'Scattergun' loads in medieval handgonnes?

Discussion in 'Pre-Flintlock' started by hyuzu, Dec 3, 2019.

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  1. Dec 30, 2019 #21

    tenngun

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    I recall Leonardo Da Vinci be credited as taking birds in flight with a gun. And there is Henry’s ban of Hail shot, but I’m thinking a hand cannon would not be fit for hunting.
     
  2. Dec 30, 2019 #22

    Griz44Mag

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    Probably better results than an arrow or a sharp stick.....
     
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  3. Dec 30, 2019 #23

    Rudyard

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    I think by their time period the' Hand Gonne' hand evolved considerably . You can shoot driven clays with a common matchlock or any sporting bird providing the gun is light enough . Not that such guns or the thinking to shoot flying was general but its prouvenly 'Do able' since its done. The hand cannon that would be a real challenge I certainly agree & would be nye impossible without some sort of rudamentery stock & lock. no saying some one couldn't have applied a bit of lateral thinking but seems unlikely generally speaking . Leonardo was seriously into lateral thinking but by his day the hand cannon had been superseded I think . Very fond of matchlocks all good stuff. Regards Rudyard
     
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  4. Jan 5, 2020 #24

    Carbon 6

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    It would be an interesting thing to see someone shooting birds or clays with a hand gonne. The idea of which makes me wonder when the first recorded instance of shooting birds in flight was ?
     
  5. Jan 5, 2020 #25

    Rudyard

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    I think it would depend not just on what could be still called a 'Hand Gonne' the earliest definition certainly would be ill suited , But even if the gun had a remotely suitable form with some sort of lock, The concept of shooting flying wouldn't be too likely until more practical guns where the norm. And even when the guns did evolve to be practical the need nor desire or fashion if you like would be more like late 17thc As prior to the English Civil war those Gentry who had the lands and wealth for field sports would more likley be into hawking and running down game with hounds . Or in English terms till well after the restoration of Charles or James the second .When the fashions changed to shooting as a sport for Gentlemen rather than being distained as mere' pot hunting' for the lower orders . And these same ' pot hunters' where more focussed on bagging game by any means rather than for sport as such.. So my guess is early 1600s on the continent of Europe' If at all Considering Europe was ravaged by religious wars and the wealthy again had previously hunted with hawk & hound . But the returning exiles after the English civil war mid 17th c brought back with them the more affordable fashion of shooting and including shooting flying .
    . Yes we can shoot flying with a suitable matchlock but It would be unlikely & rare if at all prior to the 17th c . By any class of society. .Refer' English Guns' & Rifles By J. N. George.. Or Robert Held,s' The Age of Firearms' Regards Rudyard
     
  6. Jan 5, 2020 #26

    Griz44Mag

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    Assuming that flocks were as dense as they used to be here, you could pretty much shoot anything into the flock and expect something to fall.
    Period pictures of dark skies filled with passenger pigeons come to mind, or flocks of ducks being harvested with punt guns off the water.
    Heck, even rocks thrown by hand had a chance in those places.
    THIS from a Wally world parking lot last week.
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/Wfk3nqfJEba5CEsMA
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2020
  7. Jan 5, 2020 #27

    Nyckname

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    I'd guess that the earliest scatter shot hunting of birds was done when they were on the ground.
     
  8. Jan 6, 2020 #28

    Rudyard

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    Gri9zz .There certainly were masses of such birds , Though I rather doubt there would be too many Europeans that shot with Hand Gonnes in North America about the time when the Passenger Pigeon where so numerous . Perhaps some Spanish Concistadors made avail of such guns as they had ? . And sure birds on the ground where harvested in number by the Rennaisance period .But the point I believe was the use of 'Hand Gonnes' shooting flying birds .And I know it can be done with matchlocks if suitable to shoot flying fowl . No saying some of the lowly pot hunters didnt have a go but as a normal' Sport' shooting flying comes later. Cant see lowly pot hunters wasting shot & powder better to stalk & pop them sitting . Rudyard
    .
     
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  9. Jan 6, 2020 #29

    Zonie

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    This drawing from the book, "SPORTING GUNS", by Richard Akehurst, 1972 OCTOPUS BOOKS LIMITED, London, shows the method used by duck hunters using matchlocks, c 1566.

    upload_2020-1-6_10-50-53.png
     
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  10. Jan 6, 2020 #30

    Griz44Mag

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    AND - every hunter has his Jesse with him!
     
