Military Review

Rapid-fire weapon of Mikael Lorenzoni

45

Pistol Michael Lorenzoni 1690-1700 Florence. Dimensions: length 50,64 cm; barrel length 28,42 cm. Caliber 12,2 mm. Weight 1311 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


"... the speed of a unicorn he has"
(24 numbers: 8)

History firearms weapons. So, last time we found that in order to increase the rate of fire, gunsmiths began to release pistols and even shotguns with two, three, four, six and even seven barrels. This increased the capabilities of the shooter, but made the weapon bulky and heavy.

How to combine a horse and a quivering doe so that the weight is not particularly great, and there is only one barrel, and there are many shots? And all this in the presence of black powder and round lead bullets.

Agree that this greatly narrowed the capabilities of weapon designers, so in the beginning they took the simplest path and created the Espignol system. It was an ordinary cast copper barrel, worn with a shank on the handle (a typical weapon of the 5th century), into which the ignition cord was inserted until the very end, and then the charges were sequentially inserted, which were carefully insulated with wads from each other. Espignol acted like this: the cord was set on fire, and the shots from the barrel followed one after the other at short intervals. There could be 7-XNUMX shots and, considering that there could be several shooters with such a weapon, it turned out that real automatic fire was being fired at the enemy.

The advantage was also that in this way it was possible to load any firearm of that time and, having given a "burst" from it, then shoot from it with single shots, setting fire to the charges through the ignition hole. Of course, as soon as the powder gases break through somewhere to the rear charges, the barrel burst.


Hunting set made by Kaspar Neureiter of Bohemia for Emperor Leopold I (1640-1705). OK. 1670-1680 Prague. Since most guns fired only one round and then took a long time to reload, wealthy hunters often ordered sets of two or more guns, which allowed them to quickly fire a second shot. Therefore, it was the hunters who became the first customers of multiple-shot rifles. Material: steel, silver, wood (walnut). Length: 110,2 cm; trunk 81,4 cm; caliber 13,8 mm. Weight 4167 g. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


A real work of art, isn't it? Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Despite this drawback, the system has become widespread in Europe. For example, in England in 1785 a single-barreled multiple-shot pistol was released, in which one flintlock ignited several charges in succession. He moved after each shot back to the next firing hole, thanks to pressing the second "trigger". Of course, the shooter had to add gunpowder to the shelf after each shot and cock the hammer, but it was still faster than every time, besides, pouring gunpowder into the barrel and hammering a bullet with a ramrod. Here, all these operations were carried out leisurely, in advance, which allowed the owner of such a pistol in a difficult situation to shoot several times in a row, spending a minimum of time on this.

In 1800 in London the gunsmith H. W. Mortimer made the same device, a gun, in which the lock was moved from the barrel to the butt. However, everyone was surpassed by the prototype musket of 1815, which had two flint locks on the barrel at once! The first, when triggered, set fire to a "garland" of 11 charges, the 12th charge was a reserve one and was set on fire by the second lock, thanks to which the soldier could use it as a single-shot one.


A similar eight-shot gun is known from the hunting arsenal of King Louis XIII, and even with a wick lock. Such miracles were already made by European gunsmiths at that time! Army Museum in Paris. Photo by the author

Now imagine what the battlefield would have become if the British army had adopted such a musket?

A cloud of smoke, formed by a myriad of shots from just the first line, would completely cover the target from the shooters. The enemy soldiers (after their first comrades had fallen) could well sit down and wait out all this destructive fire, and with their return volley, as soon as this smoke began to dissipate, inflict no less losses on them. So the game, as it turned out, was absolutely not worth the candle!

Kaspar Kalthoff began his career as a gunsmith in England, but because of the revolution he was forced to move first to his homeland, to the Netherlands, then to Denmark, but after the restoration of Charles II he was able to return to London. It was he who made the first multiple-shot gun, and even with a wheel lock, and then released several models with percussion flint locks. Moreover, the seven-shot rifle he made as a diplomatic gift ended up in Russia and ended up in the possession of Tsarevich Fyodor Alekseevich, and then in the collection of the Kremlin Armory. There is a similar gun in the State Hermitage. Moreover, it acted due to the work with the trigger guard, which was at the same time the ammunition feeder lever.


