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Old 3rd December 2008, 07:24 PM   #1
Matchlock
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Default 16th and 17th century gun screws

I don't think anybody - besides you, Richard, of course - has ever paid attention to such little things and tried to achieve a comparison and dating scheme like this.

Michael
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Old 3rd December 2008, 08:12 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
I don't think anybody - besides you, Richard, of course - has ever paid attention to such little things and tried to achieve a comparison and dating scheme like this.

Michael




I confess Michael I too have noticed such minutiae, which was what prompted my thread earlier on the use of threaded screws in sword hilts.
In weapons forensics, such details can often be key in determining correct period in components in the piece being examined.

I always think of one of my favorite analogies....who but Sherlock Holmes would fathom the importance of burnt tobacco ash in investigation of crime scenes, and compile an entire treatise on it !

All the best,
Jim
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Old 3rd December 2008, 08:56 PM   #3
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How could I possibly forget about you, Jim???

I should have kown better, really. Shame on me!

Thanks a million for your brilliant allusion to Sherlock Holmes as well !!!

Keep yourself!

All the best as ever,

Michael
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Old 4th December 2008, 05:46 AM   #4
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Some of these look nearly as 'bad' as the ones I make, Michael!!

In the mid 16th century section, Do I see one with a left-hand thread?
What really surprises me, is that right-hand thread became so standard so soon.
It is interesting how different shaped files were used to cut the threads on the wood screws...some fine and others a much coarser thread,
Mine turn out very similar, depending on what file is at hand at the time!

I should print this page of to keep as a reference.

Thank you for taking the time to compile this chronology!

Richard.
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Old 4th December 2008, 11:14 AM   #5
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Richard,

I took these photos some 20 years ago. Were they new I would have considered the forum community and given the description in English.

These screws are now back in their guns and I cannot tell whether one of them is left hand threaded. Sorry about that.

Michael
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Old 4th December 2008, 01:55 PM   #6
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No bother about left hand thread, Michael, it just surprises me that more are not found that way, as it's just as easy to file them up either way.

Also, don't worry about the text in German, it's quite easy to "get the drift' of what it says!

Cheers,

R.
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Old 4th December 2008, 08:34 PM   #7
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Gettin' the drift - that's exactly what I was hopin' for, Richard!

m
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Old 29th March 2009, 05:19 PM   #8
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I have been thinking about a thread on 500 years of development of screws in European fine mechanics and posted a few pictures some months ago. I need to take more and better pictures but it is not forgotten.

Thank you so much, Jim and Richard,

Michael

Last edited by Matchlock : 29th March 2009 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 29th March 2009, 06:45 PM   #9
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Yay Michael!!! There it is,
Thank you, what a memory I got

All best,
Jim
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Old 29th March 2009, 11:11 PM   #10
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Sure, boss,

I did realize that!, no doubt

Michael
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Old 1st January 2020, 06:50 PM   #11
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Default A "new" screw discovered

Forum members will please forgive me for warming up a very old thread. But first of all, my thanks to Pukka Bundook for directing me to thisforum, and many thanks (alas, posthumously!) to Michael "matchlock" for his contributions, the like of which I have found nowhere else.

I have long been frustrated by the standard works on old firearms, which tend to give great space to stylistic elements of decoration, and very little information on technical development. Hayward, Hoff, Lenk and Luegs - I have them all. And the examples presented in these books are items that one is unlikely ever to get one's paws on, much less be permitted to dismantle!

In short, they are not much use to anyone who wants to know how these ancient pieces were constructed, as opposed to decorated, and of zero use to anyone, such as my self, who is interested in actually shooting old firearms.

As my first small contribution to the somewhat sparse knowledge of the internal technology of old firearms I would therefore like to present a screw. Not a glorious example of classical decoration that is utterly irrelevant for the functioning of a gun, but a vital piece to hold it together!

Here is it (if I can manage to post fotos):

OK stop here for the moment. I now have to learn how to post fotos. Will be back soon - I hope!
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Old 2nd January 2020, 05:00 AM   #12
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great old thread, just wish I could read the language on the photos...
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Old 2nd January 2020, 03:25 PM   #13
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Patrick,

Very Good to see you here!
If you have troubles with the photos, send me them and I'll post till you have it sorted out.
It Is a pity Michael went before hos time; You could maybe have visited him from where you are quite easily.

Spotted Bull,

Welcome and hope you can figure the gist in the above thread. :-)

All the best,
Richard.
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Old 2nd January 2020, 07:26 PM   #14
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Default A "new" screw (continued)

Well here goes with photos...

Hmmm????

Pukka, what am I missing here?

Went to "Additional Options" then "Attach Files".

2 jpegs sized about 25k uploaded - and nothing appears.
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Old 3rd January 2020, 09:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchildaBrit
... 2 jpegs sized about 25k uploaded - and nothing appears.

Are you sure ?
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Old 3rd January 2020, 11:42 AM   #16
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Default Now it works !

Thanks Fernando! It really did not show up yesterday evening, but since then you have given me the "all clear" and I can make progress.

Now I can finally complete the post.