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  11. Jan 15, 2020 at 10:18 PM #31

    Gene L

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    I would think nails were far too valuable to shoot
     
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  12. Jan 15, 2020 at 11:25 PM #32

    ppg1949

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    The only time I’ve read of nails being used were in naval engagements during the war between the states. If they were out of canister shot to rip sails and rigging, they stuffed anything they could find in their smoothbore cannons. I’ve read accounts of not only nails but any piece of iron available. It seems if something made of iron broke it was saved for emergency use. But I have not read of deliberately using nails in scatter guns. The use of pebbles may have happened in an emergency.
     
  13. Jan 16, 2020 at 3:28 AM #33

    Pukka Bundook

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    Making barrels was a lot of hard work, to tear them up firing nails and stuff.

    All best,
    Richard.
     
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  14. Jan 16, 2020 at 4:59 PM #34

    ugly old guy

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    Agree.
    Remember, the local blacksmith would have forged all the nails by hand. (Nails were also flat back then, not round)
    There was no such thing as low cost mass produced machine made nails (or screws) back in the day, so it wasn't like you could pop on over to the hardware store and buy a box or five.

    Not to mention the fact that nails and flechettes actually make a pretty horrible projectile from even a smoothbore firearm/gun.
    Use them in a rifles bore … you probably won't hit something 10 feet directly in front of you with any effect, just like if you were using bird shot or buckshot from a rifled bore.
    The centrifugal forces throw them helter skelter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020 at 5:07 PM
  15. Jan 16, 2020 at 7:10 PM #35

    Rudyard

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    I wish all this firing nails or gravel nonesence would go away.No doubt a fine notion for some non shooter story writer ,but you guys should know better. Definatly a case of 'Don't try this at home'
    Blunderbusses don't have a spread of 10 feet at twenty yards , they don't load easy on a travelling coach, and don't fire scrap iron or brocken glass any more than Grandads old 12 bore would knock you over , or a 600 N unmentionable break your shoulder. Come to that neither would any Elephant gun . Neither be fun for plinking but if your looking up the nose of a annoyed Elephant ( And you cant really blame it ) 'a good bruise is the least of your concerns . Not that I've tried it . I restored a ML 6 bore that looked like an Elephant had 'explained' to the hunter what he thought about it though .
    Ugly old Guy knows his nails . He looks like the' Lizard of Danville' but then so do I nowadays.
    Regards Rudyard
     
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  16. Jan 16, 2020 at 8:12 PM #36

    Feltwad

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    I agree yes you do see it in comic movies but to put nails gravel etc in a barrel would soon ruin it, blunderbuss were portrayed using this and also the flayed muzzle would make the shot or should I say nails etc spread more when the idea of a flared muzzle was for easy loading when traveling on uneven coaching routes .
    Feltwad
     
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  17. Jan 17, 2020 at 2:01 PM #37

    toot

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    I have been a black smith for 50+ years and make square cut ROSE BUD 5 HEADED nails the traditional way as was done by THOMAS JEFFERESON had his young boys did from old used horse shoe's.waist not want not!!
     
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  18. Jan 17, 2020 at 3:41 PM #38

    Pukka Bundook

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    Toot,
    In England, Nailers were an off-shoot from regular blacksmithing.
    Nailers were often women.

    ...Women you may not want to argue with, after they'd swung a hammer for a few years!
     
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  19. Jan 17, 2020 at 7:06 PM #39

    Rudyard

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    Hand cut file makers could be women an old freind Earnest Nuttbrown long gone used to make special hand cut files in the' Globe Works' Sheffield he had his mothers hammer its shaft was worn so much you would think it was moulded from plastic but it was years __Generations of use .He was my first paying customer he bought a single flint shotgun and they fired him over the Clay pideon grounds at Owler Bar from it . But not before he had years of use from it . Rudyard
     
  20. Jan 17, 2020 at 8:13 PM #40

    Ezeikel

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    All this very good stuff leaves a question. If blunderbusses were not made for all the above listed reasons can any one suggest a more plausable reason for a flared muzzle?
     

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