Originally Posted by Pukka Bundook
wherever they were made they are copies of European barrels made in a Very similar manner and are very old.. As they have usually un-drilled tangs, I see this as being copied from European tangs, but in this case mounted in a different manner and the tang not used as support or fastening.
Henry V111's barrels on his breech-loaders are Northern Italian products, and are Very similar in the fluting of the barrels to these mystery pieces.
All very interesting!
Good points, Richard. You see a lot of design "spillover" from earlier European technology and stylistics which survive in Eastern arms for quite awhile. And yes, fluting (and conversely, ridging) was a an important part of the decorative repertoire of Brescian barrel makers of the 16th and 17th cent.
Also, ket's keep in mind that barrel tangs were not a universal feature on earlier European firearms. They were not typical on, say, the Bohemian Schnapplunte
arquebuses that the Indo-Portuguese snap matchlock guns were based on. (see close up image in Rainer Daehnhard's ESPINGARDA FEITICEIRA , Lisbon 1994, pp 50-51) The Germanic antecedents seemed to have flat breeches that butted against the end of the channel in the stock, the barrels being retained by the transverse pins in the forestock which held the perforated mortises dovetailed to the underside. Interesting to note that the firearms of Malaya, China, Japan, and Korea never had tanged barrels, inheriting the constructional details introduced by the Portuguese in the 1500s -- in all these areas the breechplug has a very short square extension that locks into a corresponding mortise in the end of the channel. Some Indian toradars of the 18th cent or later still retain this particular feature.
I have in my collection a Brescian gun, ca 1630, fitted-up for an Ottoman barrel made without any tang or tenon whatsoever on the breechplug. As is typical with Ottoman matchlock guns, it was designed to be retained by barrel pins or keys, which suited Italian stock-fitting practices perfectly.