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Old 11th November 2013, 09:34 AM   #1
Raf
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Default Leonardo's snap lock. The missing link ?

Apologies for reviving an old thread

I stumbled across it while researching this drawing from Leonardo’s Madrid MS on the basis that it might be dateable evidence of an early fumbling towards a snapping type self – igniting lock. It has many features of flintlock type locks even though it is evidently simply a snapping matchlock with an automatically opening pan. What seemed interesting is that in theory if a flint replaced the match holding serpentine and the pan cover was made to act as the steel with a bit of adjustment it could be made to function as a flintlock. In investigating the geometry to see if the serpentines could be contrived to strike one another while still being controlled by the link I made what I thought at the time was an interesting, but in retrospect, fairly obvious realization. That the moving point of contact of two arcs traveling at the same speed; one being the flint and the other the hinged steel actually describes a straight line. Hardly surprising since of course this line represents the striking face of the steel common to all snapping type locks.

The geometry of Leonardo’s link illustrates very clearly the correct relationship between flints and steel that forms the theoretical basis of all snapping type locks. Leonardo certainly had the nous to appreciate the possible implications of the geometry but whether he ever applied it in this way is simply conjecture. But it perhaps ought to be recognized that it might be an important stage in the development of the idea.

So would a flintlock type lock with a fixed link like this actually work? The answer would appear to be possibly, but not very well. Mainly because of the practical difficulty in maintaining the correct radius of the flint in order to make good frictional contact with the steel. However experimentation with this idea could have given rise to an understanding of the geometry of snapping type locks and might be tentative evidence that the idea was being experimented with or was already known at this relatively early date (1490- 1498).
Suggesting that we should perhaps not be too confident in assuming that the early references (1507 to 1520) to self firing or little stone guns necessarily referred only to Wheelock’s.

Anybody want to develop this idea?
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Old 11th November 2013, 06:31 PM   #2
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Hello:

This is a topic I've discussed in my first post. Is not a snapahunce, but a key (lock) of wick (matchlock). The first snake is to hold the wick (match) and the second is to hold the cubrecazoleta. The bowl (pan) is integral with the barrel and not the key (lock)

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Old 11th November 2013, 06:36 PM   #3
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Old 19th November 2013, 08:17 AM   #4
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Something seems to have got lost in translation. I wasn’t claiming in my original post that Leonardo’s drawing was a flintlock type mechanism. It is clearly a matchlock with a self-opening pan. All I was suggesting was that it, or something similar could have served as a starting point for the development of flintlock type locks and that these might have developed at dates rather earlier than is usually proposed.

Whereas we have a slightly vague but plausible line for the development for the wheelock; Leonardo’s drawing about 1500, the Loffelholz manuscript remotely operating tinder lighters; 1505, the Palazzo Ducale combined wheelock crossbows etc. we don’t it seems have a similar theory for the evolution of snapping type locks. Blackamore (guns and rifles of the world 1965- p 28) admits that early references to self-igniting guns could apply equally well to flintlocks as to wheelock’s. Reason suggests that the two systems developed independently; possibly at the same, but we don’t it seems see the evidence for this.

The earliest dated wheelock’s (see Matchlocks piece) are certainly not the earliest existing examples. However these prove that by about 1550 the wheelock, at least in Germany, had passed through its development stage and shows most of the recognizable characteristics of this type of lock. Tower armories X11 1765; (Italian; about 1520) shows what I think we might expect to see in a developing idea. ( 1 ) External wheel, massive mainspring; secure wheel release mechanism yet to be resolved and an experimental matchlock type horizontally swinging flash pan cover opened automatically by a pin and a slot in the wheel. Now compare with this detached superimposed lock; also Italian, Museum of artillery, Turin. (2) Look at details of the wheelock. Like the cock screw, the wheel support bracket, the shape of the long chain links, and of course the forward facing mainspring. They could almost have come from the same workshop. Yet the date for this superimposed lock is suggested as being late sixteenth century. I suspect for no other reason than on the same lock plate is a toe lock with an L shaped combined steel and flash pan cover. One can only speculate on why someone should use two completely different types of lock on something as suicidal as a superimposed load firearm. Do you infer that the wheelock was considered the more advanced; therefore more reliable? Or that, the toe lock was experimental therefore not entirely to be trusted? However you can’t argue that both locks are not contemporary so on the evidence of the wheelock alone which date seems most likely? 1520 ish or late sixteenth century? But even if we were inclined to accept the later date it still places it in the period where all snapping type locks are usually assumed to be snaphaunces.

