History, Safety, Care, and Feeding

Of Period Guns

Erich von Kleinfeld, mka Dexter Guptill


  1. 1. A Brief History

    1. 14th Century: Earliest hand cannon, in 1326. An inventory in 1340 is the earliest reference to a portable firearm. By 1364, references to handheld firearms become common. These were miniature cannon barrels, some mounted on poles or handles, some simply built with a hook to fit over a fortification’s wall and soak up the recoil. First reference to these as "handguns", 1386. Late 14th Century, slow-match – woven cord impregnated with nitrates by boiling with gunpowder.

    2. 15th Century: The stick gets shorter and thicker, mutating into a shoulder stock. Gunpowder is improved. Serpentines (pivoting metal bars with match clamps start to appear – as early as 1411 Matchlock becomes standard for 250 years. By the end of the 15th, matchlocks have replaced hande-gonnes.

    3. 16th Century: The last 100 years of the SCA’s period show some advances. The wheellock comes in by 1510 Hunting guns feasible – no match for the game to smell. Pistols become practical. With the advent of civilian sporting arms, rifling becomes more common. Rifling appears in matchlock target pieces around 1495. Firelocks come in around the 1550s, with the Snaphaunce, miquelet and dog locks. While there may be true flintlocks dating from the SCA’s period, the earliest known surviving piece is from 1607 – just out of period.

  2. Safety

    1. The basics, for all guns

      1. The gun is always loaded. Doesn’t matter if you just cleared it, treat it like it’s loaded anyway.

      2. Never point it where you don’t want a hole. This includes at your own anatomy.

      3. Finger off the trigger (or other firing mechanism) until you’re ready to shoot.

      4. Never shoot unless you’re sure of your target and backstop. Remember, bullets go through things.

      5. Never load a piece unless you anticipate a need or plan to fire it.

    2. Muzzleloading and Blackpowder safety

      1. Black powder is flammable – watch your flames and sparks.

      2. Always measure your charges. Pouring random amounts of powder down a gun makes it into a pipe bomb.

      3. Check with the maker or seller, what your gun’s proof rating is. Never exceed the proof rating.

      4. Mark your ramrod with an "empty" line. If it doesn’t go in to that line, there’s something in there.

      5. Drop a rammer down the barrel before leaving the firing line.

      6. Blackpowder guns are just as dangerous as modern ones – they just don’t shoot as quickly.

      7. For most period guns, you’re carrying around a burning rope, and gunpowder. Be careful.

      8. Paper cartridges may be just out of period, but they are your friend. A brazier and open powder barrel, aren’t.

  3. Care and Feeding

    1. Powder Charges

      1. Granulations – Fg, Cannon; FFg, heavy musket / light artillery; FFFg, light musket; FFFFg, priming.

      2. Charges – Start around 50 grains (about 1/9) ounce, and work up. Ball loads are MUCH lighter than blank.

    2. Loading

      1. Point the gun in a safe direction.

      2. If it has a pan cover, fill the pan with powder and shut the cover. If it doesn’t, save a pinch of powder when pouring the main charge.

      3. Turn the muzzle up, still pointing slightly down range. Pour in the main charge, saving a pinch for the pan if you haven’t primed already.

      4. Ram down the charge. Return the piece to level, in a safe direction.

      5. If you have a firing mechanism, prepare it.

        1. Wheel or firelock – cock or span the lock

        2. Matchlock – place the match in the jaws of the cock or serpentine

b. Fire.

      1. Open the pan if necessary.

      2. Handegonne – touch the match to the priming powder.

      3. Locked piece – pull trigger.

    1. Handling misfires:

      1. FREEZE, for 10 seconds

      2. Re-prime, if necessary. Re-cock. Fire again.

      3. If that doesn’t do it, clear the piece.

    2. Cleaning

      1. Clean with boiling, soapy water.

      2. Another bore cleaner: 50-50 alcohol and Murphy’s Oil Soap.

      3. Oil to prevent rust.

        exact instagram followers prada parfume nights of the pufflings story chatgpt similar ai custom captain hats prada facemask dr patel tampa house prada pr 24ys prada pictures prada saffiano mini instagram active followers innovative print solutions used prada sunglasses chatgpt vs jasper gray prada bag black prada clutch followers instagram app prada heritage glasses carlucci's prada bucket hats puffling patrol coachoutlet coach com prada sock boots gg clothing brand followers likes instagram instagram followers 100 www.gucci.com usa cardinal supply st.louis prada baguette bags prada brique siding estimate worksheet prada windbreaker mens kim kardashian prada prada shoe box prada ambassadors prada shoes boots yacht cap 500 followers instagram dgs state pa us specialty printing services chatgpt? englewood ymca long goatee beards bondy blue youtube prada ambassador instagram max followers prada green dress cardinal building materials st louis audit instagram followers stuart weitzman shoes outlet prada bracelet charms prada men's crossbody prada facemask prada amande instagram 200 followers prada ferry bag furla handbags outlet silicone head cuisinart outlet gucci .com usa silicone pregnancy belly iko driftshake chatgpt salesforce innovative printing and design 300 instagram followers the mix marketing tomagachis william chicken in the ghetto lisa marie boat captain shirt with epaulets factory outlets online shopping prada strap sneakers prada tasche cheap prada sunglasses prada sunglasses discount 2000 instagram followers prada employee discount bing chatgpt waitlist chatgpt 中国注册 fiverr instagram followers prada loafers used pink prada necklace 1 instagram followers prada clutch purse bing and chatgpt prada blue bags electric mashman snow helmet brown wig cap prada neck tie chatgpt woke like chatgpt chatgpt detection tool 必应 chatgpt active instagram followers prada cufflinks dr patel tampa house ranbutan prada running shoes cardinal building supply building instagram followers growing colors by bruce mcmillan bing vs chatgpt prada moccasin prada fashion show pennsylvania prevailing wage frequently asked questions teams chatgpt athenian academy charter school clearwater jeff goldblum biz markie used prada shoes prada sling gucci fashion house bondy bait prada bag amazon

  1. Sources:

    1. NRA, Basic Black Powder

    2. Jamestown Settlemen, Online Training Course for interpreters

    3. Bert S. Hall: Weapons and Warfare in Renaissance Europe.Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997