Military Review

Cartridges do not regret!


It is believed that the unitary cartridge for small weapons Invented in 1812, the Swiss gunsmith Jean Samuel Pauli. The first successful breech-loading weapon for a stud of its own construction of a hairpin, its own design, was developed and made by the French gunsmith Casimir Lefoche in 1832, it was a hunting shotgun. And the first army military weapon with cartridges, combining a bullet, powder charge and ignition device (primer) into one whole, was the famous German needle-rifle Dreyze of the 1841 model of the year.

However, it is not for nothing that they say that everything new is a well-forgotten old, since the earliest sample of breech-loading weapons with unitary cartridges that has come down to us appeared in 400 years before the Dreyze rifle. Bronze wick culevrin hand, photo of which is placed on the screen saver, was made in the XV century. It was originally dated 1470-1500 for years, but recently a drawing and description of such couleurines were found in the manuscript of Italian gunsmith Lorenzo Giberti, who died in the year 1450. This allows you to push the date of appearance of these weapons even further into the past.

The fact that the sample is very early is also indicated by the fact that it was put on the shaft as a spearhead, while the arquebuses of the second half of the 15th century already had wooden lodges and butts rested against the shoulder. And then there were the first triggers - serpentines with a wick holder connected by a swinging lever with a trigger guard. The cartouleur has no such thing yet. Its caliber is very small for those times - only 11 mm, which is why some historians consider it not a fighting weapon, but a hunting weapon.

It has long been known that in the 15th and 16th centuries, breech-loading bombers and falconnies with added charging cells were very common. However, it is impossible to call what the presented kulevrin was charged with as a charging chamber. This is a reloaded cartridge - a light, thin-walled bronze sleeve with an ignition tube, a powder charge, a wad, and a bullet that was inserted into the chamber and locked with a flip sideways. By the way, a number of breech-loading rifles of the second half of the 19th century, for example, Krnka’s rifle, which was in service with the Russian army, had similar shutters.

Cartridge loading allowed to repeatedly increase the rate of fire of the weapon even in the absence of any release devices, and the relative lightness and compactness of the cartridges made it possible to carry a solid stock of ammunition that could be reloaded in a calm atmosphere between battles.

In general, the advantage is obvious, but no less obvious is the flaw that prevented the spread of such weapons and made the military forget about it for several centuries: Such systems and their ammunition were too complicated and expensive by the standards of the Middle Ages and the new time, and therefore unsuitable for mass production.

However, as single samples for wealthy private buyers, cartridge weapons continued to be produced in the future. Below are photos of a magnificent pistol with a wheel lock and a flap, made in Vienna in 1545. With a sufficient supply of ammunition, this pistol could have been fired up to 10 rounds per minute - an unprecedented figure for 16th century single-barreled weapons.

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  1. romex1
    romex1 25 June 2016 07: 57
    the impression that the article is not finished. I would like to continue.
    1. 2s1122
      2s1122 26 June 2016 11: 17
      I hope that will be, old beckoning
      1. Dam
        Dam 26 June 2016 18: 24
        Many thanks to the author, an interesting example of military engineering
    2. Gomel
      Gomel 26 June 2016 23: 31
      Exactly, I just want to say "and then?"
  2. cth; fyn
    cth; fyn 25 June 2016 08: 11
    What a fit details! It's easy to go nuts and it's the 15th century!
    1. Commissioner_Katani
      Commissioner_Katani 25 June 2016 08: 39
      this dude left)
      1. cth; fyn
        cth; fyn 25 June 2016 10: 34
        Ash? By the way, the series was shot: Ash against the Evil Dead.
    2. sub307
      sub307 25 June 2016 12: 43
      "What a fit of the details!"
      Fitting of parts is ordinary, for manual work. If you yourself worked with files and emery + polishing "bells and whistles", you must understand. Plus, there is enough time for manufacturing, and the work is most likely piecemeal, according to a "special order", so to speak, clearly not milking the weapons of thousands of armies. And all the piece-collection cars are actually made by hand, and cost accordingly, and the fit is at a level, with serial "stamping" can not be compared.
    3. The comment was deleted.
  3. moskowit
    moskowit 25 June 2016 08: 47
    "I demand the continuation of the banquet ..." (from L. Gaidai's wonderful film)
  4. Romanenko
    Romanenko 25 June 2016 10: 58
    I saw something similar in Phnom Penh in the museum - several small-caliber (something about 40-50 mm) breech-loading cannons. And the age is also serious - the 17th century. And the fit of the details is quite "on the level". The very idea of ​​loading from the side of the shooter visited gunsmiths, apparently for a very long time, it seems immediately after the appearance of firearms, but the trouble is - on large calibers in those conditions it did not work, but on small ones ?? How many manufacturers of firearms were there? Yes, count in every yard, and of course, no one would have thought of using unified ammunition, it simply would not work. Therefore, they did what they could - and this is a barrel with a trigger and a couple of, well, even a dozen charging chambers. With that role of firearms and a variety of calibers and systems, one could hardly count on anything more. Most importantly, these systems later initiated the development of weapons and ammunition in the right direction.
  5. Mountain shooter
    Mountain shooter 25 June 2016 12: 37
    Surprised! Thanks to the author. About fitting parts. There were no machines, of course, and those that were did not have the required accuracy. But the file and the hands of the master can work wonders. I remember the book by Medvedev, the very one who commanded a detachment in Western Ukraine near Rovno, from where Kuznetsov "left" for the German rear. He had the Spaniards in his detachment (an echo of their Civil War), and one of them (probably a Basque, they had extremely developed weapons business there), with the help of a file, carved a BUTTON TO THE MACHINE GUN! From some kind of bolt. And the machine gun STARTED to fire again.
    1. Sakmagon
      Sakmagon 26 June 2016 12: 33
      Sorry - not a bolt, but a striker ...
  6. Vega
    Vega 21 November 2016 11: 52
    Unfortunately, the author has forgotten the Beloozersk monks and their "quick squeak".
  7. Romanenko
    Romanenko 21 November 2016 16: 51
    Sam saw in Cambodia treasury charges probably of the same times. Made very honestly, but the caliber is already larger, somewhere around 35 - 45 mm on the eye.