It also probably no coincidence that this early Italian toe lock is very similar to Algerian toe locks. (Authors coll.) (3) And of course to some Baltic locks. Lenk (The flintlock. Its origin, development and use. 1939) Illustrates a primitive (and probably updateable) Norwegian snap lock. (Nordiska Museum 56.592.5) (4) We read this as a snaphaunce but look at the rearward facing projection at the base of the steel. Clearly designed to act as a pan cover when the steel was in the firing position. But here the problem of having to keep the thing cocked once the pan is primed is resolved by having a secondary matchlock type pan cover which keeps powder in the pan when the steel is in the non - firing position. The solution is simple and this is I think as near as we can get to visualize what the first snapping type locks must have looked like. But perhaps significantly it is something that could be (and in this example probably was) knocked up by a competent village blacksmith. The true snaphaunce (separate steel, automatically opening sliding pan cover) has features that borrow from, or contribute to the developed Wheelock but cannot I think be regarded as the necessary pre cursor to the flintlock since as I have argued the combined pan cover and steel; the defining characteristics of the flintlock, may well have been there at the inception of the idea.

If both flintlock and Wheelock did begin their development in the closing years of the fourteenth century then the early fifteenth century prohibitions on the carrying of self firing guns might imply that the lawless had not suddenly equipped themselves with expensive state of the art Wheelock’s but with cheaply made snap locks of the type illustrated by lenk. And that the snapping lock might have got off to a bad start simply because its simplicity, cheapness and availability threatened the status quo.

Only a theory but I thought it was interesting...
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Old 24th November 2013, 09:25 PM   #5
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Hello:

A small contribution. The key (Lock (2) belonging to the Artillery Museum of Turin has been claimed to be Italian, and the principle of XVII century. Morin says it's the end of the century, and has ibericas feature, and compares with a built gun 1570 (circa) to Don Inigo Lopez de Mendoza (d. 1580)

View Diana Armi Magazine, February 1976, article by Augusto Capecchi

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Old 25th November 2013, 11:17 AM   #6
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Thanks for that . I think Im still going to argue that the Turin lock is generically related to a group of early wheelocks usually ascribed to at least the first half of the sixteenth century if not earlier. As evidence I would like to suggest that the use of square headed bolts , as opposed to screws in securing the major components is distinctive . A sensible idea since it means the lock can be stripped using the same spanner but this feature doesnt seem to be found on later locks . Unless of course someone knows otherwise? Image 1 is a detail of the Tower example . 2 is I think in the Germanishes Nationalmuseum, Nurenberg (W2036)
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Old 27th November 2013, 09:23 PM   #7
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Hello:

Regarding the key (lock) Dual (flint and wheellock), there is a thread in this forum. Alli is for comparison, several Portuguese keys (locks), and even a view of the interior, with firing mechanisms

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...guese+wheellock

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Old 30th November 2013, 09:25 PM   #8
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Brilliant! Thanks for that Fernando. I hoped somewhere their would be an internal detail of the Turin double lock . I am re posting it here because I think it makes sense in the thread. The long locking bar for the wheelock wheel with no secondary prop looks like an interim stage in the evolution of the idea . It does have some other interesting features. The pancover appears to be pushed open not , as one would expect by a cam on the wheelshaft but by a spring which is released by the cam on the end of the wheelshaft. Which again suggests an early stage in the development of an idea . However I cant immediately see how the trigger mechanism for the snaplock is supposed to work . Any ideas ?

