- May 6, 2021
- Reaction score
Fortunately, as a target shooter rather than a hunter or soldier, I only have to rely on that explosion for punching holes in inanimate objects, so I'm able to do my best to ensure that burning rope stays well away from any powder until I'm ready to make things go boom. I did know a guy who had a lucky escape after not watching where his match was ... it happened to be near one of the charges on his bandoleer. I guess the lesson is that no matter what "lock" you're working with, treat the combination of flame and powder with your utmost attention. Hard for me to imagine, as a target shooter, how it was for guys using the same guns when under the stress of combat...And Timuni, when I shot my sear-bar matchlock in the 1970's I had full confidence that any time a source of fire is around black powder, there's sure to be an explosion somewhere.
I recall reading that Tibetan infantry during this invasion were also armed with more portable matchlock muskets ... there's an anecdote in the book 'Queen Victoria's Enemies: Part 4' by Ian Knight about Tibetan matchlockmen assaulting a British foritified position and trying to stick their muskets through the loopholes to shoot back at the Brits ... unfortunately the loopholes had been built with Sikh soldiers in mind, and according to the author the Tibetans found themselves a bit too short to properly sight through them.They particularly faced many heavy Jinghals but the Tibetans were quite well aware of the obsolescence of their arms and were not only importing some breechloaders but were making Martini Henry copies and their ammunition in Lhasa at the time.
But it's true, the Tibetans were no fools and were taking some steps to adopt more modern weaponry. Their armed forces during China's "warlord period" of the 1910s-20s were an odd mix of medieval and modern ... spears and Lee-Enfields.