Mid 1200's -- What Gun Would You Choose?

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Alden

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It's 1264 and you are a rebellious minor noble standing up to King Henry III with the 6th Earl of Leicester (Lester) at the Battle of Lewes. What gun would you have armed your entourage with?

Come down, come down, thou wicked miller!
 

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Whatever "a rebellious minor noble standing up to King Henry III with the 6th Earl of Leicester" would have had at the time. Do you know what that was?
 
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I think this goes along with your 1100s question. A good chance hand gonnes were yet to be invented. Records are scant and from the hands of monks who by their calling were poor witnesses to the world. People were some what afraid of new things. Not just because it might blow up in your hand but also any new thing might 'stink of sulfur'. The first guns doubly so. New things tended to move slow and exist for decades next door to an older piece. I doubt that any gonne existed this early...but would not be surprised to be proven wrong. Would tend to think it to be a simple vase shaped, with bolts instead of ball.
 
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The hand cannon was the first hand-held firearm and it dates back to the late 13th century in China, and was used until the first half of the 16th century in Europe. Archaeological evidence of a late 13th century Chinese hand cannon excavated from Heilongjiang is backed by textual evidence written in 1370 concerning a rebellion in the year 1288.
 
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Alden said:
It's 1264 and you are a rebellious minor noble standing up to King Henry III with the 6th Earl of Leicester (Lester) at the Battle of Lewes. What gun would you have armed your entourage with?

Come down, come down, thou wicked miller!
I can find no references to any type of gun being used in this battle. :hmm:
Trick question # 2
 

sooter76

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Honestly, at that point in time I'd choose a bow... More accurate, faster rate of fire, and a 110lbs. war bow will kill just as well as any of the earliest firearms.
 

Darto

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" Archaeological evidence of a late 13th century Chinese hand cannon excavated from Heilongjiang is backed by textual evidence written in 1370 concerning a rebellion in the year 1288. "

Would love to read about this, anybody have references?
 
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Darto said:
" Archaeological evidence of a late 13th century Chinese hand cannon excavated from Heilongjiang is backed by textual evidence written in 1370 concerning a rebellion in the year 1288. "

Would love to read about this, anybody have references?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huolongjing
 
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Sooter76 said:
Honestly, at that point in time I'd choose a bow... More accurate, faster rate of fire, and a 110lbs. war bow will kill just as well as any of the earliest firearms.
:thumbsup:

I agree here! Bows were more reliable, can be used in the rain, very quiet(not giving your position away) and faster follow-up shots.

The earliest firearms I'd wanna use would be percussion muskets to defend my life or fight a war.....upto them, I'd stay with a warbow.
 
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I'm all about bows, but there's a reason they were supplanted by the matchlock. It takes years of practice to pull a 110# bow, and I don't have that ability. It takes a few days to train a peasant to shoot a matchlock.

Also, by 1200 knights had plate armor that would turn an arrow (and a bullet, later on). I've read somewhere that in the rain, bowmen put their strings under their arms to keep them from getting wet and thus slowing the bow down.

I don't know when Companies of Archers were formed to concentrate arrow strikes, but I would think it was near then. Before, archers kinda roamed behind the lines in loose groups.

I'm glad I was born in the 20th century!
 

sooter76

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Gene L said:
I'm all about bows, but there's a reason they were supplanted by the matchlock. It takes years of practice to pull a 110# bow, and I don't have that ability. It takes a few days to train a peasant to shoot a matchlock.

Perhaps... But in England, since the hypothetical is a revolt against Henry III, throughout the Middle Ages, it was law that every male over the age of 14 had to practice archery 2 hours a day. I think they were pretty well trained. Guns didn't start to supplant bows until the early modern period with the arquebus in the 1500's, some 300 years after the period were discussing. Even then it was a gradual thing. When Henry VIII's flag shitp the 'Mary Rose' sank in 1545 there were 250 war bows on her manifest and only 50 firearms not counting cannon (but to include swivel guns).
 

earlwb

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I do not think that they had even handgonnes in the mid 1200's yet. Gunpowder in Europe was invented circa 1265. At first it tended to be a novelty. It would have been maybe in the early 1300's before any handgonnes came about. Those would fire arrows not bullets. The first painting or picture of a handgonne was in 1326. It depicted a handgonne attached to a table with an arrow in the barrel.

So I would go with the other folks in saying I would use a bow and arrow. But using crossbows would be a way to go as it is easier to train troops to use crossbows. Plus one can make crossbows to be very powerful too.
 

smoothshooter

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But in those days new technology spread EXTREMELY slowly, even between cities and duchy's only 50 miles apart.
It was at least two centuries before personal guns of any usefulness were ever seen in Europe.
 

sooter76

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smoothshooter said:
But in those days new technology spread EXTREMELY slowly, even between cities and duchy's only 50 miles apart.
It was at least two centuries before personal guns of any usefulness were ever seen in Europe.

I think you'd be surprised by how fast new ideas and technologies actually did spread in the Medieval and Renaissance periods...
 

Flintlock

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Cell phone towers were far and few between, in those day's, reception was spotty at best. New idea's probably didn't spread as fast as they do on Pinterest now.
 

Darto

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A rule of thumb table I go by... but I'm no student of firearm history.
1200- 1380 impractical guns (like light bulbs before Edison).
1380 Practical guns. Gonne. Serpentine. Harquebus. Practical but almost no locks.
1480 Matchlock
1680 Flintlock
1830 Caplock
1870 Brass cartridge black powder guns
1900 The end of black powder era

At 200 years the matchlock had the longest run. Near the end of its run everybody's great great great great great great great grandpa had a matchlock very much like his. And it must have seemed like these guns were so much better than anything before and would therefore probably be how guns would be forever.

But the early industrial revolutions in the late 1600's made firelocks practical to make in large numbers. Books were becoming inexpensive knowledge was spreading fast. Detailed diagrams of industrial drawings no longer were extremely rare. Factories could use technology developed by others from far away, they now had the sources to learn how to do so. Gun factories were no longer only filled with expert gunsmiths. Common laborers could learn one or two tasks of the process.
 

smoothshooter

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It's 1264 and you are a rebellious minor noble standing up to King Henry III with the 6th Earl of Leicester (Lester) at the Battle of Lewes. What gun would you have armed your entourage with?

Come down, come down, thou wicked miller!

None. Because there weren’t any invented yet; or at least in any quantity.
 
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