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Discussion in 'Pre-Flintlock' started by Tom A Hawk, Oct 4, 2019.
Have just returned from two weeks in Japan and was able to snap a few pics of museum pieces.
Very nice indeed - the weapons and the photos. What, exactly, is the short gun in the third photo?
Some sort of early hand gun I presume. Handle wrapped with ray skin as was done with katana.
I wondered about that handle. So that is a short serpentine. It looks like it could be a hammer for a side lock.
The japs used matchlocks longer than most.
It is in the form of the jitte or Edo-era police truncheon. This served as a "badge" so people knew the person so-equipped was an officer, and it could be used to disarm a sword-armed miscreant. The side prong may be used to "catch" the blade like the so-called "sword breaker."
Thanks for the photos!
how did they aim/fire/hold them to shoot with out a butt stock?
'Cheek weld', held firm to the side of their face.
They are fired by holding the short butt to their cheek in the lighter arms . The more massive pieces are fired from the hip. One such was demonstrated at the First International match at Quantico Va by one of the Japonese team suitably dressed . These matchlocks are the ONLY guns the Civilian Japonese are are allowed to own & fire . The International MLAIC event for Matchlock are shot at 55 yards off hand & one match is knealing best ten of13 shots within 30 minets . the target being the French Musket target a scaled up version of the' PL 7/ ISU' target . Standard to Muzzle loading International events .There being matches for Original & replica classes .
The shoot is called the 'Tanagashima' as this port was the first place Portugease traders first sold off a broken Venetion snap matchlock that would have had a shoulder stock but the crafty Portugees.whittled the long butt off perhaps it was rotted or damaged ? . So the Japonees made copies if being unable to cut screw threads or odd as it seems make springs of steel. Used pins, bands, and brass but retained the basic form into the 1850s since Japan effectley closed its doors to all outside contact for the better part of 300 years . .I have asserted that the origin is based of Venitian snap matchlocks which where to original AK 47 of Tudor times examples recovered from the wreck of the' Mary Rose' ( Sank 1546 from memory ) But it was also a view concluded by Guy Wilson formally of the Royal armouries . " Build a better matchlock & the world will beat a path to your door !' . Complete nonsense of course but sounds good !. Regards Rudyard
PS I see Flint Smoothy beat me to it but its the same message Cheers Rudyard
Flint62Smoothie, and Rudyard, thanks guys for the answering my query. it is a fascinating bit of history. how could they shoot and hit anything shooting from the hip ? I realize that they were to heavy to shoulder, something like a wall gun ? they say if you send t them a tea cup that the handle got broke in shipping to replicate they would make one for you with a broken handle! remember the first BROWN BESS'S that VAL FORGET sent over to be made for him in the 60's,NAVY ARMS, MORUKO'S, and the brass trigger guard got dented and all of them were MFG. with a dented trigger guard.
Yes Toot I can believe that .He fired from the hip it was big. I suppose its like some bigger blunderbusses fired with shot close up .They gave away whale bone vent picks as I recall , I was there but not as a shooter .
Apparently some were made dual purpose and had a gun barrel.
Adam Novath saved to Samurai weapons
Recent posts by Nihon-No-Katchu Samurai Armour Forum, teppo jutte, an iron truncheon with a gun barrel and primer pan.
That is not entirely accurate. Japanese hunters can own firearms--for example, a Remington 1100 12-gauge shotgun with a permanent 2-shot limiter in the magazine so that three rounds can be used to hunt birds. The regulations are certainly draconian, and woe betide anyone who runs afoul of a police inspection. The ammunition, the firearm, etc. must all be stored separately and also under lock. But there are Japanese sports shooters, and there are reasonably modern firearms available, albeit heavily regulated and highly restricted. Japanese tourists are fond of American firearm ranges that rent firearms to visitors...
The French navy in the age of wooden ships and iron men boasted blunderbusses that were so formidably large--like a swivel gun--that these were fired from the hip. If one trains considerably, then yes, one can hit by firing from the hip.
Dave C . Good to know Some guns other than Matchlocks are allowed. But from an International Muzzle loading match context the matchlocks are all they are (Or where) able to use .If perhaps by Now they have got round it by keeping or borrowing suitable guns when overseas . But but practice in Japan would likley be affected and if it isn't Im'e quite happy to be found in error .
Take a look at German Wheelock ‘colts foot Rifles’ I THINK that the Japanese used those as a model seen via Dutch traders before Japan was shut down.
Toot // Tengun I believe the rifles you are thinking of are the small bore' Tschinkes' Eastern European later & never seen one as matchlock . I think it most unlikely any would be on a ship to Japan . The Portugues traded them not the Dutch. The Venetian Snap matchlock is far more likely surviving examples being very similar only the butt was shortened on the Japanees copies. My belief is ( or was )also held by Guy M Wilson formally at the Royal Armouries at the Tower of London . Refer Vol 26 number 1 Feb 1988 ' Arms collecting Journal ' Also' British Muzzleloaders Alberta' Matchlock shoot demo. The snap Matchlock of my make varies in the lock & pan but the stock form illustrates the similaritys . These where made in large Quantitys Henry the eight sought some 9,000 of them and at least got some 4,200 by August 1545 the wreck of his ill fated Flagship The' Mary Rose' having quanties aboard when she sank in that year many surviving in regognisable state in modern times . I hope that is suitably' Go Too' for you . Regards Rudyard
These are all wheel locks, and the only matchlocks I know of in this style were combination pieces boasting wheel and matchlock in one.
Now I have to assume that some of these got to the Dutch and the Dutch got them to Japan in its attempt to open trade with Japan. And then, as if I haven’t assumed enough I have to assume the Japanese copied them using the predominant match lock design.
I do see a similarity in these stock designs. What’s that mean? Nothing at all. Sharks, Tuna and Dolphins all look the same and submarines too, and not related. So it’s easy for me to draw a line from German rifles and Japanese matchlocks. And freely admit it could be just in my head.
Steering a way though these early pieces is frought with hazards theres nothing like the records that are available in later days such as the Colt Winchester and most military arms . But Guy Wilson who worked at the Royal Armouries had a' box seat' to study what examples & documents could be located . he was paid to study them ,(Nice work if you can get it!) So worry not your in good company we are all ' Students of Arms '. I took interest in the Venecian' Mary Rose' type snap matchlocks because the design is very 'modern' it has the shoulder stock with a pistol hand aperture sight, trigger where you expect it and reliable snap lock thus ideal for competition matchlock . The military ones had longer barrels and ran about 50 cal I made them about three foot barrel & of 40 cal for better ballistic qualitys at the 55 yards target they are shot at . The Video shows a typical one of these .
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