History 2

One Hundred Great Guns: An Illustrated History of Firearms by Merrill Lindsay

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By Merrill Lindsay

Folio. 379pp. Dark-blue fabric forums.

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A couple of dates help to show the transition from in\enand experiment to practical use. There is a receipt for gunpowder in the library of El Escorial dating from 1250— one pound of live sulphur, two of charcoal of willow and six of saltpeter, reduced to a fine powder and mixed in a marble mortar. Cannon were used, as noted in Chapter One, in the Surs'iving European hand cannon are very edge of them has come and pictures. There down are, to us largely rare. Knowlfrom descriptions however, a number of Indian and Japanese hand cannon in existence, as they were made from the fifteenth century until the mid-nineteenth century, along with matchlocks and flintlocks.

The were two pipes of different diameters, the smaller to the rear holding the powder. The forward pipe, attached by a weld or screwed or sweated on, received the ball. Being of small bore they shot metal bullets, and the daily allowance for twenty gunners— about all there were— was 60 ounces of powder, 204 lead shot and twelve in the barrels no wonder that the French They longbowmen with Cannon, or gonnes, totally ignored attributed their defeat both buses, shot a their armor-piercing arrows. w-ere slow to evolve.

Proof of the effectiveness of the new weapon is to be seen in bility, firepower, speed of fire the edict of the Emperor Maximillian I who forbade the manufacture of the gun in 1517. 'Wheel locks were banned within the city limits of Ferrara in 1522 and similar bans ensued at Modena. Milan and Florence. The bans on wheel locks were no more effecti\e than the Papal bull outlawing crossbows. Fine wheel locks and petronels found their way to England where Henry VUl was painted with one at his side, and a number of pieces turn up in contemporaneous inventories of weapons at the Tower of London.

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