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Helge B.





Joined: 06 Mar 2008

Posts: 73

PostPosted: Sun 15 Feb, 2009 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reloading a muzzeloader with an armoured gauntlet         Reply with quote

Is it possible to reload a muzzleloader while wearing an armoured gauntlet?

Most of the 17th century cuirassier armours have gauntlets. Did the cuirassiers remove them before they reloaded their pistols? I would consider this a bit akward when on horseback and doing a caracole maneuver.
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Dale Rideout




Location: Royal Gorge Colorado
Joined: 16 Feb 2009

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon 16 Feb, 2009 6:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just a guess here but being a muzzle loader myself, I can't imagine loading in the heat of battle with gauntlets on... I have the impression that they or their horses wore a brace of pistols and cast them aside after each shot as to be of no further encumbrance, the pistols being used in conjunction with their swords as each situation demanded.
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Daniel Staberg




Location: Gothenburg/Sweden
Joined: 30 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Fri 20 Feb, 2009 12:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First of all the Cuirassiers did not caracole so reloading the pistols while turning was not a problem that existed. Rather pistols would reloaded when time was found to do so, for example as a units was reforming and recovering after a charge. When reloading the gauntlets would be taken off and as the pistols were reloaded using cartridges the entire process would still be quite fast.

And of course a fair number of cuirassiers went into action without gauntlets on at least one hand. A basket hilt provided plenty of protection for the hand on it's own so the gauntlet for the sword hand was discarded.

Pistols would only be thrown away or dropped on the ground in very desperate circumstances, they were quite expensive pieces of equipment. A pair of pistols cost as much as 4 muskets for example.
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James Arlen Gillaspie
Industry Professional



Location: upstate NY
Joined: 10 Nov 2005

Posts: 527

PostPosted: Fri 20 Feb, 2009 4:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I made some gauntlets awhile back that fit me quite well (they were made to restore gauntlets to an etched Italian harness c. 1560 that had none), and while wearing them I could tie my shoelaces and fish a business card out of my wallet. I handled a pistol while wearing them but didn't actually load one, but I don't see why I couldn't have.
jamesarlen.com
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Sat 21 Feb, 2009 5:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dale Rideout wrote:
Just a guess here but being a muzzle loader myself, I can't imagine loading in the heat of battle with gauntlets on... I have the impression that they or their horses wore a brace of pistols and cast them aside after each shot as to be of no further encumbrance, the pistols being used in conjunction with their swords as each situation demanded.


I agree wholeheartedly with Daniel's comment about pistols not being discarded. There is a recurrent myth that Highlanders fired and discarded their pistols during the course of the Highland Charge. There are no contemporary accounts of that and a reasonable evaluation of the cost of doing so, in monetary terms as well as in terms of self defense, argues stongly against it.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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James R.Fox




Location: Youngstowm,Ohio
Joined: 29 Feb 2008

Posts: 253

PostPosted: Mon 23 Feb, 2009 12:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sirs-Most of this era's pistoleers wore hardened leather applied to the backs of the glove on the wrist and forearms (just forgot what it's called) leaving the the fingers and palm flexible. Metal armour was for the helm,curiass,gorget., and shoulders. Sorry that this is a blank day, we just had a big discussion of leather armour in the 15-1700s but it's gone now.
Ja68ms
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