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Renaissance Arms Essay

927 words - 4 pages

Sean Hansen
David Baker
April 22, 2008
Umeck Period 3

Renaissance Arms

The Renaissance refers to the period of European history dating from 1300 to 1700. It occurred after the dark ages and led to the age of Enlightenment (Pioch, 1). It ignited a revival of learning based on classical philosophies and teachings, led to many cultural changes, artistic movements, musical breakthroughs, and scientific discoveries (Pioch). Warfare also changed dramatically with many technological advances and complicated war strategies (Calvo, 1). Among these were such fire weapons as the cannon and handgun. These weapons changed warfare and the world forever.
The Chinese first invented gunpowder in ...view middle of the document...

To compensate for the poor firing rate, users added barrels to weapons to increase the amount of ammunition that can be launched. They were known as organ guns (Gunpowder weapons of the late 15th century, 12). To solve the inaccuracy, guns called Culverins were made which had skinnier and longer barrels (Gunpowder weapons of the late 15th century, 11). Also, bullets were introduced to improve accuracy by fitting in the barrel snugly.
Eventually, people created handheld versions of the Culverins. These weapons were known as handguns. They fired bullets but mostly abandoned multiple barrels for mobility purposes. The first handguns were essentiality just handheld cannons (Gunpowder weapons of the late 15th century, 13). Firing these weapons was highly dangerous and a hassle in the heat of combat, were incapable of use in bad weather, and were less effective than crossbows even though they were cheaper and easier to train for (Calvo, 1).
In the 1400s, the matchlock firing mechanism was invented (Nosotro, 2). This was a form of mechanical parts that swung a wick into the barrel, which fired the ammunition. However, the gunners were limited in their firing rate, and the weapon was still not weatherproof because the user had to keep his wick lit the entire battle (Calvo, 2).

In the year 1509, wheel lock weapons were created for the first time (Bellis, 1). This weapon system abolished the requirement to carry a wick and instead used mechanical sparks created by rapid spinning of a wheel to discharge the projectile. The wheel lock firing mechanism was one step closer to becoming weatherproof (Bellis, 1).
The flintlock gun was the foundation for all modern guns (Brain, 1). It was developed in the mid 1500’s and used a spring mechanism to strike a piece of flint on a piece of steel creating a spark which would...

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