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Old 17th June 2024, 08:32 PM   #1
Marcus den toom
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Default Dutch target arquebuse dated 1630

This special "arquebuse" (for a lack of a better term) came to me recently. First the obvious, it is in need of restoration. A delicate proces i intend to do right.
The lack of sources on these guns makes it difficult to be sure how this gun would have looked like complete. Especially the lock is up for debate.
My, somewhat educated, guess is that it would employ a snap match/tinder lock. This would work best, i think, in combination with the set hair trigger action. This is also underlined by earlier work by Michael and Richard: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=7524 post 7 and 8.
The barrel has been altered to percussion action but even though the new addition, there is no evidence to sugest a powder pan integral to the barrel. Which leads me to assume it would have been a powderpan integral to the lock. Of this i have seen some other instances as well with these type of guns.

As to the rest, it has some wood worm damage and cracks. And, something which upsets me without bounds, a damage to the barrel mouth. This was done during transport and was due to a lack of good packaging. Lessons learned, always instruct the people that handle your precious antiques, they seem not to comprehend simple logic... pointy item will want to point through some bubblewrap and a single layer cardboard box.. end rant, sorry.

The rest of the gun has to speak for itself as i did little to no investigation on its marvelous decorations and design, yet.

My question to all who might find these guns interesting too is: Do you have pictures or information on any of such Dutch target guns. Lock type (in and outside), trigger guard design and sights are most precious to me, but any information is welcome. I will of course update on the progress, which might be slow.
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Last edited by Marcus den toom; 17th June 2024 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 17th June 2024, 08:34 PM   #2
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A lock like this could make a good candidate, it dates from around the same time.
Many thanks to Richard for this image (found somewhere else )
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Old 17th June 2024, 08:44 PM   #3
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Sold at auction, lock with integral powder pan. Somewhat excentric looking.. must be Dutch
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Old 19th June 2024, 01:14 PM   #4
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Its a fascinating thing Marcus but I wouldn’t personally relish the responsibility of deciding what to do with it. Although I sympathise with the desire to see it as a converted snap matchlock this needs thought . Although the stock looks convincingly early I would need to convince myself that this wasn’t a nineteenth century re use of an earlier venerable barrel in which case the percussion lock and stock might be contemporary. The worry is why would anybody go to the trouble of fitting a new percussion lock to a matchlock target gun? Hopefully their is some good evidence that this is not the case.

Since their is no indication of the flash pan being dovetailed into the barrel we have to accept that if it was a matchlock it would be the later style of lock with the flash pan as part of the lock plate following emerging dog lock / flintlock form . I also doubt whether there is sufficient space within the lock rebate to fit an earlier style of matchlock without a lot of new cutting and patching of the woodwork which I think would be unacceptable. A responsible compromise might be to remove the percussion bolster , plug touchhole and make up a new matchlock with a lock profile matching the existing rebate . Basically similar to the reference example you post. The percussion lock can be archived as part of its history and the restoration is potentially reversible. I am at a lost explain what appears to be a detachable extension to the but . The extension itself appears to have been cut down . The reference example you post has the same feature but the extension is much longer and appears to end in a spike. Further research might show the purpose of this.

On the subject of conservation in my experience this degree of woodworm is terminal. Only a paper thin layer of solid wood remains on the surface of the stock and given the weight of the barrel any rough handling could cause the stock to break. Soaking in cellulose wood hardener can help but it won’t add much to restoring the integrity of the wood. I think I would want to consult with a museum conservation specialist to see if their were any better modern solutions.
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Old 19th June 2024, 02:12 PM   #5
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Might the area inside the line on this detail be a later patch ? This might indicate the approximate shape of the original lock which would justify the matchlock re conversion.
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Last edited by Raf; 19th June 2024 at 02:17 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 19th June 2024, 07:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raf View Post
Might the area inside the line on this detail be a later patch ? This might indicate the approximate shape of the original lock which would justify the matchlock re conversion.
Very astute observation and thank you for pitching in. Indeed this piece of wood has been added later into what appears to be a rectangular shape. Attached two pictures from the inside were the same line can be seen. The only odd thing is that the cut seems to go up all the way towards the tang of the barrel. This piece is now obscured by a thin sheet of brass.
As to the age of the stock it is good to keep all options open. The shape of the stock does correspond with the few examples i know of from other Dutch target guns from the early to mid 17th century. It is quite an odd ball for any other later musket.