A fifteen-round magazine-type hunting rifle (albeit a flintlock!) P. Kalthoff's system. Master Charles Cousin, Paris, c. 1710 The bolt with gunpowder and bullets was activated by turning the trigger guard. Variants with a wheel lock are also known. By the way, today it is on display at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. This is how mysterious the paths of some artifacts are. Material and technique: steel, wood, horn; forging, carving, engraving, bluing. Length 128,4 cm; caliber 14,5 mm. Inv. No. З.О.-638. State Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Peter Kalthoff (Caspar's namesake) even received a patent in the Netherlands in 1641 for his flintlock rifle with a gunpowder magazine in the butt and a bullet magazine in the forend.

Rapid-fire weapon of Mikael Lorenzoni
Lorenzoni pistol 1795 Royal Arsenal, Leeds

There were also a number of gunsmiths working on similar systems. However, almost the most perfect example of such a weapon was managed by Mikael Lorenzoni from Florence, who worked in the late XNUMXth - early XNUMXth centuries.


Pistol of the Lorenzoni system 1795. The reloading lever is lowered down. Royal Arsenal, Leeds

Not many pistols made by him have survived, especially those signed by him, while quite a few imitations are known. Lorenzoni was born in Siena and lived all his life in Florence, where he died in 1733. His services were used by the Medici court, where he competed with the gunsmith Matteo Cecchi, whose name was Aquafresca (1651-1738). The earliest report on Lorenzoni is the mention of a multiply shotgun, acquired from him in 1684 by the elector of Saxony, Johann George III (1647-1691).


Lorenzoni pistol from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum. The lever of the reloading mechanism is clearly visible

As for the pistol signed by "Lorenzoni" from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, it has a walnut grip, and the engravings on it refer to drawings published by Claude Simonin (1635-1693), Adrian Rainier the Younger (approx. 1680-1743) and Charles Reignier (about 1700-1752) (both called "Dutch"), and resemble French in style.


The sequential scheme of the Lorenzoni system: A - when the lever "d" is turned, a bullet "b" hits the bolt assembly "a", and at the same time the powder is poured into the chamber "c"; B - bullet "b" hits the bore, and lever "d" goes down until it stops. In this case, the trigger with the flint is cocked, and the priming powder falls on the shelf, which is closed with a flint; B - now the powder chamber "c" stands against the bullet in the barrel, and the hole in the bolt assembly (not shown here) against the powder shelf. To make a shot, you just have to pull the trigger! Fig. A. Shepsa

The Lorenzoni system was a significant improvement on the mechanism developed by the Danish gunsmith Peter Kaltoff (d. 1672) and used by the gunsmiths of Northern Europe in the third quarter of the XNUMXth century.

Although it was complex, it allowed up to ten consecutive shots to be fired, and for reloading it used two separate magazines for gunpowder and bullets hidden inside the grip. To load the weapon, the pistol is held with the barrel down, and the steel grip on the left side is turned one hundred and eighty degrees so that the gunpowder and bullet hit two chambers in the cylindrical brass breech. Then the handle is turned in the opposite direction to its original position. In this case, the bullet and gunpowder with the barrel fall into the barrel. Moreover, at the same time, the trigger is cocked, the closed valve opens, and the priming powder is poured onto the shelf.

Experience has shown that this is the most reliable technology for creating practical multiple-charge firearms before improving revolving mechanisms. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the Lorenzoni system was used by gunsmiths throughout continental Europe and the UK more than a century after its invention.


