I fully agree with what you said about old weapons being our window, and even door, to periods and people long forgotten.
Sometimes I feel just the same, especially when handling such highly important historical pieces like my 1481 Munich haquebut barrel. This piece comes from the collection of the Veste (castle) Oberhaus in Passau/Eastern Bavaria, bordering on Austria, where rivaling parties fired at each other at a short fight before the election of new archbishop in 1482. Just imagine my barrel being fired from the high castle down at the citizens! And, as is the case with my fine haquebut/wall gun from the Kronburg: I am only the second or third owner of these two pieces in their 500 years of history!
It's a very special way of being simultaneously happy, humble and grateful, just sort of bowing down before the people that made and handled these pieces. Nothing is left of their bones but we can admire their weapons still ...