I am also re posting a second Wheelock from the same museum because technically and stylistically it is very similar . Also note again the distinctive style of the cock screw and the matching square headed bolt on cock pivot. The suggested date for this is 1550. If the Turin double lock is of a similar date then this ought to make this earliest known example of a snaplock with a combined steel and pancover .
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Old 2nd December 2013, 11:25 PM   #9
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Hello :

I hope that the translations do not betray me
Regarding the key (lock ) twice , the fact that the heads of some screws be square has no significance : the key also has ordinary screws. Even the flintlock has (I see ) rake screw ( Frizen ) with his square head .
Regarding the absence of first detent is a result of elongation of the plate ( plate) is needed and act with the pawl from far back . Even the hole in the wheel should be flat rather than tapered , so that the end of the latch , driven by its spring , remaining there until he was introduced to fire . Just different , that cam cubrecazoleta ( COVERPAN ) is not driven by the crankshaft of the wheel, but by the guarantor.

Regarding the comparison with the key ( lock) Portuguese , this has all the characteristics of a late model the cubrecazoleta is driven by the crankshaft and even has a spring that keeps it permanently closed

Regarding the trigger system of the flintlock , any review would not be more than a fiction , without seeing the original weapon . Calamandrei , in his book " Acciarin nei tempi " ( Keys ( locks ) in time) imagines a trigger button, which goes outside the plate ( plate) . For me, the two holes below correspond to cock a spring which kept the hook (dog ) away from the rooster ( cock )
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Old 4th December 2013, 09:42 AM   #10
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Hullo Fernando. Thank you for helping to keep this thread alive.
I’m sorry your comments didn’t translate very well, and if I have misinterpreted them apologies. I will try and answer them as clearly as I can.
Bolts rather than screws. –" Of no significance."
If we see similar stylistic or technical features (the bolts) that are shared by other locks it is reasonable to suggest that they might form a group, and that they might belong to the same geographic area or be of similar date. If these locks also have some early features and we don’t see the bolts on later locks it is reasonable to suggest these bolts might be a characteristic to some early locks that was later abandoned. Unless we are prepared to make these kind of comparisons we couldn’t research or try to date anything.

The wheel release mechanism with no prop. "Just different."
Sorry. No. The second prop is a fundamental stage in the development of Wheelock design and seems to happen quite early. It was found; probably through bitter experience that the single locking bar, (which was occasionally simply a flat spring) could, if the nose of the sear was worn, or more likely the hole in the wheel was blocked with dirt, appear to lock the wheel, but in reality it was just hanging on the edge of the hole. Thus a knock could dislodge it and the gun would fire by accident. The second prop ensures that the wheel will only ‘ lock off ‘ when the sear fully enters the hole in the wheel. Its perfectly reasonable to conclude that wheelock’s with a single locking bar are, at least in evolutionary terms, earlier than those with the double locking system because experience had shown this system was in practice unsafe.

The pan cover opening mechanism.
I’m not sure what your point is. All I can say is that I haven’t seen a similar system before but if someone else has it would be nice to know. It seemed reasonable to suggest that this slightly convoluted arrangement might be an early stage in trying to work out the best way to open a sliding pan cover

The Portuguese lock "has the characteristics of a late model."
I don’t know anything about Portuguese locks. Are you saying the date 1550 is wrong? I thought there was a suggestion that it might be of Italian manufacture? I assume it has a one piece hooked type combined arm and flash pan cover as seen on some early German wheelock’s prior to the introduction of the sliding pan cover. This is shown in the dismantled wheelock attached; German C 1540. (The Met; New York) Notice also that despite its early date it does have a secondary prop for the wheel-locking bar.

The release mechanism for the flintlock.
There seem to be some missing bits in this area. The pivot for the cock looks inadequate. One would expect it to be supported by a bridle as in an aqujeta and I assumed that was what the holes were for. Its difficult to imagine how a spring to release the dog catch (as on the aqujeta) might work as the hook on the catch doesn’t seem big enough to hold.
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Old 4th December 2013, 01:21 PM   #11
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Hello:

I am sorry that the language is an issue for dialogue.

