric ore was used in these pistols....or that it was. :) :shrug:


David

They might have been looking for Iridium in the gun barrel which can indicate the presence of meteoric metals? Below is a Indian dagger made from meteoric Iron.

Lew

lemmythesmith 31st May 2008 04:45 PM

Hi all! Iridium is present in all meteorites, as are Gallium and Germanium (at least in the ones I've bashed about :D ) so the test would probably be for these elements-none of the above, not meteoric in origin....

A. G. Maisey 31st May 2008 11:41 PM

This business of being able to positively identify material as being of meteoritic origin is something that's been tossed around for years. Going back some time, I contacted a number of metallurgists and academics involved in the investigation of meteorites and put the question to them as to whether it was possible to identify meteoritic material after it had been through the process of fire welding and forging.

I was unable to obtain confirmation of this possibility.

Prior this contact of many people, I had already put the question to Prof Jerzy Piaskowski, the noted Polish historical metallurgist, with whom I have worked in cooperation since about 1988. We exchanged correspondence on this subject for about 12 months, and he could suggest no tests that might prove that something was of meteoritic origin.

In the field of keris construction, where meteoritic material has been used, it is almost certain that it was used in combination with terrestrial ferric material. Any meteoritic material I have worked has similarly been combined with old irons.

The process of fire welding involves raising the temperature of the material to be welded to the level where the surfaces of the pieces of material to be joined together are almost molten.It is the point at which the iron is just short of actually burning. The process burns off impurities such as carbon and after a number of such welds, perhaps as many as ten or twelve, you have good dense material that does not throw off sparks when raised to weld heat and hit.

Now our scientists with their mega-multi-million dollar machine tell us:-

"--- The colossal machine is able to probe matter at the atomic level, giving scientists unique insights into the structure and make-up of materials. -----


"What my neutron beams tell you are where atoms are and what atoms do," said Professor Taylor. "We try to understand at a microscopic level the structure, arrangement and forces that hold materials together."

Crucially, this process is non-destructive.

"Without [ISIS], we'd have to take a hacksaw and cut chunks out of the artifact to look at under the microscope,"

"They were completely different," Dr Godfrey told BBC News. "There were differences in microstructures, there were differences in carbon content, there were differences in chemical composition. ---"



I absolutely believe this. The material that they looked at in the pistols was completely different, because all the impurities had been burnt out during the forging process, and the internal structures of the material had been altered. What the scientists found was material that in no way resembled the original meteoritic material, which is exactly what we would expect after this material had been through the welding and forging process.

With this new machine it is possible to examine material without cutting it and subjecting it to microscopic examination, but it is not possible to claim that this machine can reveal new insights into the material, only that it can reveal similar things to microscopic and other conventional methods of examination, but without damage to the material. If conventional examination cannot confirm material to be of meteoritic origin, after that material has been subjected to the weld/forge process, then it is illogical to believe that this new method of examination can provide such confirmation.

Based upon the information that is provided in the article, I understand that this new method of examination can provide similar information to the information obtained from a conventional examination, and it is able to provide this information without damage to the material.

I rather suspect that neither the people who posed the question, nor the people who answered it had the vaguest idea of the processes that had been used to make the pistols.

fernando 1st June 2008 12:50 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by LOUIEBLADES
Hi Fernando

I dug this out of my closet. This is an early 20th century or earlier Moroccan/Algerian dagger with the same inset wire design as seen on the pistols.

Lew


Impressive ... couldn't be more similar.
Not only the spiral efects but also the waves inside the paralel lines.
Now, are these decors a Moroccan (or Algerian) exclusive or could they, instead of being a localized custom, belong to a general culture ... Muslim, for what counts ?
I guess that firearms are rather more complicated to dissecate their origins than white (edged) arms. They are built with far more components, often each one of them provenant of the most distinct places.
In the other hand, General Alvarez wrote in that letter that the pistols were the first essay on manufacturing arms in Buenos Aires. Maybe manufacturing was a "strong" term and they only assembled them, but obviously some enterprise was taking place there; there is no smoke without fire.
This way the importing of the components was potentially from Spain, even if they were not Spanish ... although obviously not from Morocco, even being a surrounding area ;)
But once in the field of speculation, it could be that the General had the pistols stocks decorated by comission, a custom often used for presentation pieces.
In such case, he might have ordered such fancy work from a Moor :shrug:
Let me stop the nonsense :o
Fernando

Jeff Pringle 2nd June 2008 05:06 PM

Quote:
I rather suspect that neither the people who posed the question, nor the people who answered it had the vaguest idea of the processes that had been used to make the pistols.


Im sure you are right about that, but I still think it can be done. Metallic elements would not be removed during the forging, they are in the steel/iron alloy and would only be lost at the same rate as the steel they are in, so comparing element ratios to detect ET contamination would work for cobalt, iridium, gallium, germanium. And these days, scientists who want to confirm the origin of a material that is probably ET rely on isotope levels and/or ratios. Two of the six cosmogenic radionuclides used for confirmation of off-earth origin are metals, 26aluminum and 10beryllium if they were at elevated levels in the meteoric iron I believe some of that would carry over through the forge welding I know an awful lot about forge welding, but only a little cosmochemistry, so Im at the opposite end of the spectrum from the scientists running the ISIS machine... To really do it right, you would have to make a boatload of meteorite/terrestrial steel samples and take an awful lot of measurements to establish a baseline, and that is the real limiting factor, no grant money to do that part of the investigation! :rolleyes:
;)

A. G. Maisey 3rd June 2008 12:30 AM

I understand what you're saying Jeff, and I do not disagree with you.

I'm not saying that it is not possible to identify material of meteoritic origin.

What I am saying is that I put the question to a number of experts in this field and I could not get a confirmation from any of them that it could be done.

That does not mean it cannot be done, but it does mean that none of these highly knowledgeable people were prepared to say that it could be done.

I'm still not committed on this question.

Jeff Pringle 3rd June 2008 05:52 PM

Agreed, theoretically possible, practically impossible!
:D


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