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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Fri 16 May, 2008 2:54 am    Post subject: Confusion on calivers....         Reply with quote

Trawling through my old links, I came across this page:

http://www.geocities.com/ao1617/weapon.html

which mentions the caliver as a larger descendant of the early 16th-century arquebus. However, I seem to recall the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica stating that the caliver was practically identical with the arquebus except, the separation between the two being strictly a matter of time; and even further, I have dim recollections of Wallhausen's disdain for the caliver's lack of power and his opinion that all Shot should take up the musket rather than the puny little caliver, although I don't quite remember where I got that information from. Now, I wonder how I should make sense of all these pieces of information?

Where was the direction of development in terms of size and power from the arquebus to the caliver? Up? Down? No change? Or all three?

Along the same vein as the last possibility, did the "caliver" category encompass a much broader range of size and power than I thought previously, containing weapons both above and below the 16th-century arquebus's size-and-power bracket?

In that case, how great would be the overlap between the "caliver" and "musket" categories by, say, the middle of the 17th century? (At least in the opinion of reliable modern scholars.)

Was Wallhausen specifically targeting the caliver in his remark, or was he simply expressing his disdain of any long firearm smaller than the musket? And by the "musket" was he referring to the huge old Spanish musket, or to the lighter and more portable standard (if I'm not mistaken) for the muskets of his day?
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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Fri 16 May, 2008 6:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette,
I suspect that some of the confusion stems form the problem with translating the names of 16th Century firearms, while a German schutzrohr is properly called a caliver in English the two weapons are not necissarily identical. The same applies to the Spanish weapon.

The standard musket in Wallhausens day was either the "Full musket" aka Spanish musket or the Demi-musket aka Dutch musket which was still a comparatively new weapon. Both used musket rests and were fairly similar in actual fire power with the 'Spanish' musket firing 10 to the pound 'rolling' and the Dutch firing 12 to the pound 'rolling'.

By comparison the the 'caliver' which Wallhausen was critical of was the "schutzrohr"
http://www.engerisser.de/Bewaffnung/Schuetzenrohr.html
http://www.engerisser.de/Bewaffnung/weapons/Caliver.html
which fired 24 to the pound "rolling".
The caliver introduced in the middle late 16th Century had a slightly larger calibre, it was bored 20 to the pound (fired 24), compared arquebuses which were often bored 30 or even 40 and 50 to the pound. (OTH some earlier arquebus were bored 16 to the pound ...)
In the late 16th century larger calivers were introduced. The length of the barrel had been lengthened in an attempt to increase range and hitting power without increasing the weight of the shot. The late calivers are often almost as long as musket and generally 20-30 centimeters longer than previous arquebuses.
The most important thing was however that the caliver standardised the calibre of the the arquebus/caliver/schutzrohr in the same way as the Spanish musket's calibre became the standard for that type of weapon. But even then the calibre could come in wast number of shapes & sizes. .


By the middle of the 17th Century there was essentially no "caliver" category as the musket had become the sole infantry firearm in most armies. However some of these muskets, particularly the French were essentially calivers under a different name. The French standardized on a musket calibre of 20 to the pound in the 1660's but they were the exception not the rule AFAIK. The Swedes retained the 10 to the pound calibre of the Dutch demi-musket well into the Napoleonic period.

Regards
Daniel
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Justin King
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PostPosted: Fri 16 May, 2008 6:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Was the caliver not associated with cavalry? I had thought I understood it to be a horseman's weapon, compact and of lighter weight than a musket. The reduced size and weight might likely limit the size of the charge/shot and therefore the power.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 16 May, 2008 6:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Justin King wrote:
Was the caliver not associated with cavalry? I had thought I understood it to be a horseman's weapon, compact and of lighter weight than a musket. The reduced size and weight might likely limit the size of the charge/shot and therefore the power.


Some sorts of carbines or petronel and very VERY long horse pistols would have been used by cavalry I think.

Calivers might also have been used by cavalry or maybe mounted infantry ? Just some possibilities: I'm waiting for Gordon Frye to chime in if /when he sees this Topic. I sort of have general knowledge about the subject but am not qualified to give definite answers. Wink Laughing Out Loud

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Mrak E.Smith





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PostPosted: Fri 16 May, 2008 8:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Excuse me ,but I've always fall across some illustrations in Wallhausen's Art militaire a cheval ,an interesting original literature about the cavalry equipments & tactics those days,so could anyone tell me where I can get the full-text,hopfully a translated English version of this book?