The other gun i posted does have a metal bar at the butstock, for whatever reason (see picture). Why these stocks are made in two parts eludes me as well sofar

Luckily the worm damage has only affected a small portion of the butstock and the resting slate of wood on the "foot" of the stock. Other than that the wood is structurally sound. There is one crack at the counter lock plate were there is evidence of older holes for lock fastening bolts as well as the new holes for the percussion lock. For safety reasons i have treated those parts with profesional wood worm killer (used for antique wood).
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Old 20th June 2024, 11:47 AM   #7
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Thats all good news. Out of curiosity what is the drilling in the barrel to the right of the percussion bolster? I was wondering if the detachable stock extension had something to do with accommodating different styles of shooting. Either with the extension resting on the shoulder like a tiller or without the extension shooting from the bench rest.
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Old 20th June 2024, 02:33 PM   #8
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An obvious parallel is the Dutch bench rest target crossbow. Note the set triggers and maybe an idea for the form of the trigger guard.
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Old 21st June 2024, 05:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raf View Post
Thats all good news. Out of curiosity what is the drilling in the barrel to the right of the percussion bolster? I was wondering if the detachable stock extension had something to do with accommodating different styles of shooting. Either with the extension resting on the shoulder like a tiller or without the extension shooting from the bench rest.
Attached a picture of this hole. It is hard to see but i think there is a screw thread inside. It is not punctured all the way trough the bore either. I think it might have been a fastening point for the original lock.

You make a good point about the stock. I own a air rifle which can be modded to all sorts of uses. The barrel and action are all one piece but the rest can be altered. The same could be true for this target gun. Rather ingenious, thank you for that

Exactly, do you know if that style with a bench rwst was also employed in other countries? Trigger guard is a nice starting point too
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Old 22nd June 2024, 07:25 AM   #10
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Default Royal armouries Matchlock target gun - Matchlock target gun - about 1680

Long barrel of square section ornamented with ribs and flutes towards the breech then round with widely spaced flutes the flared muzzle being octagonal. Wide Vee backsight. A nearly obliterated mark possibly that of Antwerp is stamped near the breech. Lock of similar type to that of No.XII.18 but with brass lockplate and match-holder. Pan-cover and scear missing.

Stock with butt of 'bellied' form; the projecting grip for the left hand is carved with an eight petalled flower. No ramrod is fitted, a false rod being simulated on the fore-end by carving. Indented steel trigger-guard. Double-lever hair-trigger

Dimensions:
Barre lLength 1283 mm
Calibre .60 in
Place: Flanders, Antwerp
Date: about 1680
Location: Study Collection
Object number:XII.20
Provenance: Old Tower Collection
https://royalarmouries.org/collection/object/object-218
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Old 22nd June 2024, 07:29 AM   #11
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Default Royal armouries Matchlock target gun - By E. G. Siaens - about 1750

Of similar type to No. XII.18 and 20 but differing in detail and of later date. Barrel of square section at the breech altering to octagonal. Wide, flat backsight pierced with a large aperture and originally fitted with a pivoted plate drilled with a smaller aperture for optional use. The pan retains it's pivoted cover.

Lock with mechanism similar to that fitted to No. XII.16, the lock-plate however being of flintlock shape. It is engraved with the name of the maker E.G. Siaens.

Stock, the butt with cheekpiece on both sides, the large hand-grip carved with rococo scrollwork and foliage in high relief. Brass mounts, the trigger-guard indented for the fingers. Double-lever hair-trigger. Ramrod missing.

Dimensions:
Barrel Length 1067 mm
Overall Length 1502 mm
Calibre: .56 in (26 bore)
https://royalarmouries.org/collection/object/object-219
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Old 22nd June 2024, 07:36 AM   #12
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Default Royal Armouries Matchlock target gun - By Jacobus Van Oppy Anvers - about1680

Slender octagonal barrel flaring at the muzzle where it is ornamented with flutes. Brass bead foresight and tall V backsight. The Antwerp control mark (a raised left hand, the palm towards the viewer) is stamped on the left at the breech and a barrel forger's mark on the underside. Lock with S shaped match-holder mounted at the rear of the lock plate and working with a forward motion. The mechanism incorporates a mainspring and tumbler of flintlock type the later with a single cocking notch, The pan is mounted on the lockplate and has possessed a pivoted cover now missing. The lockplate is engraved with the name of the maker JACOBUS VAN OPPY ANVERS. There is a projecting grip for the left hand in front of the trigger guard the end of which is missing. The base of the fore-end is carved with a simple design of scrolling foliage. Brass mounts the triggerguard indented for the fingers. Double lever hair-trigger, steel ramrod possibly original.

