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Helge B.





Joined: 06 Mar 2008

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PostPosted: Fri 07 Mar, 2008 12:33 am    Post subject: Do pauldrons hinder you using a carbine/musket?         Reply with quote

I wonder why cuirassiers in threequarter armour mostly relied on pistols and not on carbines with greater reach.

Was it because the pauldrons of the armour hinder you to use the longer firearm properly?
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Christopher Gregg




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Mar, 2008 7:24 am    Post subject: Paudrons         Reply with quote

I think that carbines (arquesbusses?) were traditionally fired more from the chest or hip, so I doubt that armor would hinder their (marginal) accuracy. The butt stocks were not really sculpted to fit the armpit specifically.
Christopher Gregg

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Kenneth Scott





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PostPosted: Fri 07 Mar, 2008 7:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I imagine muzzle loading pistols would be much easier to reload on horseback.
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Adam Bodorics
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Joined: 15 Apr 2005

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PostPosted: Fri 07 Mar, 2008 7:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Part I: This is from larp and group fighting practice experience, so may not fit too well to the original question. We could easily aim and fire both bows and crossbows with pauldrons on, but it was easier when the right pauldron was a bit smaller (as it was usually), as in this case, we could place the butt (of the crossbows, trivially) on our armpits. I don't know how well would it work with carbines.
Part II: This is from reading experience, in a few days I could post the exact source as well, with correcting the possible flaws in the followings. There were pistol-using horsemen and there were carbine-users (esp. as carbines were developed for horsemen to begin with). The pistol users were ordered to shoot when they can see the eye of the target, the carbiners had a greater ordered range. The book is Csikány Tamás: A harmincéves háború (Thomas Csikány: The thirty year war), where he actually cited the exact order.
...
Christopher: carbine and arquebus is two different things. Musket is the heaviest and biggest, arquebus is medium weight and size, carbine is the smallest and lightest. After I got home, I'll post exact weights and sizes, if someone won't beat me to it. (feel free to do so Big Grin )
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Christopher Gregg




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Mar, 2008 8:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Adam, Thanks for the info, but I realize they are two different weapons. The original post did not really specify a time period, only that if pauldrons interferred with using a carbine. As armor was in use throughout the arquebus' time of use, I included the weapon (in parenthesis) to broaden the reference. I do not think that either weapon would be affected by armor, as the user would be familiar with the issues concerning its use whilst wearing armor. Happy
Christopher Gregg

'S Rioghal Mo Dhream!
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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Mar, 2008 2:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As can be seen in these images shoulder armour did not prevent the use of carbine or arquebus from horseback.



The reason for the cuirassiers relying on pistols were that they were shock cavalry who used their pistol just prior to contact and/or in the melee. The carbine/arquebus was a support weapon of little use in shock action. Hence it was used by the mounted arquebusiers and other types of light cavalry.
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Scott Eschenbrenner




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Mar, 2008 12:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A modern example: most body armor forces you to place the stock of a rifle or carbine on the portion of the armor that goes over your shoulder. If it's just a plate carrier you can still put the stock against the muscle, but most soft armor carriers (like the IBA) cover the place where you would naturally form your stock weld. Hence the popularity of collapsible stocks that allow an adjustment for length of pull when wearing armor.

Sure, pauldrons are iron/steel and not kevlar covered in nylon, but I imagine it would have been workable.
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Joel Minturn





Joined: 10 Dec 2007

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PostPosted: Thu 13 Mar, 2008 9:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Couple other things to think about. Crossbows of the day didn't have shoulder rests like modern crossbows so the current tech of the day, crossbows, transfers over to the cutting edge, pistols and carbines, so no shoulder stocks because they didn't feel really think about them or see the need.
Second thought was that maybe the horseman didn't want them. the weren't shooting at range they where shooting very close as i understand the wood cuts i have looked at. So the horseman may have wanted the maneuverability of a gun with out a shoulder stock. The shoulder stock could just get hung up and hinder its use in close quarters and as a club.