Affectionately. Fernando K
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Old 4th December 2013, 08:12 PM   #12
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Hullo again Fernando . Just found this image in an old post of yours . It looks relevant so I am re posting it . You obviously know about Portuguese firearms so where in the sixteenth century would you place it ? The stock looks early
and the lock has some similarities with the Spanish aqujeta but with an internal mainspring . Since it hasn't got a half cock dog do you think it has an additional separate flashpan cover?
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Old 5th December 2013, 01:05 PM   #13
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Hello, Raf.

No. This is a key (lock) called "molinhas todays date". The average riding (half cock) is achieved with the piece that sees before the cat foot) cock) moving manually to engage the tooth can also be seen in the front of the foot cat (cock). In turn, to reach its maximum position (full cock) a projecting part of the shoe (cock) on the bottom hook removed in (dog) and keeps out the tooth. It is a variant of the mediterranean keys.

http://www.invaluable.com/auction-l...-pistol-carbine

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Old 5th December 2013, 04:04 PM   #14
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Just a picture,
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Old 6th December 2013, 08:22 AM   #15
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Hullo Fernando. Interesting . Does the release sear work directly on the cock or on the tumbler ? Does it move horizontally or vertically and is their a second locking prop ?
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Old 6th December 2013, 05:04 PM   #16
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Hello, Raf:

The sear (sear) acts on walnut (tumbler) horizontally with two sureties, primary and secondary.

There is also an evolution, which is named key (cock) half "of molinhas fecho" half and key (lock) means "French", with walnut (tumbler) and sear (sear) vertical, and the key to the French spark.

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Old 6th December 2013, 05:09 PM   #17
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Hello,Raf:

See:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...portuguese+lock

Sincerely. Fernando K
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Old 14th December 2013, 07:35 PM   #18
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Continuing the theme of early snap locks with combined steel and pan cover. This Spanish combination weapon has slideing steels and pancover. Royal Armoury, Madrid, C 1580. Any comments ?
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Old 14th December 2013, 08:20 PM   #19
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Dear Raf:

Yes, of course. This is the key (lock) described by LAVIN, on page 157 of his work. This is a spear with two pistols, listed as I.20 in the Royal Armoury, Madrid. For the description I refer to LAVIN. I think it's one of the first copies to "pin", which is also found in some coils on the keys (lock) wick (matchlock).

An additional fact: I went to the Director of the Royal Armouries, to ask alfuna photography, but I replied that the two keys (lock), had been stolen, and the theft was discovered in 1950, when the last inventory uMake

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Old 14th December 2013, 09:09 PM   #20
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Thanks Fernando . I think I got some of that... I don't suppose you know of any better photos of the lock ? Do you know if the sliding pan cover is attatched to an arm as on a wheelock or something different ? What advantages do you think it might have had (if any ) over a conventional hinged pan and steel ?
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Old 14th December 2013, 09:54 PM   #21
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Dear Raf

Like I said, I tried to get a picture, straight from the Real Armeria, but the keys (lock) have been stolen.

I think the bowl (pan) is sliding, and no cam, and has at the bottom a device that ensures slip instead. It has, yes, an arm that pushes the bowl (pan) in the closed position which is driven by the weaker arm spring When the foot cat (cock) hits on the rake (Frizen) overcomes the force of the arm driven by the weaker spring branch and open the bowl (pan).

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Old 14th December 2013, 10:09 PM   #22
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Dear Raf:

I reread. There is no advantage over other system, but is an experimental method, a key (lock) miguelete primitive. Also in primitive wheel keys (wheellock)) the lid cubrecazoleta (COVERPAN) was slippery but not with an articulated cam, but with a fixed cam, and described a circular arc (as in the key (lock) twice MET , which is in this thread.

