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Old 19th October 2008, 10:49 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
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Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
In looking at this great example of an early firearm, and determined to learn more about these 'guns' (for me basically starting from scratch my questions and initial reading as always leans toward terminology and etymology of those used.

Having difficulty finding definitions of harquebus/ hackbut or hagbut, references I found suggest that the harquebus term is also 'arquebus' which was easier to find. The German hakinbihse = hook gun, referring to the bent shape of the butt, as opposed to the straight stocked guns. One other explanation suggested a metal hook near the muzzle to take aim and secure for recoil.

Apparantly improvements by Strozzi c.1530 included standardizing calibers of these in French army. The musket followed about the 1570's.

As always I am keyed to markings, and on the barrel notice the roped design at locations around the barrel , and these remind me of barrel rings to secure the barrel, stylistically of course. It seems that in many cases with weapons, the shapes and designs in features sometimes recall vestigially things no longer required or used. I am curious though, why actual bands would not be secured around the barrel to hold it to the stock.

I notice the fletching marking, which recalls of course the arrow, and wonder about the suggestion to the esteemed crossbow. The arrow marking became well known with the establishing of ordnance department by Henry VIII in England (these with the arrow head) but I wonder if the idea of the fletching the intent might have been in concept of the shot flying true to its target?
The three dots are well known in markings in many instances in sword blades and likely carry the often discussed symbolism.

Hi Jim,

Actually, the term Hakenbüchse does not derive from a hooked stock (in fact, all stocks before ca. 1520 were more or less quite straight!) but from the iron support hook welded to the underside of the barrels from ca. 1430 onwards.

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