The two photos show a screw taken out of a target rifle by Franz Xaver Zellner, who is well recorded in Stöckel (with several others of his family).
He was an Austrian gunsmith who died in 1768.

So we may deduce that such screws were in use long after the 16th century (as hypothesised in the photo by "matchlock"). That is the problem with technological changes - the forces of "we've always done it like that" are very strong in such specialist areas.

This oddly shaped "hand-carved" screw is (still!) used to hold the back end of the set trigger block in position, the front end being clamped by the trigger guard (a popular method). The bent head enables it to serve as a fixing lug for this purpose. Presumably that was considered to be simpler than making the trigger baseplate longer, with a fixing hole drilled through it and a conventional screw inserted, as would be the modern method.

At present, the rifle is undergoing its 250-year service in my cellar. Like most of my rifles, it's no museum piece, but the bore is great for its age. "Pure" collectors will cringe, but my point of view is that guns are tools, and non-functional tools are of no use to me. And I thus consider it proper to do what anyone of the period would have done to keep them functional.

I would have posted a couple more photos, but they are over the 1Mb limit and I now have to puzzle out how to reduce the resolution so that I can upload them.

And a great New Year to you all from Patrick.

Last edited by SchildaBrit : 3rd January 2020 at 11:47 AM. Reason: add text
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Old 3rd January 2020, 01:31 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchildaBrit
... "Pure" collectors will cringe, but my point of view is that guns are tools, and non-functional tools are of no use to me. And I thus consider it proper to do what anyone of the period would have done to keep them functional...

I also do my best to have my pieces (mechanically) functional, as in fact most of them are; although shooting with them is out of the question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchildaBrit
would have posted a couple more photos, but they are over the 1Mb limit and I now have to puzzle out how to reduce the resolution so that I can upload them..

I am no computer wizard. What i do is, when they happen to be 'too heavy' even within size allowed, i copy them in my computer to a different image application, one that reproduces them with 'lighter' features; or just resize them till they become uploadable... if not too small, of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchildaBrit
...a great New Year to you all from Patrick...

Same to you Patrick .
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Old 3rd January 2020, 02:21 PM   #18
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Default An 18th century hair-trigger

This is the hair-trigger (D: Nadelstecher) which is held by the lug-head screw in the previous posts. The front end is clamped beneath the trigger guard, and the lug-head screw clamps the back end (where the modern clamp is shown).

It is unusual in having an extra intermediate lever, which makes it extraordinarily sensitive, in spite of the strong sear spring. And all edges are sharp. After all, it's only about 250 years old!
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Old 3rd January 2020, 02:23 PM   #19
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Perfect !
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Old 3rd January 2020, 06:10 PM   #20
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Hi
To who wants to know how the "hair trigger" works here is a design of the two variants
Affectionately
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Old 3rd January 2020, 07:25 PM   #21
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Default Another pair of curious screws

The lug-head screw I presented previously is functionally the same as the 3rd screw in the top row of Michael's fascinating collection.

The 2 hand-made screws shown here correspond to the 2nd screw in the second line of that collection.

They are from a Bern Cantonal Ordnance musket of 1804. Rather towards the end of the period of interest for this forum, but illustrating how traditional methods were still in use at a time when screw-cutting lathes were becoming available.

Functionally, they are much superior to the plain pins often used to hold the front end of the trigger guard or to provide a trigger axis, as these tend to rust to the point of becoming fragile over the centuries, and are a right PITA to remove, like barrel pins.[IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG][IMG]
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Last edited by SchildaBrit : 4th January 2020 at 02:52 PM. Reason: Oh no, not another typo!
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Old 7th January 2020, 02:10 PM   #22
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Very good to see these differing screws, Patrick!

Now, In another thread, please show the rest of this very interesting gun!
Yes, I have seen it , though not in detail. :-)

I am sure many here would be greatly interested.

PS,
If you have "Paint" on your computer, put up the larger than desired photo on your screen, right click on it and go to "Open with paint".
Then you will see at top left, "re-size image". Click in the box the size you want, Example 45% and it'll reduce image accordingly, Then, click off the image using the red 'X" at top right and it will say, "Save Changes? and you click on 'Yes' box.
Done.
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Old 7th January 2020, 03:20 PM   #23
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Red face

Oh, i realized Patrick had problems, not with the picture dimensions allowed (1200X1200) but with the resolution which, even so, in the case of determined pictures, exceeds the 1 MB limit allowed.
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Old 7th January 2020, 05:03 PM   #24
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I have set the image file size restriction up to 2 Mb; the pixel width/height is set to 1280 - this is mostly for formatting so the text does not require using the slider-bar to read.
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Old 8th January 2020, 10:49 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pukka Bundook
... Now, In another thread, please show the rest of this very interesting gun!
I am sure many here would be greatly interested...

Amen
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Old 8th January 2020, 08:26 PM   #26
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OK, OK! Don't all push! I'm working on it!

Patrick

P.S. Pukka, I altered the photos exactly as you described - even before you posted. Mind reading or what?
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Old 8th January 2020, 09:39 PM   #27
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Patrick,

You will never get far reading My mind!
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