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Old 9th April 2012, 12:28 PM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310

Now here are my two early large and heavy wrought-iron barrels, the smaller ca. 1450, the larger with the smaller but pronouncedly molded touch hole ca. 1480.
Originally they were probably parts of a large multi-barrel gun arrangement, possibly a rotating roundel designed to fire in all directions. As we know from various sources of period artwork they were widely in use during the 15th century.

The older and smaller barrel is 36.6 cm long and has an irregular 'bore' of ca. 34.2 cm, weighing 9 kg;
the heavy guy is 36.6 cm long, has inner barrel walls of very irregular diameter, ca. 35.8 x 37.2 cm, which were formed by forging and coarsely 'folding' the barrel around a core; it weighs more than 16 kg.
Of course these 'bores' could not receive balls of standard or 'fitting' caliber; they had to be loaded with shot, most probably consisting of a number of smaller balls packed in a linen sack.

The smaller barrel is struck over the breech with some interesting Gothic-cypher like devices, possibly a pseudo-date struck by an illiterate smith or a numbering, a cross symbol and three circles, while the larger barrel is struck with a Gothic minuscule P mark, possibly that of the famous Peter Pögl, who worked for the armories of the then King Maximilian.

Best, Michael
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