History of early firearms: Handgonnes and Matchlocks

dispater-north-1411.jpg

This essay takes a look at early firearm development up till the 1500′s. It is a fascinating read.

Certainly, the first uses of gunpowder are psychological – loud bangs and sausage-shaped rockets snaking across the battlefield to terrify men and horses. This is the role we can see for the fire lances of 1132. It is a short step from here to the early handgonne. I believe that while the bamboo pellet throwers of 1259 did not use true gunpowder, they certainly were a first application of the principle of using burning gases to throw a projectile…

 ~Dispater North 1411
Serpentine lock firearm, 1411


More here.

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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