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Old 2nd December 2008, 03:10 PM   #17
Matchlock
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
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Richard,

The half rounded muzzle is an ornament characteristic of the 1520's-1530's and disappears right after.

The stock of my 1539 harquebus is definitely apt to be fired from the shoulder; please study the Nürnberg illustration of 1532 posted again below - it depicts almost the same kind of stock. On the other hand there are historic illustrations showing harquebuses being held freely in front of the breast or even the belly well up to mid 16th century. So these short guns were handled either way. We sometimes even see them put on top of the shoulder, which actually hardly makes any sense.

Actually, the first butt-plates appeared in the 1530's and were made of bone, like in crossbows, but only for high quality decorated pieces. Plain military guns were generally made without butt-stock protection up to the early 17th century although in some cases we find iron butt-plates as early as the 1580's. They seem to have become standardized widely only by the beginning of the Thirty Years War, though.

Btw, I started a thread on its own on the aiming of guns in late 15th to mid 16th century illustrations.

Michael
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