Flintlock pistol with Lorenzoni mechanism, approx. 1798-1799 Gunsmith Harvey Walklate Mortimer. Newcastle-under-Lyme, 1753-1819 The gun belonged to Admiral Nelson. Dimensions: length 36,8 cm.; barrel length 15,2 cm. Caliber 14 mm. Weight 2925,7 g. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

At the end of the 1741th century, it became especially popular in Great Britain, where it was used by such London gunsmiths as Henry Knock (1804–1753) and Harvey Walkleight Mortimer (1819–1758). The Met's collection includes two Lorenzoni pistols by Harvey Mortimer, one of which is a rare specimen bearing the coat of arms of Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson (1805–XNUMX).


Flintlock pistol with Lorenzoni mechanism, approx. 1798-1799 Note that behind the lever is the hinged charger door. At the top, a round lid covers the hole for bullets, and the lower rectangular "box" serves as a receptacle for gunpowder. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

True, the invention of Lorenzoni is also credited to the Italian gunsmith Giacomo Berselli from Bologna and Rome, which, however, does not detract from his merits. Moreover, Lorenzoni made not only pistols, but also guns, using three versions of his mechanism, differing only in the location of the powder container and the installation of additional devices.


Flintlock pistol with ten-shot Lorenzoni mechanism, approx. 1783-1800 Gunsmith Harvey Walklate Mortimer. Newcastle-under-Lyme, 1753-1819 Materials: steel, wood (walnut), silver. Dimensions: 39,1 cm; barrel length 18,7 cm. Caliber 12,7 mm. Weight 1530,9 g "Bottle" between the trigger and the shelf with a folding shelf contained gunpowder for priming. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


Flintlock pistol with Lorenzoni Harvey Mortimer mechanism. Left view. The doors for loading bullets and gunpowder are clearly visible. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


The same gun. View from above. The powder shelf on the right is open. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

English pistols of this type were distinguished by their high workmanship, which was characteristic of the level of production achieved by this time in England.
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  1. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins April 25 2021 06: 11
    +9
    Thank you, Vyacheslav Olegovich, for the Sunday article. I never thought that the term "rate of fire" was applicable to silicon weapons.
    But how difficult it is ...
    1. RealPilot
      RealPilot April 25 2021 11: 26
      +7
      Vyacheslav Olegovich! Your articles are always revelations good

      How many different pistols I saw in museums and in the photo (and these specific ones, most likely - I visited the Metropolitan Museum 4 times while I was in New York), but I never thought that such secrets were hidden in the handle! They seemed simple and singly charged, and there is a whole system.
      1. kalibr
        April 25 2021 12: 26
        +7
        Quote: RealPilot
        They seemed

        V-o-from! No wonder the Bible says: Do not believe your eyes!
  2. Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I April 25 2021 07: 23
    +5
    created the espignol system. It was an ordinary cast copper barrel, worn with a shank on the handle (a typical weapon of the XNUMXth century), into which the ignition cord was inserted until the very end, and then the charges were sequentially inserted, which were carefully insulated with wads from each other. Espignol acted like this: the cord was set on fire, and shots from the barrel followed one after the other at short intervals.
    Yes, sho you gutarite !? If the "copper barrel" is mentioned, then with a high probability it can be assumed that in this case the Danish espignols of the 19th century are meant ... But here's the incident ... not the barrels were copper, but the "casings"! The barrels of Danish espignols were steel and segmented ... that is, the barrel was unwound into "segments" (chambers). Each "segment" was loaded with gunpowder and a bullet ... "segments" were rolled into a "solid" barrel and inserted into a copper casing! By the way, I have heard that the charges in Danish espignoles ignited in an "original" way (!), Namely: they hit the capsule on the brand tube with a hammer (!) ... Were there any other espignola device? It seems that there were ... for example Chambers' Espignols ... adopted by the American Navy. I suspect that there they were called differently, but, nevertheless, we call them now on E.!

    49-round 7-barrel "chambers" ....

    21-round chambers ... short!
    But the Chambers bullet ...

    And how are these bullets positioned in the barrel ...

    Pay attention ... No Pyzha! Wads were used when a single-barreled multiple-shot gun ("Roman candle") fired "single" shots and had a gun lock moved along the barrel from the seed hole to the next hole! When firing "burst", wads were not used! Perhaps, such a sample of a 4-barreled weapon can be cited as proof ...

