Large Caliber Rifle
My brother sent me a link to a YouTube Video
about a modern, very large bore rifle, touted as the largest
center-fire rifle ever made. I'm glad they said it was a rifle
and that it was center-fire because people have been experimenting with
large bore guns ever since there have been guns. That's where
cannons came from.
to be more specific, these weapons were not rifles and they did not
fire a center-fire cartridge. They were muzzleloaders. And,
wow, were they large caliber! Here's an early illustration of a
matchlock gun of the type I'm talking about:
carriage may or may not be present. The gun could be mounted in a
movable yoke on the wall of a fortress. It could be mounted on
the gunwall of a ship at sea. It was never shoulder-fired like
the .95 caliber center-fire rifle in the YouTube video, but anything
less than 1.00 caliber (one-inch bore) would have been considered
small. The old, black powder gun I'm talking about ranged in bore
from 1 to 2 inches.
I saw one at the old Spanish Fort in St.
Augustine, Florida (USA). Photos are at the bottom of this page.
To give you an idea of how big the gun is, here's one I found on
the net where a man is standing next to it:
Wow! That's what I said when I first saw the thing at St.
Augustine. Good thing there's a gun mount to absorb some of the
recoile. I don't think anyone is gonna shoulder that thing!
what's this thing called? Well, after much searching the net I
found an excellent website with a great description. Wikipedia
helped at a little as well. The class of weapon is an "Amusette."
It's French. Not sure what it means. There are
several types in English, though.
The most common type is called
a "Wall Gun" which can be mounted on a wall or a carriage as in the
illustration above. The reason for the carriage is the thing
might weigh 50 lbs or more according to one website. And that's
not counting powder and ammunition. The thing may also be called
a "Rampart Musket" or "Light Field Piece" and could be mounted on the
gunwall of a ship. The differences between them are described at
the bottom of this web page. Now, here are the photos of the
weapon we saw in 2012 in St. Augustine: