Hand Mortars - Late Production Examples?

Discussion in 'General Muzzleloading' started by hyuzu, Feb 17, 2019.

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  1. Feb 26, 2019 #21

    Grenadier1758

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    Well, we have fired our musket mortar. There were some of the guys who had to shoot it from the shoulder. I can verify that even if you shoot a tennis ball and not an iron grenade, you better expect a world of hurt. That's why we fire it as a mortar with the butt on the ground.
     
  2. Feb 27, 2019 #22

    hyuzu

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    Fair enough. I've seen videos of a few guys shooting the Veteran Arms one from the shoulder, but I guess maybe they were using lighter loads than you fellas.
     
  3. Feb 27, 2019 #23

    Grenadier1758

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    We made a grenade / mortar cup to fit on the barrel of a land pattern musket. We did leave the relief so the cup didn't present an obstacle on discharge. Drawings were not available and the cup was built to locate on the bayonet lug. Needless to say, the first test ripped off the bayonet lug and the best part of the forestock. Well, the forestock was repaired and a second cup was built with an insert that located the cup to the muzzle. With the cup and the weight of the grenade, shoulder fire was almost impossible. Not to mention the grenade was a loose fit in the cup. Use as a mortar musket dictated firing with the butt firmly placed on the ground. I know that some of the purpose built musket mortars had a special sight mounted on the side plate. That implies shoulder fire as the sight would be hard to view if the musket mortar was fired from the ground.
     
  4. Feb 28, 2019 #24

    Nyckname

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    This just popped up on my feed,

     
  5. Feb 28, 2019 #25

    mwsalter

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    Well this is just great! Another thing I gotta have, a hand mortar. Well, I guess if I just eat soft food I won’t need that denture re-line I planned. After all, what’s more important, chewing or a new smoke pole? I can alway have the cuisinart do the chewing.

    I also saw this pole cannon video a while back. Very interesting!

     
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  6. Mar 1, 2019 #26

    hyuzu

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    Here are a couple videos of guys shooting the Veteran Arms LLC hand mortar from the shoulder. The first guy was apparently launching a tennis ball:





    I can't comment as to the historical accuracy of the Veteran Arms guns; they look the part to a layman's eyes anyway...
     
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  7. Mar 1, 2019 #27

    Nyckname

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    Then this guy popped up,

     
  8. Mar 2, 2019 #28

    hyuzu

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    I'm a bit dubious about that pole cannon in the video. It appears similar to a San yan chong (三眼銃 , three-eye cannon) of the Chinese Ming era. The guy at the beginning of the video claims it is 15th century, which would be the correct period. However, Chinese guns were not using percussion caps in the 15th century, nor indeed until after the Opium Wars (Qing era) when western arms started to be imported in significant numbers.

    The San yan chong, to my knowledge, were only fired with a lit match applied to the touch-holes, much the same as a medieval European hand-cannon.

    My guess is that the cannon in that video could be one of those Victorian-era repros that were made without enough background research...
     
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  9. Mar 2, 2019 #29

    Nyckname

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    Was anybody using percussion caps in the 15th C.? Weren't they an early 19th C. invention?
     
  10. Mar 2, 2019 #30

    hyuzu

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    As far as I know, yes, before the 19th century percussion caps as we know them weren't around.
     
  11. Mar 2, 2019 #31

    Nyckname

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    I've been trying to imagine some early Renaissance craftsmen sitting at benches, making each cap by hand.
     
  12. May 11, 2019 #32

    hyuzu

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    Further to this, the book 'Peter the Great's Army 2: Cavalry' by Angus Konstam, which also covers Russian artillery of the period, provides evidence that it was Russian practice to fire hand-mortars from the shoulder, using a halberd as a rest.

    Plate E includes a modern illustration of a 'bombardier' at the Siege of Vyborg in 1710, carrying a brass hand-mortar and a halberd. The plate commentary on page 44 states that this was the manner in which his weapon would be fired. Page 45 contains a period illustration of a 'bombardier' ca. 1727-1730, who is shown aiming his hand mortar from the shoulder, using a halberd as a rest (I can not post the image here, in case I get in to copyright trouble. If anyone doubts my description, you're free to consult the book yourself).

    Page 45 also has a photo of a period hand-mortar (from the State Museums of the Moscow Kremlin), which is described as having a 49mm bore. The book states that these weapons continued to be seen in use after the reign of Tsar Peter the Great, but does not say for how long afterward.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  13. Jun 16, 2019 #33

    hyuzu

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    I came across these photos in an eleven year old post on a Russian firearms forum. The user who posted them described this weapon as a "hand mortar", but didn't specify the source for this one. I also didn't see any serious details on this weapon in the other posts on that discussion.

    Has anyone here seen anything like this before? This is the first I've ever heard of a grenade launcher using a caplock mechanism...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Link to the original forum post where I found these: http://forum.guns.ru/forummessage/36/317674.html
     
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  14. Jun 16, 2019 #34

    Nyckname

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    Not to mention the folding sight.
     
  15. Jun 16, 2019 #35

    hyuzu

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  16. Jun 16, 2019 #36

    Nyckname

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  17. Jun 17, 2019 #37

    hyuzu

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    Me neither... unless we fastforward to the M79 :p
     
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  18. Jun 17, 2019 #38

    Nyckname

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    And on them, it's taller and further up the tube.
     
  19. Jun 17, 2019 #39

    Nyckname

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    I'm actually going to hazard a guess that what's posted above was built on a rifle stock.
     
  20. Jun 17, 2019 #40

    SgtWinterer

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    [​IMG]

    According to the museum built between 1800-1825 in France.
     
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