    By the way, the bullets are actually cylindrical too!
    (By the way, I myself was sure for a long time that the charges in the barrel of the "Roman candle" were separated by wads ...)
    1. Nikolaevich I
      Nikolaevich I April 25 2021 07: 26
      +3
      And this is an addition to the upper "scheme" ...

    2. kalibr
      April 25 2021 07: 43
      +2
      And "C" what is the partition?
      1. Nikolaevich I
        Nikolaevich I April 25 2021 10: 15
        +5
        Quote: kalibr
        And "C" what is the partition?

        Good question ! I saw the drawing of this 4-barrel 23-round carbine several times and noticed the "partition", but this time I just forgot about it! If this is a wad, then it should be "in theory" more "thick" (like a "cork") ... But here these "partitions" can be leather or cardboard disks that prevent the powder from being poured between the "chambers"! As you know, the bullets were smaller than the diameter of the barrel; that is, there was a gap between the bullet and the walls of the barrel! Thus, the discs could interfere with the pouring of powder along the barrel and the movement of bullets along the barrel ... In addition, there is another "nuance" ... The bullets in the figure are shown as round; but in the information dedicated to this carbine it is often emphasized that they were cylindrical (although maybe not all ...); so the "partitions" do not represent wads at all !? Personally, I do not exclude the advisability of using a wad in a barrel charged like a "Roman candle" and using a stopin between charges! This method allows you to reduce the rate of fire of the "Roman candle" ... As a result, the entire "queue" went to more than one "point" and at one "moment"; and you can shoot with a "fan" with the transfer of the sight from one target to another ... although the "queue" still "left" all!
        Total:If the barrel, loaded according to the "Roman candle" principle, fired with a "burst"; then the description, as a rule, does not mention wads ... If such a multi-charge barrel fired "single" shots, then wads are mentioned (!) ... along with a gun lock moved along the barrel from the dummy hole to the hole ...
        PS (I repeat once again: for a long time I believed that wads were always used in the barrels of the "Roman candle" type .. therefore I will always understand the person who claims this even now ...)
        1. kalibr
          April 25 2021 10: 22
          +3
          Quote: Nikolaevich I
          because I will always understand the person who claims it now ...)

          You wrote it well. The limitations of our knowledge are obvious!
    3. kalibr
      April 25 2021 07: 45
      +3
      I myself did not shoot with this thing. Used ... what I used. You have found something else. That's all.
      1. garri-lin
        garri-lin April 25 2021 07: 56
        +5
        Thanks for two great mornings! Good articles. Great illustrations! Great reading material to start a busy day off.
        1. kalibr
          April 25 2021 08: 21
          +3
          The shooter's opinion is especially valuable!
    4. The leader of the Redskins
      The leader of the Redskins April 25 2021 11: 38
      +5
      Wow, karmultuki! belay
      Do you know how to complete the story. How was it necessary to shoot from him? And about the loading process, I, in general, am silent!
      1. kalibr
        April 25 2021 11: 43
        +3
        Well, you know, Nazarius, if I need you, I'll shoot you with an iron. I will drill a "hole" (barrel) and an eyeliner in it, insert a diode with crushed glass, then ... "sulfur from matches", then a ball from a ball bearing and ... no one will even understand what they were shooting from. Well, there is a man with an iron, so what? He wants to please his wife!
        1. The leader of the Redskins
          The leader of the Redskins April 25 2021 11: 45
          +4
          So it is so, but then there was also "iron" and "bursts" to shoot!)))
        2. Nikolaevich I
          Nikolaevich I April 25 2021 11: 58
          +4
          Quote: kalibr
          I will shoot from the iron.
          insert a diode with crushed glass

          Crushed glass diode? belay "Live and learn ... you will die a fool!" And we have never thought of such "perversions"! "Erotic fantasy" was enough only for a miniature incandescent light bulb with a sawn-off top of the glass cap ... request
          1. kalibr
            April 25 2021 12: 24
            +2
            Quote: Nikolaevich I
            a miniature incandescent light bulb with a sawn-off top of the glass cap.

