The buttstock of the GNM harquebus has indeed suffered from being left standing upright for a very long time. So did the buttstock of my Kronburg wall piece that was found, together with several others, standing upright on a board in a bricked up room at Schloss Kronburg during renovation work in 1953. Actually, the upper portions of the lime wood butt stocks of both my 1539 and my ca. 1540 Straubing matchlock harquebuses are somewhat damaged as well from being kept in an upright position and probably put down hard and carelessly again and again for too long.
Your remarks on the swamped and decorated muzzle sections are extremely important, thank you. There are two main reasons for that shape of muzzle sections that were in use even with 18th century sporting rifles:
- A reinforcement of the muzzle portion by swamping added both to the barrel's stability in firing heavy loads and to the handling and balance of the gun
- As the earliest barrels are from the Mid and Late Gothic periods (14th-15th centuries), their overall form closely corresponded to e.g. that of the Gothic and 16th century architectural columns: six or eight sided first, with reinforced base and top, then, from the late 1500's, round and staged.
Actually, most wall pieces were intended to be aimed and fired from the shoulder, with a second man ingniting the piece through the touch hole (Richt- und Feuerschütze). The hook helped absorb the recoil. When you look at the buttstock of my Kronburg wall piece the early fishtail shape indented for the sholuder clearly suggests the way it was heald.
Must I add that your notes are very inspiring to me?
Thank you so much, I'll tip my next Bavarian dark beer to you overe there!