Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
I have taken my time and pondered thoroughly over the Otepää handgun.
1. Even if it was made in the late 14th century - which I doubt very much - it could not be called the world's oldest handgun. This attribute is undoubtedly linked to the Loshult gun which closely resembles the earliest illustration of a gun found in the de Milemete manuscript, Christ Church, Oxford, which is dated 1326. The Loshult gun should be dated ca. 1350.
2. As discussed at large in earlier posts, the presence of hooks cannot be proven before the 1430's.
3. The presence of pan like mouldings around the touch hole seems to be an invention of the second half of the 15th century.
4. Although the Otepää gun is in heavily damaged condition now I should give a tentative date of ca. 1440-50 for it, with the longitudinal pan moulding being a later working addition.