            This is a long passed stage. Back in "Tankomaster" I wrote about this ...
            1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
              Kote Pan Kokhanka April 25 2021 14: 16
              +3
              Better late than never!
              Vyacheslav Olegovich plus for the essay, everyone else for the comments on it!
              Especially Nikolayevich, I’ll go and cut the light bulb !! laughing wassat soldier
              1. Nikolaevich I
                Nikolaevich I April 25 2021 14: 50
                +3
                Quote: Kote pane Kohanka
                I'm going to cut the light bulb !!

                Hopefully not a hacksaw? belay
                1. vladcub
                  vladcub April 25 2021 16: 00
                  +3
                  I thought: why did he need a hacksaw?
                  1. Nikolaevich I
                    Nikolaevich I April 26 2021 01: 12
                    0
                    Quote: vladcub
                    I thought: why did he need a hacksaw?

                    lol
        3. Nikolaevich I
          Nikolaevich I April 26 2021 01: 20
          0
          Quote: kalibr
          there is a man with an iron, so what? He wants to please his wife!

          And what was your wife's fault? belay
  3. Free wind
    Free wind April 25 2021 12: 46
    +2
    Well, you must, so scoff at the usual arson. Interesting of course.
  4. Alien From
    Alien From April 25 2021 13: 02
    +3
    Thanks to the author and commentators hi article, photos and additions are wonderful!
  5. vladcub
    vladcub April 25 2021 14: 28
    +2
    Comrades, I have both joy and sadness: V.O with the curious system of Lorenz, Valery with the "stone of fate" and Edward with Rurik. And tomorrow, what will we suck a paw?
    It would be great, to the one who puts materials in print, to give a dozen shalabans!
    I would "tweet" (10) otal
    1. kalibr
      April 25 2021 15: 23
      +2
      Svyatoslav! I have 5 articles on moderation now and all of them seem to be interesting. I'm not putting them on. And so you and tomorrow would have an interesting article to read.
      1. vladcub
        vladcub April 25 2021 15: 58
        +2
        It would be nice, otherwise it is not interesting to suck a paw
        1. kalibr
          April 25 2021 17: 39
          +1
          You know, Svyatoslav, we are also interested. I never looked at it only as a job. I suspect that Valery and Eduard have the same attitude to this, which is why it is interesting to read them.
      2. Catfish
        Catfish April 25 2021 22: 17
        +1
        That's great, thank you, Vyacheslav! good drinks
  6. Undecim
    Undecim April 25 2021 15: 56
    +3
    True, the invention of Lorenzoni is also credited to the Italian gunsmith Giacomo Berselli from Bologna and Rome, which, however, does not detract from his merits.
    Lorenzoni himself is also credited with this invention, because in the arms world it is known as the Cookson repeater, the Cookson repeater.
    But, it's better to see once ...
    1. Catfish
      Catfish April 25 2021 22: 16
      +1
      Thank you, Victor, this guy always has interesting videos. smile
      1. Nikolaevich I
        Nikolaevich I April 26 2021 02: 07
        +2
        Actually ... "there is a nuance"! If you "dig" the Internet on the topic: "store flint"; then first (often, and last ...) are issued Kalthof (K. and R.), and Lorenzoni (as examples) ... But there were others "authors" of shop flints! Brothers Klett, Lagatz, Schalemborn ... And try to find information on them! Something might turn out if you "crawl" to foreign (sometimes, "half-closed" ...) sites of museums, archives, "private" weapons sites. .. Some time ago I lost half of my archive ... I tried to restore the missing ... alas, much has not been restored! On complete surrender, I think that at the present time on the Internet there is no "wide" access to the information that was more available several years ago! For example, it is quite easy to find on the Internet drawings (drawings) of shop flints of Kalthofs, Lorenzoni (they still "appear" in Shpakovsky's article ...); but I still cannot find drawings (drawings) of the now unknown "author" of another very interesting store-bought flint that I met about 5 years ago!
        1. kalibr
          April 26 2021 06: 07
          +2
          Quote: Nikolaevich I
          On complete surrender, I think that at the present time on the Internet there is no "wide" access to the information that was more available several years ago!