Btw,I already possess the English cavalry drill book Militarie Instructions for the Cavallrie by John Cruso,1635(TIFF Format),if anyone is interested in it ,just inform me.
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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Fri 16 May, 2008 1:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mrak E.Smith wrote:
Excuse me ,but I've always fall across some illustrations in Wallhausen's Art militaire a cheval ,an interesting original literature about the cavalry equipments & tactics those days,so could anyone tell me where I can get the full-text,hopfully a translated English version of this book?

Btw,I already possess the English cavalry drill book Militarie Instructions for the Cavallrie by John Cruso,1635(TIFF Format),if anyone is interested in it ,just inform me.

Wallhausen's Kriegskunts zu Pferd has never been translated to English, it's only available in the orginal German or translated into French.

I have access to a scanned version of the German edition, contact me by PM or e-mail if you are interested.

Regards
Daniel
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Fri 23 May, 2008 4:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmm...10 the the pound means ten lead balls of said diameter would make up a pound, right?

Thanks, everyone, for helping me clear the muddle in my head. Now I don't feel as stupid as before I asked the question. Wink
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Gordon Frye




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PostPosted: Mon 26 May, 2008 11:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As always, Daniel is dead on the money in his explanation. But to further the discussion a bit, I'd like to add a few things.

To answer Lafayette's question though, you're correct in that "10-to-the-pound" means ten round balls of the diameter in question will equal one pound. (Of course who's pound we're discussing is a question to be taken up another time.) To translate further into modern parlance:

10-to-the-pound = 10-bore = 10 Gauge = .775" = 19.69mm, ball weight is 700 grains = 1.60oz = 45.36gm
12-to-the-pound = 12-bore = 12 Gauge = .729" = 18.35mm, ball weight is 583 grains = 1.33oz = 37.80gm
20-to-the-pound = 20-bore = 20 Gauge = .615" = 15.63mm, ball weight is 350 grains = .800 oz = 22.68gm

As Daniel mentioned, the term Caliver is a late-16th Century term used for an arquebus of standardized caliber. Prior to the adoption of such arms, the actual bore-size of a particular weapon was pretty much at the discretion of the maker/user, and each firearm had to be accompanied by it's own bullet mold. With the adoption of standardized caliber weapons, bullet issue (especially for the battlefield when necessary) was enormously simplified, and caught on rather quickly. The standards, as noted above were usually 20-bore and 10-bore (at least early on. The Dutch regulations of 1600 define a Caliver (arquebus/roer) as being of 20-bore, while the muskets were defined at 10-bore. English regulations of 1630 state that a musket will be of 10-bore, while the harquebuz (at this point now defined as a cavalry weapon) is of 16-bore.

Not only does Walhausen excoriate the caliver as a useless weapon, but Sir Roger Williams waxed long and hard on its deficiencies. Sir Roger stated that he would rather have 500 Musketeers than 1000 or more Caliveers, as the muskets were in his opinion, due to their increased range and power "more serviceable, and farre better cheap" when considering the wages involved, etc. True that the musket was a far more powerful weapon, and very, very few suits of armour were anything near being musket proof, but the price was mobility. But Sir Roger does make a good argument for his case, as is proved by the gradual elimination of the caliver by most Western armies in the next decades.

Interestingly, during the early 17th Century the caliver/roer went out of fashion, being replaced by the heavier musket. But in response, the musket itself became somewhat lighter than the 15-20 pound monsters of the middle-16th Century, and while (usually) retaining approximately the same bore became more of the size of the earlier calivers, somewhere in the 10-pound range, with barrels of about 4-foot in length (48" for English muskets). No doubt the limits of what a man can carry on his person and in his hands are somewhere in that range, for it seems as though just under 10-pounds was the standard for infantry firearms for the next four centuries.

Cheers!

Gordon

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Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
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Last edited by Gordon Frye on Mon 26 May, 2008 11:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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Henry O.





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PostPosted: Fri 23 Dec, 2016 8:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Does anyone have any sources for the caliver standardized at twenty bore thing? Most of the books I've read which mention the weapon seem to tip toe around the actual size.

Also, do we know how standardized calivers were in practice? Roger Williams mentions that they use between 1/20th and 1/30th of a pound of gunpowder per shot, which makes it sound like there was some variation. Also, do we know exactly how much a ye olde pound weighed compared to a modern pound?
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