Dimensions
Overall Height 8 in
Overall Height 210 mm
Overall Length 60 in
Overall Length 1524 mm
Overall Weight 5 kg
Overall Weight 11 lbs
Overall Width 2 in
Overall Width 62 mm
Barrel Length 45 in
Barrel Length 1149 mm
https://royalarmouries.org/collectio...t/object-30707
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Old 22nd June 2024, 07:44 AM   #13
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Default Dutch national museum (Rijksmuseum) Target matchlock 1618

The lock plate has ends in the shape of three leaves. The barrel is of the so-called halber Kistenlauf type, with a breech of square cross-section; the tubular iron rear sight is decorated as a spiral; the sight grain is made of copper; the barrel is partly chiseled with panels, lines, letters and numbers and shows remains of inlaid copper wire, including a diamond with an O and the letters la[..]we[..] flanked by copper incrustation in a zigzag pattern, and the year 1618 flanked by notches. The walnut stock is simply carved and ends at the bottom in a support bobbin with a flower on the sides and at the bottom the remains of an old paper sticker written in ink: This s[?] is fromt a[..] / [.. ]sie; the stock has two cavities on top, one for the shooter's thumb, the other for his hand. The iron fittings consist of a trigger guard that extends into the support spool at the front and has three projections for the fingers, the rear of which is in an S-shape, and of a butt cap with an iron eye soldered to it for hanging the weapon; no provision for a ramrod. The rifle is rusted and dented.

length 191 cm
length barrel 117.3 cm
diameter 14.5 cm
weight 8.6 kg
Purchased from the H.L. Visser Collection, with the support of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, the Ministerie van OCenW, the Ministerie van Defensie, the VSBfonds, the BankGiro Lottery and the Rijksmuseum Fonds


https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/search...G-2002-23-10,1
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Old 22nd June 2024, 07:50 AM   #14
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Default Rijksmuseum Target gun used by the Guild of Arquebusiers in Amsterdam, Jacobus Jasper

The support stand on this target gun is in the form of a taloned eagle’s claw grasping a ball, a reference to the Guild of Arquebusiers in Amsterdam. Civic guardsmen would grasp the support with their left hand, while pressing their left elbow into their side. The gun has a tinder lock, which uses a piece of smouldering dried fungus, rather than a slow match, to ignite the powder.

Target gun or target rudder. The yellow copper lock shows traces of earlier gilding; the lock plate is finished with copper; the pan rests on a base in the shape of a seashell. The barrel is ribbed and grooved on the back; the square trumpet is shaped like a Corinthian column; the sight and grain are made of yellow copper. The stock is inlaid with mother of pearl and carved in relief with foliage, snakes and dolphins; the support bobbin for the trigger guard ends in a bird's claw around a ball that is flattened at the bottom. Apart from the cow horn drawer hood, the fittings are of previously gilded yellow brass and consist of a screw plate engraved with a name, and a butt plate with a spur across the entire handle; the ramrod has an iron cover.

length 163.8 cm
length barrel 124.6 cm
diameter 10.9 mm
weight 6.8 kg
Purchased from the H.L. Visser Collection, with the support of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, the Ministerie van OCenW, the Ministerie van Defensie, the VSBfonds, the BankGiro Lottery and the Rijksmuseum Fonds



https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/search...G-2002-23-14,2
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Old 22nd June 2024, 07:53 AM   #15
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Default Rijksmuseum Target gun, anonymous, 1628

The lock is equipped with a circular fire screen on the side of the pan; the neck of the rooster is marked EDP, EDR or EDB on the inside. The barrel has three flutes on top and a flared trumpet in the shape of a snake's head with a flattened ball; brass grain, blued iron sight; decorated on top with debossed dots in a cross pattern; Marked on the back with a U or C. The stock is equipped with a support block consisting of a pillar with a circle underneath. The gold-plated, brass fittings consist of a trigger guard protruding from the butt with serrations for the fingers, a raw screw plate, a large oval cartouche engraved with the representation of Saint Christopher flanked by the year 16 (and) 28, and a butt plate in two parts : one on the lower tip of the butt, the other partly on the back; no provision for a ramrod.

length 144.6 cm
length barrel 106 cm
diameter 17.4 mm
weight 6.4 kg
Purchased from the H.L. Visser Collection, with the support of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, the Ministerie van OCenW, the Ministerie van Defensie, the VSBfonds, the BankGiro Lottery and the Rijksmuseum Fonds


https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/search...G-2002-23-12,0
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Old 22nd June 2024, 10:20 AM   #16
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Default Rijksmuseum target gun with tinder snaplock

