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Old 30th March 2011, 04:10 PM   #1
Matchlock
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Default Before the Ball: Clod Shot of 1375 - the Earliest Lead Gun Ammunition!

The scans attached are from Puype and Stevens' Arms and Armour of Knights and Landsknechts in the Netherlands Army Museum, 2010.

The lower image shows two similar pieces of clod shot in the author's collection. The were just chopped off from a lead bar. Klotzgeschoss is the correct German term.

I believe that clod shot was first used to drive gun arrows; they used to have a reinforcing flat tin roundel nailed to the bottom. More soon.


Best,
Michael
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Old 30th March 2011, 06:05 PM   #2
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Great stuff, Michl !!!
I am learning; thanks for that
Clod shot ... new to me, i confess . You don't happen to have yourself a spare specimen for your friend here ?
BTW, i am amazed with the "machine guns", although it comes to mind that these devices should have neen highly susceptible of hazardous results .
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Old 30th March 2011, 06:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Great stuff, Michl !!!

Clod shot ... new to me, i confess . You don't happen to have yourself a spare specimen for your friend here ?



These are the only two I kept. I had some more but gave them all away long ago. They sometimes are dug up in Germany and when I see the next one it will be yours!

Best,
Michl
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Old 30th March 2011, 08:37 PM   #4
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They are quite similar to that slugs fired from shotguns (Flintenlaufgeschosse) anyway.
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Old 30th March 2011, 09:18 PM   #5
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Thank You Michael for sharing this. I have a theory about making hole in bullet ( it seems that man is making hole in bullet at this picture). I will write about it
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Old 30th March 2011, 09:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
They are quite similar to that slugs fired from shotguns (Flintenlaufgeschosse) anyway.


We call them zagalotes (obscure origin).
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Old 31st March 2011, 08:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
We call them zagalotes (obscure origin).

Zagalotes seems just perfect to me, amigo, as it contains the stem of clod

Best,
Michael
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Old 31st March 2011, 10:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiridonov
Thank You Michael for sharing this. I have a theory about making hole in bullet ( it seems that man is making hole in bullet at this picture). I will write about it



No, Alexander,

He is touching the foremost = first in line! touchhole with a long igniting iron which holds a short piece of tinder ! in a clamp!

Best,
m
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Old 31st March 2011, 10:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
No, Alexander,

He is touching the foremost = first in line! touchhole with a long igniting iron which holds a short piece of tinder ! in a clamp!

Best,
m


I am tolkig obout man from the left side I will post about this when i return home
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Old 31st March 2011, 07:39 PM   #10
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Oh yes, the guy on the left!

I don't actually think he is drilling a hole in the clod shot; this whole is already there. I believe that he shows the loading process of those superimposed loads in the barrel, one above the other: powder and clod shot, and so on. As the clods have central holes there is a chain reaction once the foremost load has been ignited.

Best,
Michael
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Old 4th April 2011, 05:44 PM   #11
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Default Iron Clod Shot, 14th century

I found these photos in my archives. I remember the clod shot was owned by a dealer who asked a few hundred euro so I did not buy it.

Best,
Michael
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Old 5th April 2011, 05:45 PM   #12
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You see, 'Nando,

These are not that rare!

Best,
Michl
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Old 5th April 2011, 06:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
You see, 'Nando,

These are not that rare!

Best,
Michl


Oh no, not rare at all. There must be zillions of those out there .
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Old 5th April 2011, 06:34 PM   #14
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There are!

They just need to be found and identified! What do you think most people will do when they find such a crude piece of lead or iron? Exactly: throw it away faster than they could pick it up!

Best,
Michl
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Old 11th April 2011, 04:10 PM   #15
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Default A Curios Medieval Lead Ball Cast Together With Gravel !

From the internet.

Cal. 19 mm, dug up in Austria.