          You are absolutely right. It's the same with my old articles. The sites disappeared, and with them the materials.
  7. vladcub
    vladcub April 25 2021 16: 15
    +3
    Comrades, I drew attention to the butt: "Leopold's hunting set", it is not comfortable to rest on the shoulder
    But Kalthoff's stock is already much more convenient.
  8. Astra wild2
    Astra wild2 April 25 2021 17: 03
    +3
    Colleagues, hello. Actually today Christians celebrate Palm Sunday.
    Although most of us are atheists, this is a holiday of our ancestors. My future mother-in-law, she was like a mother to me, always put a willow twig in a bottle. And in memory of her, I do this, and the "kid" also introduced some of my friends
    1. Richard
      Richard April 25 2021 23: 32
      +1
      And you Vera, with Palm Sunday!
      As we say - willow in the house - and troubles away!
      a photo very rare Soviet postcard from 1970 "Congratulations. Palm Sunday"
  9. NF68
    NF68 April 25 2021 21: 46
    +1
    They look gorgeous.
  10. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh April 26 2021 00: 33
    +1
    I'm just overwhelmed! belay
    Never suspected that silicon single-barreled
    pistols could be so recharging. good
    Interesting article.
    1. kalibr
      April 26 2021 06: 13
      +4
      Quote: voyaka uh
      silicon single-barrel

      Dear Alexey! Not creimnium ... Silicon is an element in the periodic table. Flint is a chipped piece of mineral inserted into the trigger jaws. So "flint". We are not inserting an element ...
      1. vladcub
        vladcub April 26 2021 13: 04
        +1
        In O., have you decided to "bore"? This is Vic. Nick can do that.
        However, a fair amendment: we often speak and do not care about semantic logic. Like "put on a coat" - it turns out that the coat is published in clothes.
      2. Nikolaevich I
        Nikolaevich I April 26 2021 13: 16
        +2
        Quote: kalibr
        Silicon is an element in the periodic table. Flint is a turned piece ...

        That's right ! Silicon can be a transistor ... an MP chip ...; and guns are flint ... hi
  11. riwas
    riwas April 26 2021 03: 55
    +1
    To improve the effectiveness of old guns, they not only increased the rate of fire, but also increased the number of bullets in one charge.
    Here is what Daniel Defoe, who lived at the same time as his character, wrote in his book "The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe" in an episode describing Robinson's adventures after fleeing pirates:
    "I did not object to him, only ordered him not to move; taking the largest gun, almost equal in caliber to a musket, I loaded it with two pieces of lead and a decent amount of gunpowder; I rolled two large bullets into the other, and into the third (we had three guns ) - five smaller bullets. "
    1. vladcub
      vladcub April 26 2021 13: 09
      +1
      It’s happiness for Robinson that it was black powder, but what if he had modern smokeless powder? What would happen to the gun and it?
      1. kalibr
        April 26 2021 13: 24
        +2
        During the demonstration firing of the times of Alexei Mikhailovich, the archers hammered into the barrel of lead rods "three cuts per dime", that is, three cylinders, and they could also score three round bullets.
        1. vladcub
          vladcub April 26 2021 18: 04
          +2
          Q. Oh, I'm talking about something else: "I charged it with two pieces of lead and an ORDINARY amount of gunpowder," so that if in a gun 17c, pour smokeless gunpowder from the heart.
          Personally, I didn't subscribe to this.
          Even to equip a brass Luger sleeve, I would not undertake. On the net, somewhere I saw: a guy was loading shells for Luger. Good as good, but what if you pass it on to gunpowder?
          At least Luger will not be comfortable
  12. CastroRuiz
    CastroRuiz April 27 2021 12: 41
    0
    At that time, it was a technical masterpiece.