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Old 6th July 2010, 04:06 PM   #13
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default Single balls and shot as earliest ammunition

Attached, among more historical sources of illustration, please find some pictures of earliest balls for handgonnes from my collection, comprising one singular stone ball, diameter ca. 3.6 cm, bearing an old paper strip stating that this ball was found while plowing a field near Regensburg in 1879. The others are of iron or heavily oxidized lead, some consist of cast iron and are covered by a thick layer of lead (probably to save the inner walls of bronze of brass barrels from abrasion), and one is even of brass.

One of the two bigger stone balls was for a larger piece of ordnance, the other being a stone hand grenade with a fuse of some sort of dried grass, the inner tube filled with a mixture of powder and adhesive the burning time of which must have been defined. Thus the thing could be ignited and just dropped from the wall to explode among the raiders below.

Best,
Michael
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