Best,
Michael
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Old 11th April 2011, 05:04 PM   #16
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AMAZING !!!!
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Old 11th April 2011, 05:06 PM   #17
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I have seen some of these over the decades but do not own any.

m
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Old 26th April 2011, 09:51 AM   #18
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How long were those clod shots used? I own a piece that could date from the first half of the 15th century, would that fit?
I also have some of those lead balls filled with a piece of iron or stone. That was done because lead was very expensive.
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Old 21st May 2011, 05:52 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stekemest
How long were those clod shots used? I own a piece that could date from the first half of the 15th century, would that fit?
I also have some of those lead balls filled with a piece of iron or stone. That was done because lead was very expensive.



Oh yes, that's possible.

Although lead was expensive, I rather tend to believe that the method of including gravel was the easiest way to generate maximum loss on the enemy's side - it acted like shot.

Founding lead balls with a stone or iron core mostly seems to have been done for use with brass or bronze barrels, in order to protect these softer materials.

I'd also like to promote the following link here:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...0038#post120038


Best,
Michael
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Old 16th November 2013, 08:50 PM   #20
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Default The Only Known Piece of Clod Shot for 'Automatic Rapid Firing', 14th Century !!!

The idea was to load the gun barrel as follows:


- 1. insert the usual amount of gunpowder

- 2. insert the first piece of clod shot

- 3. repeat step 1

- 4. repeat step two etc.


When the maximum amount of powder clod shot, dependig on the length and strongness of the barrel, had been inserted, fine priming powder would have to be rinsed thru the central holes in the clod pieces, and all its way down to the lowest piece of shot, until the central hole of the top clod piece was filled with powder.

Then the barrel was ignited from the muzzle (!) either by a clamp holding a smoldering length of matchcord or by a red hot iron - see original illustrations of 1411! - , and all shots were fired in rapid succession ...


As D.R. Baxter has shown in his unparalleled work Superimposed Load Firearms 1360-1860, Hongkong, 1966 (warning: extremely rare to find and extremely extensive as well!), the very same system remained in use throughout the muzzleloading area ...



And now there is a piece of 14th century high tech for the earliest superimposed load system - in my collection!
It is the only known existing specimen of its kind worldwide ...


The watercolors are from Johannes Hartlieb, Buch der Kriegskunst, dated 1411, Austrian National Library ÖNB, cod.vind. 3069.


When wondering at the seemingly wrong scales of the shot, please remember that the authors of Medieval manuscripts tended to exaggerate in size the most important details that often were rather tiny in reality!



Best,
Michael, proud as a peacock!
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Last edited by Matchlock : 17th November 2013 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 16th November 2013, 09:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
... Michael, proud as a peacock!

Which peacock variant ... Bavarian ?
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Old 16th November 2013, 09:17 PM   #22
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At least that's my guess, my friend ...

m
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Old 16th November 2013, 10:27 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stekemest
How long were those clod shots used? I own a piece that could date from the first half of the 15th century, would that fit?
I also have some of those lead balls filled with a piece of iron or stone. That was done because lead was very expensive.



Hi,

As I have been both rather freely and busy sharing the pieces in my collection, and as these objects are so rare to find:
would you please care to post good images of your clod shot?

Thanks in advance,
Michael

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Old 17th November 2013, 10:13 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
The idea was to load the gun barrel as follows:


- 1. insert the usual amount of gunpowder

- 2. insert the first piece of clod shot

- 3. repeat step 1

- 4. repeat step two etc.


Hello, my Dear Friend. I think that You are absolutely right! We have really strong proof for this way of loading in Trattato d'architettura Giorgio Martini. It's about 1478-1481
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Old 18th November 2013, 10:16 PM   #25
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Thank you so much, Alexender,


For sharing this unique Late-Gothic source of illustration!

As you mentioned, it is datable to ca. 1480, so the use of balls is shown, documenting a remarkable step forward compared to 14th c. clod shot.

