Wicky gun, loaded from the barrel: history, structure, interesting facts
Over the course of the years, the arsenals of European countries were enriched with new, previously unseen models of firearms. Gunpowder, which became the basis for such rifle models, was invented in China until that time. However, there it was used to make holiday fireworks. Practical European gunsmiths found him use in the army. Soon, the usual crossbows were replaced with a wick gun loaded from the barrel.
With the new weapons, conventional infantry has become a more powerful branch of the military. Information about the history of the wick gun creation, its design and application is presented in the article.
About new artillery guns
The appearance of the first cannons marked the beginning of the era of firearms. Despite its primitiveness and imperfection, the guns guaranteed a significant superiority on the battlefield.
According to experts, the first guns had little destructive power. However, their use had a great psychological effect on the enemy. When firing from such a tool, a bright flash was formed, accompanied by a very strong roar. In addition, thick clouds of smoke clouded the battlefield.
About the first wick guns
Over time, European weapon designers bulky and awkward artillery guns were improved. A substantially reduced size was provided for the new weapon, thanks to which the warrior could now hold it in his hands. This, in turn, had a positive effect on the mobility of the fire regiments. One of the original samples of a smooth-bore shotgun was Bombarddel. Its design was exactly the same as in the gun - bombard. In Russia, an old wick gun was called a handgun.
About the design
The wick gun was equipped with a meter-high metal tube, which was about 40 mm thick. At its blind end, a special pilot hole was drilled. The tube was mounted on a wooden bed using metal rings.A wick gun loaded from the barrel fired small stones of the corresponding diameter.
Before using the weapon, the infantrymen finely ground the powder, which was piled into the barrel. Then there was inserted a special wad. Stones were used as projectiles in the early samples. After performing these actions, the weapon was considered ready for use. In order for a shot to occur, it was enough to put a wick gun on the target and bring fire to the pilot hole. Mostly shooting was carried out with the help of a metal rod heated on a brazier. Wooden butt pressed into the shoulder or chest. Initially, there were no standards for such weapons. The thickness of the tube could be as much as 20 mm, and 40. According to experts, unlike bows and crossbows, the very first guns had a low rate of fire and accuracy of combat.
European gunsmiths were intensive work on the modernization of wick guns. In the 15th century, the right side of the breech became a place for an ignition hole. On the left there was a special notch, in which the bare powder was filled up before the shot.Such a constructive solution provided the infantryman with better visibility: during ignition, the red-hot rod now did not obscure the goal. As a result, the accuracy of shooting was significantly improved.
Wishing to protect the seed from wind and moisture, the designers equipped the rifle with a hinged lid. After that, instead of an inconvenient steel bar for weapons, a special wick was created. For its impregnation, treated nitrate, wine alcohol or a wick was boiled in resin was used. If it was processed with high quality, it smoldered slowly and for a long time. Now the shooter could be at a distance from the field brazier.
However, bringing it to the seed was still inconvenient. Then the gunsmiths equipped the bed with a special hole through which the steel strip bent in the shape of the letter S was passed. Its upper end has become a place for mounting the wick. The length of the tube was reduced to 950 mm. The caliber of weapons is now 35 mm. The weight of the gun was no more than 25 kg.
About wick lock
At the end of the 15th century, the weapons were equipped with a trigger and a special device consisting of a leaf spring attached to a keypad. There was a ledge on the spring - whispered.Thus, after pressing the trigger, there was a raising of the sear and touching the wick to the seed.
Modernization of handicrafts in the XVI-XVII centuries
Substantial improvements were made by English weapon designers in wick weapons. Mistress additionally equipped with a special shield. It served as a kind of screen that protected the shooter’s eyes from flashes of flame. In addition, the Western European gunsmiths began to produce wick guns with rifled barrels.
The changes also affected the butts. They used to be straight and very uncomfortable. During the shooting, in order to safely hold the handgrip, the butts had to be rested in the chest. After firing, as a result of strong recoil, the sights were often lost. Therefore, the French have equipped their rifles with curved butts. This form provided the direction of the recoil energy not only backwards, but also upwards. Spanish arrows put their butts in the shoulder. Soon this method was adopted in the armies of other countries.
Very soon, wick guns became an independent hand-held small arms with their own name. The musket was called a heavy gun, for which a special podsok was provided. During the shooting, he rested against the ground. Swedish infantry did not use such a device.
The total size of the handshake was almost 120 cm. The weapon weighed 7 kg. The caliber was reduced from 40 mm to 18. In Russia, the army was supplied with Dutch and Russian muskets. According to experts, such guns had similar combat characteristics. However, unlike the Dutch ones, the Russian hand-operated ladies were much easier.
The lack of wick guns was that during shooting, especially at night, there was a unmasking arrow light. In addition, the trigger was not very reliable. Soon all the weaknesses were corrected, and for the needs of the army began to produce hand-held small arms with flint and a chair instead of a wick. This was the impetus for the creation of a wheel or wheel lock.