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Old 31st October 2010, 10:09 AM   #64
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 129

Originally Posted by Matchlock
Hi Zwielicht,

The touchhole is on the right hand side of the cartrigde so that its position is within the pan where the ignition takes place, just like on any 'normal' barrel.

As I tried to point out in my thread, for as far as we know from similar 'cartridges' or exchangeable breeches preserved still loaded (I posted one specimen here), we can tell that these insertable devices only contained the powder measure and plug, while the ball was separately shoved into the rear opening of the barrel before inserting and closing the breech shut.

The measurements of the Passau arquebus are:

overall length 107 cm
barrel length 78.9 cm
length of lockplate 35 cm
caliber 1.5 cm
cartridge: length 7.8 cm, outer diameter 2 cm



The chambers or cartidges of breech loading handguns were not loded with powder and plug. The attached photo is taken from an article of Zeitschrift für Historische Waffen und Kostümkunde (Volume 9 of 1922, No.4), a standard work on arms and armour, which should be familiar to any who can read German. The photo shows two chambers of breech loading handguns of the 15th Century in the collection of the Berlin armoury. Both chambers contain the original charge of powder and lead bullet. This is a clear indication that at least chambers of small bore were loaded with a lead bullet, and the bullet was not pushed awkward in the rear of the barrel before inserting the chamber.

Best wishes

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