Target gun or target rudder. The tinder snap lock has a rectangular lock plate with a cock on which a tube for the tinder is brazed. The barrel consists of a quadrangular part that after a ring, stamped twice with a mark in the shape of a key under a crown or finial, via a round and a second ring, ends in a cup-shaped trumpet showing the remains of a sight grain; equipped with a visor with viewing hole stamped with an incomplete year. The stock has an octagonal grip and a massive supporting bobbin under the lock, the sides of which are carved in relief with panels based on the architectural style decoration of late 16th century book covers; the front and back of the support bobbin are almost three-dimensionally cut and pierced with, among other things, a half-seated faun with a bagpipe and a large lion's head; instead of a thumb plate, the stock behind the barrel is cut with a cobblestone. The iron fittings consist of a drawer cover and band made of iron sheet, a trigger guard shaped to the fingers, and a butt plate with a spur across the entire grip; the steel ramrod dates back to the eighteenth century at the earliest.

length 165.6 cm
length barrel 127.3 cm
diameter 13.3 mm
weight 7.8 kg
Purchased from the H.L. Visser Collection, with the support of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, the Ministerie van OCenW, the Ministerie van Defensie, the VSBfonds, the BankGiro Lottery and the Rijksmuseum Fonds

https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/collection/NG-2002-23-11
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Old 22nd June 2024, 10:25 AM   #17
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Default Rijksmuseum Target gun tinder snaplock

The lock has a rectangular lock plate and a snake-shaped cock ending in a snake head for the tinder. The barrel is of the so-called half-box barrel type common for target rifles; chiselled on top with a frieze between two rings; ends at the trumpet; the groove of the block-shaped, iron rear sight is formed by two curls, the sight grain is made of yellow copper; the bottom of the pan is chiseled with a cross. The large wooden supporting column under the lock is carved in relief with panels depicting a flower calyx in the center; the front and back of the supporting bobbin are carved in high relief with large lion heads amid foliage; a grotesque male head is carved behind the barrel. Apart from the iron trigger guard, partly molded for the fingers, the fittings are of yellow brass and consist of two drawer covers, the trigger guard, the butt plate and two decorated plates for the carriage bolts; the steel ramrod is nineteenth century.

length 171 cm
length barrel 128.4 cm
diameter 13.3 mm
weight 5.0 kg
Purchased from the H.L. Visser Collection, with the support of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, the Ministerie van OCenW, the Ministerie van Defensie, the VSBfonds, the BankGiro Lottery and the Rijksmuseum Fonds

https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/collection/NG-2002-23-13
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Old 22nd June 2024, 10:29 AM   #18
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Default Rijksmuseum Target gun tinder snaplock

The lock plate has a point at the ends. The barrel is of the so-called halber Kistenlauf type, equipped with a yellow copper sight and grain; the ring for the octagonal breech is chiseled with the year 1611; the round part of the barrel is stamped twice with a mark in the shape of a leaf. The walnut stock has a large support spool at the bottom in which acanthus leaves and a lion are cut out; the number XXIIII is carved into the belly of the stock. The previously gold-plated, brass fittings consist of a trigger plate, a trigger guard and a butt plate with a pointed, corrugated top part stamped with VAN GOES; the ramrod is made of steel.

length 144.2 cm
length barrel 105.3 cm
diameter 12.1 mm
weight 5.2 kg
Purchased from the H.L. Visser Collection, with the support of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, the Ministerie van OCenW, the Ministerie van Defensie, the VSBfonds, the BankGiro Lottery and the Rijksmuseum Fonds

https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/collection/NG-2002-23-9
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Old 22nd June 2024, 10:34 AM   #19
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Default Rijksmuseum target gun Dated 1616

Lock: Zwamslot. Flat, narrow and rectangular lock plate with external spring, secured with two lock screws. Cock in spiral shape with tubular wick holder. Barrel: Partly square (back) and round. Funnel-shaped trumpet with longitudinal fluting. Sight ring (on breech), sight and bead. Drawer: Two solid brass drawer bands. Square support block with carved decoration of leaf and floral motifs. Stock: with copper butt plate. Marked: 2x on the front of the barrel. Dated: 2x.

