http://www.renaissance-spell.com/Images/Renaissance-Weapons/Renaiss...
What is the earliest evidence of distinct and possible blunderbusses that you all can post?

I have an early 18th century reproduction and it has been more fun that I expected so I would like to see how far back I can find examples and what they look like.

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I haven't seen that smaller hand morser (#20) before. Very cool. What's the one on the bottom?
What's the one on the bottom?

I vote for "the last cup you'll ever drink out of..."
I first saw a sketch of this handmortar at: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hand_mortar.png

The bottom one is probably 18th century. One of my books somewhere shows a similar looking grenade launcher for Brown Besses which locks on exactly like the bayonet. It is probably a good thing that no one makes a stainless reproduction with a 3" bore (tennis balls) or I would have one for mine.

I believe that these are all from the Bayern Museum (?)

There are some handmortar barrels on the market if you are interested in making one but most are a little more 18th century.

http://www.gentlemenoffortune.com/images/handmortar-1.jpg
I have a bronze caster friend that was going to cast one for me, but the mold cracked. http://www.therifleshoppe.com/(819).htm has the barrels for $180, and you can get a wheel lock mechanism for around $150. Those things just looks like too much fun.
http://www.fortvauseoutfitters.com/

This is where I bought my mortar barrel. At that time it was $65.00 and took a lot of elbow grease. It would be worth checking with them since they were planning to make a stock mounted barrel too.

http://api.ning.com/files/U-Rlj8IhY*Lm-mj3pOvSQD8ejs*TyV*SrIDo7p6ghXw76pBfsy2D6VaTtDV4H9*A/machinemortar.jpg_Notice that this project uses exactly the barrels the Fort Vause Outfitters sells.__Any way, does anyone have any 16th century blunderbuss pictures? I would be happy to find out who the oddly dressed blunderbussiers are in those pictures earlier. I have learned a hard lesson about going to great lengths to reproduce something before finding out where it really came from!

http://pds15.egloos.com/pds/200907/17/23/d0056023_4a6072558e1e5.jpg
"Despite its name, the hand mortar is more of a grenade launcher, with a wide barrel, typically of bronze, mounted on a musket stock so that it can be fired from the shoulder. This method of delivery offers increased range, but the weapons are temperamental and prone to misfires or bursting. This, coupled with the variable quality of the grenades fired, means that in the wrong hands a hand mortar can often be as much of a danger to the man firing it as to the enemy. Despite this, the grenade is a useful battlefield weapon when used against enemies deployed in cover, or for clearing choke points.

Historically the armies of the Ottoman Empire and Russia employed the hand mortar. In the Russian military, hand mortar detachments typically operated in support of the artillery, possibly because the unpredictability of the weapon made it unpopular among the line regiments! The Ottomans always treated grenades as a form of “thrown artillery”."

Even though the source is suspect (Total War) the write up is pretty good.
A lot of them were fireworks launchers too. As grenade launchers, cup launchers as they are called today, were in use up until WW1.
I just would not have thought of fireworks. Do you happen to have information on making such fireworks? Evil inquiring minds want to know. I have a sledge mounted version of this small mortar (with no strong desire to shoot one from my shoulder).

A funny little ammo story. At one of my first 18th Century events a group showed up called the "fuzzies" with bags of homemade handgrenades. They had wrapped tennis balls in black electrical tape, slit them, inserted a small plastic bag with about 80gr of black powder and a fuse in it then filled up the rest of the balls with flour, chalk, and talc. Because of protests from one other unit the organizers would not let the fuzzies use them in the battle. That night the complaining unit's encampment accidentally got bombed white while the fuzzies were all very visibly accounted for with many witnesses.
That's funny. Wish I could have been there.
I'm afraid that I only know that they are called firework launchers.

There are two basic types of launchers, the cup and the spigot. Today, the spigot launcher is used and the latest type of grenade is hollow through the lenght, so that you can use regular ammo and the bullet goes through the hollow portion of the grenade. You don't have to load a blank round fire a grenade.

In one of the catalogues I get, they are selling a cup launcher that screws on the threaded end of an AR-15 barrel and you load it with a golf ball. Supposed to shoot the ball a couple of hundred feet.
I would like anyone interested in blunderbusses take of this article: http://asoac.org/bulletins/96_flanigan_blunderbusses.pdf My first impression is that they had too much fun testing these barrels.

Does anyone happen to have a picture of this Donderbus in the Westfries museum at Hoorn (Netherlands) that might date to 1573 (or c. 1600)?

I found a vague reference to the Danes briefly making blunderbusses in the 16th century ("Blunderbuss 1500-1900") and of course the low countries. We seem to have a few members here from both areas, do these clothes look at all familiar?

This early gonne seems to have a distinctly flared muzzle.  It is from a private collection: http://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/fusionbb/showtopic.php?tid/265042...

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