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Old 19th November 2008, 03:23 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310


Short barrels - belonging to short guns - were much in use in the first half of the 16th century beause they corresponded to the stylistic taste of the German Early Renaisssance period. All objects of everday use used to be stout and short then: candlesticks, money boxes, purses, Katzbalgers etc.

The fore-sight is actually dovetailed horizontally, while the original (!) small back-sight is dovetailed laterally. Cf. my Nuremberg harquebus dated 1539 dealt with in one of my former posts, which has the same back-sight, only missing its brass tube which the back-sight of the Suhl/Straubing gun never had.

You are exactly right in noticing the unsual feature of the pan and cover being parts of the lock plate. Actually, this used mostly to be the case in mid 16th century but then turns up again with Suhl matchlocks during the second decade of the 17th century, as well as in French, English and Austrian matchlocks at the end of the 17th century.

On the other hand, pans were never forged integrally to the barrels; they were all dovetailed, either on the left or the right of the touch hole. From ca. 1570 onward, they are mostly put in dovetails from the rear of the barrel and can be easily hammered out towards the rear.

The caliber of the Suhl/Straubing harquebus is 14.3 mm.

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