On the other hand, of course, the loading procedure was all the more difficult as it required employing a very special thin iron stick to sort of center-string all the balls thru their holes in vertical succession!

Eight superimposed loads are depicted by Martini, which doubtlessly meant 'rapid automatic fire' as these shots must have been discharged within a short span of time of ca. 4-6 seconds once the foremost/upper had been ignited ... imagine such a dramatic psychologic impact when everyone else only had one single shot in their guns! Aiming the muzzle in the direction of the opponing army must have sufficed to wield a horrible amount of excessive firing power.



For clarity, please allow me to repost that 'photoshopped' image from your clever input!


Best wishes,
Michael/Mikhail
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Old 19th November 2013, 11:37 AM   #26
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Together with the famous Tannenbergbüchse (Tannenberg gun barrel, now preserved in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg), an iron ramrod and a piece of iron clod shot were found, the latter with a central hole!

As I have stated in another thread, I have proved on the basis of analogous stylistic comparison that the Tannenberg barrel (actually two specimens were found, the shorter one still loaded but the load having disappeared from the museum, the Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt within the last 150 years!) is by no means as early as 'ca. 1390'.
Actually, it cannot have been made before ca. 1430, which makes it a contemporary of the Hussite Wars.

Now how come it was found in the ca. 1390 layer of earth?

That's easy to explain: as it was found deep down in the ground of a well the barrel, due to its slender form and relative weight the bronze barrel must have fallen down from considerable height, bottoming its way down into an older stratum. The fact that the castle of Tannenberg was destroyed in 1390 is neither compellingly nor logically any sort of proof of the exact age of the barrel. There is always the possibilty that, in the course of some smaller fight, these pieces fell into the well somewhen in the 15th century.


Best,
Michael
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Old 19th November 2013, 06:15 PM   #27
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This is not clod shot but one of the rare 15th/early 16th century iron balls covered by a lead coating. I believe that, apart from the then high price for lead, this was mostly done to protect the inner walls of the relatively soft bronze gun barrels.

Found on detektorforum.de.

Best,
Michael
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Last edited by Matchlock : 19th November 2013 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 20th November 2013, 03:16 PM   #28
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And here are some extremely rare instances of iron clod shot of rectangular or many-sided shape, all 14th to 16th century and all cast in molds, and all covered with a leaden coating to protect the relatively 'soft' inner walls of bronze barrels.

Breaking the sharp edges of an iron clod was the easiest and closest approach to the ball shape. I own a 14-sided specimen of enormous weight and size that clearly shows traces of a two-piece mold (images to follow).


From Mary Rose (sunk in 1545) finds we know that Henry VIII's army used such lead-clad iron shot to break the oak rumps of ships in sea fights; they have been analyzed by neutron tomography and Roentgen rays (see attachments).
The two attachments showing iron cubes dug up together with fragments of bronze cannon and the bottom piece of a bronze wallgun barrel are most interesting!



Best,
Michael
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Last edited by Matchlock : 20th November 2013 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 20th November 2013, 06:18 PM   #29
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I should add that I marked one word blue in the news magazine article: eingeschmolzen, meaning melted into the lead as an integral part.

This of course is complete rubbish, both semantically and technically/logically. After close inspection of about 25 of these items, a considerable number of which are in my own study collection, I can tell with authority that, in all probability, the lead coating was cold-hammered around the core of either stone or iron!


Best,
Michael
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Old 20th November 2013, 08:31 PM   #30
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Don't you think that the newtron-tomographic and radiograpic images of the cannonballs from Mary Rose may also suggest that the lead ball could have been casted arund the iron core? The position of the iron core on the edge of one side of the lead ball indicates to me that it was casted and the iron clod was positioned outside of the centre while laying on the bottom of form. Even when i guess that an experienced metal caster should be able to produce balls with a centered core.

Or is it possible that the emphasis was intentially dislocated from the center of weight? - Bus this wouldn't make any sense to me.
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