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Old 31st July 2014, 02:47 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310

Attached below are photos of the spiked touch holes on the barrels of two guns in my collection.
Both have been illustrated in the attachments to my previous post.

The first one is my singular and highly important Nuremberg cast brass/bronze barreled wall gun (German: doppelter Doppelhaken) of ca. 1515-20.
Of course, that impressive monster cannot be termed an infantry long gun; with its overall length of 2,08 m and a weight of 35 kilos, it actually was a lighter piece of ordnance.

You can clearly see the rusty head of a wrought iron nail the original touch hole was spiked with, and a new and smaller touch hole obviously pierced with a few hammer blows.
Of course, this item was not a portable infantry long arm but a piece of lighter ordnance, and mounted on a tripod or a wheeled carriage, just like the ones depicted in the early 16th c. watercolors attached to the previous post.

For more profound information on this monstrous piece, please refer to my thread:

The other is the Nuremberg founded brass/bronze barrel mounted on the carriage of my lovely little GIECH cannon of ca. 1520-30 (German: Schlänglein or Tarrasbüchse).
This barrel is notable because it is not only finley made and chiseled, but is especially characteristic of arsenal arms in general, for showing the results of various stages of its apparantly very long working life.

Originally, the barrel was the essential part of a haquebut of ca. 1470, and mounted on the present carriage some 50 years later at the arsenal (German: Rüstkammer) of the Counts von Giech, on Schloss Giech in Thurnau near Bayreuth, Upper Franconia, during the Peasants Wars.

Actually, that cannon saw service and re-use over several periods of time, and at least until the mid-17th century, which means the latter years of the Thirty Years War.

Please see my thread:

Most remarkable are its featuring two! spiked touch holes.
The original first touch hole was drilled on the top flat of the barrel, with a small v-shaped trough chiseled out of the brass surface; later, and obviously burned out from heavy use, it got spiked.
On the right hand side flat,
another touch hole was pierced, and finally spiked for good- just like on our breeech in discussion.
A piece of wood underneath seems to have been broken off both crudely and deliberately, in order to attach an iron pan. Later-on, that pan obviously got removed, and the cannon was ignited once again through the first touch hole located on top of the barrel!
A typical arsenal piece story and history ...

Both these items preserved in
The Michael Trömner Collection.

All photos copyrighted by the author.
Attached Images
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