Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Here are some finely decorated wrought-iron Italian (Brescia made) barrels from snap-matchlock or snap-tinderlock Landsnecht arquebuses.
The were all wrought three-staged, with a rear and forward stages both heavily swamped and the central stage notable thinner. All of these barrels were of round section throughout.
The complete guns looked quite similar to the one shown at the beginning of this thread.
All of them are iron carved in high relief, against a ground which originally was blackened for contrast. With top quality, the ground was dotted and in some cases gilt.
There is also a large group of contemporary Italian maces known with iron-carved decorated in the same style.
As the walls of these barrels had unusually thick walls they were often re-used over centuries and consequently undergone severel alterations.
These heavily altered barrels often show up at Italian auctions.
E.g., the igniting pans that originally were dove tailed at the right-hand side were removed when the barrels were restocked together with wheellock or flintlock machanisms.
Originally, all these short and stout barrels barrels had a relatively small bore of ca. 14 to 16 mm; in later times, and because their walls were thick enough, the bores were mostly enlarged up to ca. 20 mm.
Originally, they were attached to the stock just by means of a wood screw entering from above through the short barrel tang, and by a transversal wooden pin that went through a dovetailed loop at the underside of the barrel, just in front of the swamped forward section which was left unstocked.
Also, they originall were equipped with tubular rear sights that were in most cases put over two dovetailed short iron pins or feet; the top side of these feet was v-shaped for sighting, and the foresight was a small dovetailed iron bead.
The ramrod channel was drilled extending to the rear as far as about 5 to 10 cms, thus allowing the wooden ramrod to protrude not as as far as the forward section of the barrel. The idea was to prevent the ramrod from damage or breaking as the forestock ended in front of the swamped muzzle section und the ramrod would have remined unprotected.
The wooden ramrod was usually equipped with an iron finial at both ends, with the one at the rear threaded to receive a scourer or a worm (ball extractor).
The latest of these barrels seem to have been made in ca. 1550/60; they look much more slender though and are notably longer.
Please also cf. my threads
and also see
on iron carved Italian maces.