length c. 163 cm
length barrel 120.8 cm
diameter 1.27 cm
weight 6.8 kg


https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/collection/NG-NM-517
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Old 22nd June 2024, 12:09 PM   #20
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An embaresment of riches. You have now have plenty of references to fill out its missing history. On the lock. I assume you have checked to see if parts of the percussion lock haven't been recycled from a snaplock as some of the images show later type locks. Snaplocks never really caught on since it was found that the rapid action tended to snuff out match cord. Hence they are mostly tinder locks. Genuine dates on firearms are rare and one wonders why so many of these target guns are dated. Maybe something to do with shooting guilds.
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Old 22nd June 2024, 03:48 PM   #21
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My question to all who might find these guns interesting too is: Do you have pictures or information on any of such Dutch target guns. Lock type (in and outside), trigger guard design and sights are most precious to me, but any information is welcome. I will of course update on the progress, which might be slow.[/QUOTE]
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I know a beautifull matchlock target gun housed in the Musée McCord Stewart
https://collections.musee-mccord-ste...47117/no-title.
Also one very rare wheellock target gun sold by fisher ( wheelllock are very rare on target gun)
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Old 24th June 2024, 12:25 PM   #22
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Here , out of interest is another conversion of a snap lock target gun to percussion
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Old 24th June 2024, 03:52 PM   #23
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Thank you both for the contributions.
Thank you Cerjak for pointing out the rare wheellock gun as well!!
As to the dates, i am not sure why so many have been dated. Maybe the shooting guilds had an annual competition and these guns were the price (far fetched i am sure)?

The choice for a snap lock has, i think, also another reason. A conventional matchlock requires sufficient power to operate the mechanism. The target gun with hair trigger lacks that power, it is alot of energy put into speed rather than power. A snaplock serves best with it stored energy, ready to be released with a small squeeze of the trigger.

That lockplate you posted Raf seems to have been reused, but the internal workings have been (completly?) been remade. Is this yours?
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Old 24th June 2024, 05:02 PM   #24
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Is this yours? [/QUOTE]

Nice if it was.Your point about the snaplock being less disturbing to aim is well made and presumably explains why it continued to be used on target guns. My point was that although the snapping matchlock develops quite early it was largely superseded by the more familiar lever action lock for the reasons I mentioned. Shooting competitions, arquebus or crossbow, seem to have been a feature of guilds which were effectively militia groups . One wonders if the dates had something to do with when an individual was admitted to a guild. By the way the Dutch name "zwamslot" freely translated means Mushroom/fungus Lock.One wonders whether the internals of the lock I posted were completely re made since all that was really required was to cut away the flashpan and fit a new serpentine.

Last edited by Raf; 24th June 2024 at 05:17 PM. Reason: added content
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Old 29th June 2024, 03:42 PM   #25
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The barrel has been repaired and cleaned. The percussion tower has also been removed. This revealed a second possible screw hole, since filled.
My idea is the barrel had a screw on powderpan.
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The lock could than just have been a rectangular snap tinder lock.
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Old 30th June 2024, 03:27 PM   #26
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My idea is the barrel had a screw on powderpan.

It's a reasonable idea especially since the front drilling is offset avoid drilling into the bore . Otherwise what are these holes for ? For clarification is the hair / set trigger arrangement part of the trigger assembly as in the x ray image in your previous post?
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Old 30th June 2024, 05:21 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raf View Post
For clarification is the hair / set trigger arrangement part of the trigger assembly as in the x ray image in your previous post?
Yes the trigger assembly is one part with a set trigger system.
I have asked the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam for pictures of the inside of the rectangular locks. These internal pictutes would complete the puzzle.
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Old 4th July 2024, 04:05 PM   #28
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Sofar i have been unable to find any other locks belonging to this type of gun.
My best guess is as follows (see picture):
A rectangular lock plate with an early tumbler and sear mechanism as seen on flintlocks. The black parts are the springs, the red part is the tinder holder.
A similar mechanism can be seen on a 1530-40s snap tinder lock.
Will keep looking, any help in finding more of these guns is appreciated
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Old 9th July 2024, 06:13 PM   #29
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A chaperon from the "Schutterij", a city guard comprised of citizen soldiers, of the city Dordrecht. In this instance it belonged to the "kloveniers gilde" a Dutch interpretation of the French word couleuvrine, a short musket.

The Chaperon is embroided with a royal tree (emblem of Prince Maurits), crossed with two target guns very similar to the one in post 17. There is also a date of 1622, which is another great example of how these guns seem to have been around mostly during the first half of the 17th century coinciding with the golden age of the Netherlands.

It is very difficult to decern but it looks like the guns have a diopter visor on the front.
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Old 9th July 2024, 06:19 PM   #30
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Netherlands
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Another one without any further information. Found in the book Schutters in Holland, page 224.
Among this example are also all the target guns currently in the Rijksmuseum, this one did not make it to the collection and is for now at unknown wereabouts.
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