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Old 17th September 2008, 03:08 PM   #1
Matchlock
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Default Re: The oldest known handgun in existence, ca. 1400-10

I should mention that the hook, like the firing mechanism, seems to be a working amendment as it is not wrought to the barrel but split in half, drawn over the muzzle and riveted on the underside.

The comparison with the attached illustrations of 1405, 1410 and 1411, with no support hooks present, indicates that the hook which actually defines a haquebut (German: Hakenbüchse) was an invention of the first half of the 15th century.

For having patience with me you are credited with additional images.

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Old 21st September 2008, 06:20 PM   #2
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A few more details of this 600 year-old handgun.

Michael
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Old 27th September 2008, 05:52 AM   #3
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Very interesting to see the spring-loaded serpentine,
This must be an extremely rare hand gun!

Lovely pictures, Michael.

Best wishes,

Richard.
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Old 28th September 2008, 06:27 PM   #4
fernando
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Hi Michael,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
... which actually defines a haquebut (German: Hakenbüchse) was an invention of the first half of the 15th century ...


I wonder about paralel situations, like the picture i am posting here, of a large Malabar 'Esmerilhão' (Merlin); considered an early stage exemplar ( XV-XVI century transition), due to still being equiped with a wooden hook. Having been found that this type of hooks broke easily with the kick of the gun against bulwarks and battlements, they started making them in iron, still in the beginning of the XVI century.
Text and gun from the great collection of Rainer Daehnhardt, as illustrated in his work 'Homens Espadas e Tomates' (1997).

Fernando

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Old 2nd October 2008, 05:34 PM   #5
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Also amazing is that this Malabar example doesn't have a firing mechanism, having to be ignited manualy.
What can you tell us about this, Michael ?
Any correction to its dating ?
Fernando
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Old 19th October 2008, 10:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Hi Michael,



I wonder about paralel situations, like the picture i am posting here, of a large Malabar 'Esmerilhão' (Merlin); considered an early stage exemplar ( XV-XVI century transition), due to still being equiped with a wooden hook. Having been found that this type of hooks broke easily with the kick of the gun against bulwarks and battlements, they started making them in iron, still in the beginning of the XVI century.
Text and gun from the great collection of Rainer Daehnhardt, as illustrated in his work 'Homens Espadas e Tomates' (1997).

Fernando

.




Hi Fernando,

Sorry to have to destroy a possible myth but Rainer Daehnhardt's gun is far from being European and/or early 16th century.

The barrel is clearly Indian, 18th/19th centuries, the stock is a crude modern reproduction missing only the tiniest touch of original German style...

Mind: hooks were never parts of the stocks but only of the iron barrels! Otherwise they would have made no sense at all.

Michael
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Old 19th October 2008, 11:33 PM   #7
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Hi Michael, thanks a lot for your coments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
Sorry to have to destroy a possible myth but Rainer Daehnhardt's gun is far from being European and/or early 16th century.


As you will notice, i have quoted that the gun is from the Malabar (Southwest India) and not from Europe.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
The barrel is clearly Indian, 18th/19th centuries, the stock is a crude modern reproduction missing only the tiniest touch of original German style...


If you say so i will have no doubt ... but i don't think he ever said it is of German style either.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
Mind: hooks were never parts of the stocks but only of the iron barrels!


So i must assume this stock shape never existed ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
Otherwise they would have made no sense at all.


Sorry for my ignorance, but i don't understand; what is the difference between the hook being placed in the stock or in the barrel ? doesn't it prevent the firing impact (kick back) in both cases ?




Sorry Michael, but these are all doubts from a layman like me. I am not worried about this specimen being a mith, nor about Daehnhardt's sincerity; i don't like helping to build gurus. But i need to be sure to myself that this thing is a fake ... to the extent that i can tell it in his face when i see him.

Thanks again
Fernando
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Old 20th October 2008, 02:04 AM   #8
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I think that the shearing force of the recoil would break off the hook unless it was heavily reinforced. Of course, a metal hook is simly a reinforced wooden one without the wood.
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Old 20th October 2008, 05:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed
I think that the shearing force of the recoil would break off the hook unless it was heavily reinforced. Of course, a metal hook is simly a reinforced wooden one without the wood.



You are doubtlessly right, Ed: a wooden hook set against a castle wall with the muzzle sticking out the fire slit would not have stood the immense recoil. Mind that the barrels at those times were filled up with (poor) black powder by two thirds of their length!

Michael
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Old 20th October 2008, 06:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed
I think that the shearing force of the recoil would break off the hook unless it was heavily reinforced. Of course, a metal hook is simly a reinforced wooden one without the wood.


Sorry for my ignorance but ... what am i missing here?
Don't i see that the Berne Harquebus has the hook peened through the stock ?
On the other hand, isn't the system of casting the hook to the barrel a 'third generation' development ?
If i well understand, in the first step the gun had a gunstock with a wooden shoulder on the underside, as shown in a specimen in the museum of Pilsen, which dates to around 1400.
But as this design involved severe stress to the wood, which did not withstand the strain for long, the next step was the development of an iron hook with bands or nails being fitted to the shaft, further improved by positioning the hook on the barrel with a band and securing it in the shaft with a cross pin.
It was only after this that, the hook was either forged directly on to the barrel or cast with it, when of bronze.
This is the way i understood an article written by Bernhard Rietsche, in his work Meine gotischen Handfeuerrohre (page 47), which was gently passed to me by a notable person in this Forum .
However i know i don't have the minimum preparation to discuss this subject, so i beg you to correct me if or where i am wrong .
Fernando
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