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Old 15th December 2013, 11:18 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raf
Hullo again Fernando . Just found this image in an old post of yours . It looks relevant so I am re posting it . You obviously know about Portuguese firearms so where in the sixteenth century would you place it ?
The stock looks early
and the lock has some similarities with the Spanish aqujeta but with an internal mainspring . Since it hasn't got a half cock dog do you think it has an additional separate flashpan cover?

Hi Raf
You must have noticed by now that there are two Fernandos going on; the one that knows a significant lot about locks and has been replying to your questions is Fernando K; the one who has posted the petronel picture (and not only) is Fernando (no K), who knows extremely less about the subject.
Perhaps you like to have a look at this link; it will possibly complement the answers to some of your questions about these Portuguese locks:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...hlight=molinhas

And by the way ... the petronel you have asked for the precise date in this post, was made in the Lisbon Arsenal circa 1560 -1580.
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Old 15th December 2013, 11:42 AM   #24
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Hello, Fernando and Raf (Rafael?)

I'm just a love of the mechanisms (locks). At one time, I knew nothing of the keys (locks) Portuguese. Fernando explained to me some issues.

Affectionately. Fernando K
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Old 15th December 2013, 08:59 PM   #25
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Hullo to all Fernandos.. wherever you may be . Sincere apologies for confusing you and thank you both for your contributions. As your probably aware I am new to this forum and am still trying to work out who everybody is.
All I was trying to do was research early snaplocks, on the assumption that such a simple intuitive idea ought to have existed at a much earlier date than the examples we have ( C1580 ) I just find it fascinating trying to imagine how these early ignition devices ; including wheelocks might have first developed and what stages they must have gone through in the development of the idea.
Rafael.

And Fernando ; sans K . Just for clarification. Do either of two locks you illustrate, Anselmo and Molinhas have single horizontally moving sears or sears with a prop as in wheelocks ? Difficult to see from the pictures. The relationship between these Portuguese locks , early Italian toe locks , the Aquijeta and Algerian toe locks is obviously very close and I would have thought have to be the earliest examples of a combined pan and frizen. The earliest suggested date for the Lisbon petronal (c1560) would make it roughly contemporary with the earliest vaguely dateable snaphaunces.

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Old 16th December 2013, 02:07 PM   #26
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In pursuit of the earliest ( or in this case worse ) snaplock here is a Mongolian version. The trigger release is breathtaking in its elegant simplicity...
Also interesting is the lack of a frizen spring and no evidence that one was ever fitted at least to this gun. Which suggest what I suspected; that early snaplocks may have relied simply on the inertia of a relatively heavy steel creating enough resistance to create a spark. Difficult to argue that something like this could not have been knocked up by any blacksmith sometime in the fifteenth century...
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Old 16th December 2013, 05:16 PM   #27
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Hello, Raf:

I think the key (lock) has broken the shortest branch mainspring: the square hole in the plate (plate) seems to prove it. Also that the bowl (pan) in the ball and seems to be drawing the battery dock.

I think any key (lock) could depend on the inertia of a rake (Frizen) heavy, without spring, because any sudden movement would that moved out of position. There is, in any museum or collection, a gun (or its remnants) with this feature.

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Old 17th December 2013, 10:17 AM   #28
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Hullo Fernando.
I did find a different example of a Mongolian lock. Sorry cant post it , so you will have to trust me on this one . It also appeared to have a single leaf mainspring and no frizen spring. But what was interesting is that it had a decorative fence to the end of the flashpan very similar to the one illustrated below; 17C Russian. Appears to be missing from the example above. See also the rearward projection on the steel as in Lenks primitive snaplock. So I think we can assume that the origin of these Mongolian locks are a version of Russian snaplocks and that the primitive release mechanism is an example of reverse engineering adapted to local manufacturing skills , or lack of them !
I know claiming a snaplock without a frizen spring will work is eccentric but I have tested it on Dutch snaphaunces with the spring removed and they do still spark up .
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