GUN , ageneral
See also:term for a weapon, tubular in
See also:form, from which a projectile is discharged by means of an explosive . When applied to
See also:artillery the word is confined to those pieces of
See also:ordnance which have a
See also:direct as opposed to a high-
See also:fire, in which case the terms "
See also:howitzer " and "
See also:mortar " are used (see ORDNANCE and MACHINE-GUN) . " Gun " as applied to firearms which are carried in the
See also:hand and fired from the
See also:shoulder, the old " hand gun," is now chiefly used of the sporting shot-gun, with which this article mainly deals; in military usage this type of weapon, whether
See also:rifle, carbine, &c., is known collectively as " small arms " (see RIFLE and
See also:PISTOL) . The origin of the word, which in
See also:Mid . Eng. is gonne or gunne, is obscure, but it has been suggested by
See also:Professor W . W .
See also:Skeat that it conceals a
See also:female name, Gunnilde or Gunhilda . The names; e.g .
See also:Mons Meg at
See also:Castle and faule Grete (heavy Peg), known to readers of Carlyle's
See also:Frederick the
See also:Great, will be
See also:familiar parallel-isms . " Gunne " would be a shortened " pet name " of Gunnhilde . The New
See also:Dictionary finds support for the
See also:suggestion in the fact that in Old
See also:Norwegian gunne and hilde both mean " war," and quotes an inventory of war material at Windsor Castle in 1330-1331, where is mentioned " una magna balista de
See also:cornu quae vocatur Domina Gunilda." Another suggestion for the origin of the word is that the word representsa shortened form, gonne, of a supposed French mangonne, a mangonel, but the French word is mangonneau . Firearms are said to have been first used in
See also:European warfare in the 14th century .
The hand gun (see fig . 1) came into
See also:practical use in 1446 and was of very
See also:rude construction . It consisted of a
See also:simple iron or brass
See also:tube with a
See also:touch-hole at the top fixed in a straight stock of
See also:wood, the end of which passed under the a right armpit when the " gonne " was about to be fired . A similar weapon (see fig . 2) was FIG . 1.—Hand Gun . also used by the
See also:horse-soldier, with a
See also:ring at the end of the stock, by which it was suspended by a
See also:round the
See also:neck; a forked
See also:rest, fitted by a ring to the saddlebow, served to steady the gun . This rest, when not in use, hung down in front of the right
See also:leg . A match was made of
See also:cotton or
See also:hemp spun slack, and boiled in a strong solution of saltpetre or in the lees of
See also:wine . The touch-hole was first placed on the top of the
See also:barrel, but afterwards at the side, with a small
See also:pan underneath to hold the priming, and guarded by a cover moving on a
See also:pivot . An improvement in firearms took place in the first
See also:year of the reign of
See also:Henry VII., or at the close of
See also:Edward IV., by fixing a
See also:cock (Fr.
See also:serpentine) on the hand gun to hold the match, which was brought down to the priming by a trigger, whence the term matchlock . This weapon is still in use among the
See also:Chinese, Tatars, Sikhs, Persians and
See also:Turks .
An improvement in the stock was also made during this
See also:period by forming it with a wide butt end to be placed against the right
See also:breast . Subsequently the stock was bent, a German invention, and the
See also:arm was called a hackbutt or hagbut, and the smaller variety a demihague . The arquebus and hackbutt were about a yard in length, including barrel and stock, and the demihague was about
See also:half the
See also:size and
See also:weight, the forerunner of the pistol . The arquebus was the standard
See also:infantry firearm in
See also:Europe from the
See also:battle of
See also:Pavia to the introduction of the heavier and more powerful musket . It did not as a
See also:rule require a rest, as did the musket . The
See also:lock, an improvement on the match-lock, was in- vented in
See also:Nuremberg in 1517; was first used at the
See also:siege of
See also:Parma in 1521; was brought to England in 1530, and continued in partial use there until the
See also:time of
See also:Charles II . This wheel-lock consisted of a fluted or grooved
See also:steel wheel which protruded into the priming pan, and was connected with a strong
See also:spring . The cock, also regulated by a spring, was fitted with a piece of iron
See also:pyrites . In
See also:order to
See also:discharge the gun the with Hand Gun . From General
See also:Hardy de Perini's
See also:Turenne e ! Conde 1626-1675 . lock was
See also:wound up by a
See also:key, the cock was let down on the priming pan, the pyrites resting on the wheel; on the trigger being pressed the wheel was released and rapidly revolved, emitting
See also:sparks, which ignited the powder in the pan .
The complicated and expensive nature of this lock, with its liability to injury, no doubt prevented its generaladoption . About 1540 the Spaniards constructed a larger and heavier firearm (matchlock), carrying a
See also:ball of to to the pound, called a musket . This weapon was introduced into England before the
See also:middle of the 16th century, and soon came into general use throughout Europe . The snaphance was invented about this period in Germany, and from its
See also:comparative cheapness was From General Hardy de Perini's Turenne el Conde, 1626-1679 .
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