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Old 21st October 2008, 06:09 PM   #26
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310

Originally Posted by Ed
This thread has gotten me to thinking.

I wonder how bad the recoil was for these little guns.

Lets think about it a bit together.

- The actual charge of black powder was limited. Filling a barrel all the way might not result in greater velocity/force for the projectile than filling it 1/8 of the way. This is directly related to recoil.

- there was not a fine ball to bore fit, couldn't be. This would result in lowered velocity and recoil.

- it isn't clear that using modern powders for testing is appropriate.

These are sorta random thoughts that bear on the basic question of the reality of using vey early handguns.

If there were a way to really duplicate the performance I could run some live tests out back.

Hi Ed,

The old black powder was, as I noted, quite poor in performance. Of course, there was one or more rolling balls used but then followed by a heavy wad, often a wooden plug; so the recoil must have been hard. Hadn't it been very hard there would have been no need for hooks.

In an earlier posting I mentioned the firing tests that the Landeszeughaus Graz carried thru with 400 year old guns, and gave the literature. An accompanying video shows the heavy recoil of the various pieces which sometimes made the testers step back or aside.

A friend of mine builds exact copies of earliest guns and fires them the old way, using 500 year old powder recipes. The recoil is very hard, comparable to a 12 or 10 gauge shotgun with "nomal" loads and going worse with heavy ones. The testers had black shoulders after each time they tried.

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