Looking through a couple of old manuals that we have at school ,well copies of old manuals, they imply that the calvary should be armed with a pistol and a carbine. The carbine was more or less a long barreled pistol. I also found an interesting woodcut from 1570's that had some of the armoured gunners using their guns as clubs. They were also leading the charge in front of the heavy lance which I thought was odd.
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Fri 14 Mar, 2008 1:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel's pretty much got all the stuff explained neatly; maybe the only thing I can add is that the pistol had a much faster "reload time" due to the fact that a pistol-armed horseman rarely carried less than two pistols; the speed advantage provided by being able to draw a second already-loaded pistol right out of the holster would have been a great asset at the essentially hand-to-hand ranges that pistol-armed cuirassiers were expected to engage in, at least if compared to a carbine (of which only one could be carried at any given time).

Another thing is a speculation I made not long ago on this forum that the pistol might have been especially suited to the cuirassiers' mode of engagement because most pistols at the time had fairly straight handles and protruding triggers, with the result that a cuirassiers' grip on a pistol would have been very similar to how he would have placed his hand on a sword's hilt. In this way, it would be natural for the cuirassier to use the pistol at point-blank range just like a very long sword, which is exactly the method of use preferred by most contemporary writers.
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B. Fulton





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PostPosted: Fri 14 Mar, 2008 5:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That, and it's actually easier to aim a pistol off horseback (even moving) because there's less barrel to bob around.

Even in later times with magazine fed rifles (lever action Winchesters for example) shooting from a large, non-bobbing vehicle such as a stagecoach, people have found it's much easier to aim and hit with a pistol than a rifle.

Given the typical engagement range of the time, I would prefer 3-4 pistols backed up by a sword, over 1 carbine any day.
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Joel Minturn





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PostPosted: Fri 14 Mar, 2008 6:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not sure that pistols are easier to shoot on moving targets than longer barrel guns. The pistol has a shorter sight radius so you wouldn't notice the jerking as much but it would throw your aim off just the same. but I haven't done any shooting from a moving object.
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Joel Minturn





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PostPosted: Fri 14 Mar, 2008 9:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I thought about this from a different point of view. If you think of your arm as an additional shock absorber than a pistol, or in this case a carbine as well, might bounce less than a longer gun with a shoulder stock. Pistols and the like are close combat weapons were you don't aim so much as point at your target and fire. I believe that these earlier pistols where balanced so the CG was right where your hand is so the pistol/carbine so the barrel wouldn't bounce up and down more than necessary . So these early weapon wouldn't have stocks because of how they where used.

So the other guys would be more of a long range, stop and shoot, sort of guys. and No i don't think pauldrons would effect them to much.

http://www.iphotocentral.com/search/detail.ph...l/0/5565/1 the third gun on the left is a carbine and the first and third guns on the right are obviously pistols
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B. Fulton





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PostPosted: Sat 15 Mar, 2008 2:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dragoons, infantry moving around on horses, use carbines. Regular cavalry rarely did so (on horseback).

Having handled an original pair of Tower of London horse pistols from the 1600s, the balance was excellent. No muzzle or grip heaviness, they pointed exactly where they were supposed to.

On the long-vs-short barrel thing, modern cowboy action shooters, using short barreled and long barreled revolvers, shotguns and rifles off horses and stagecoaches noted that pistols are far easier to hit with from a moving horse or vehicle against a target. The balance on a 7.5" barreled Peacemaker is similar to an old school wheellock or flintlock horse pistol in that they are not overly muzzle or butt heavy, and point well, so there is some comparison there.
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Gordon Frye




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PostPosted: Tue 25 Mar, 2008 10:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Reviving a fairly old thread, I wanted to note that for the most part Harquebusiers/ Carabiniers seldom if ever wore full vambraces and pauldrons, while Cuirassiers/Pistoliers seldom if ever used carbines. (The de Gheyn illustration which Daniel posted to the contrary, but of course it's a fairly short carbine in both stock and barrel). The earlier illustration which Daniel posted shows Germanic firearmed cavalry from the 1560's, a time when things were still rather in flux, so it's entirely possible that they were carrying both carbine and pistols, as well as wearing fairly full armour, but even they have maille sleeves rather than plate vambraces.

This isn't to say that firing a carbine from pauldrons can't be done. It's just that from what I can see, it for the most part wasn't.

Here are a few illustrations of Harquebusiers from Walhausen (courtesy Daniel Staberg, yet again!), and a Cuirassier from De Gheyn. Those with carbines aren't generally illustrated with pauldrons, those with pauldrons almost always are illustrated with pistols or lances. In fact, I think that the only illustrations I've ever seen of anyone firing a carbine while wearing pauldrons are from de Gheyn's series shown here and in Daniel's post.

Cheers!

Gordon



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