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Old 13th November 2008, 06:34 PM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default Mid 17th century matchlock mechanisms retaining all of their orignal blueing!!!

Extremely rare to find! This is the way they looked like when handed out to the musketeers almost 400 years ago, who - of course, soon scrubbed off the blueing.

The image of three illustrates the comparison between the earliest known complete matchlock mechanism in existence, ca. 1510-15 (defined as all parts being mounted on a common plate - you may remember this from a previous post here), its snap serpentine released by the push button projecting out of the rear end of the plate (on top).

Most people would hardly notice any significant differences between this 500 year old ancestor and the two blued mechanisms below, the first Suhl, ca. 1640, the second Swedish, 1650's. 150 years of developmemt and yet they look almost all the same; even the size of the lockplate did not considerably change. Simple and reliable simultaneously, it was almost perfect from the start. That's why it used to dominate the battle fields for about 300 years, starting from its most primitive beginnings in the early 15th century (please cf. my post on the earliest known handgun in existence) till its most recent examples built in the 1720's.

It's a rarely plowed field ...

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