Prominent German gunsmiths

Our reader asks us to answer questions about his gun, resulting in poorly preserved inscription on it in German. We will not play the German texts, and to make the translation and give the names of the masters.

Prominent German gunsmithsPhoto from the author’s archive

On the left the gun barrel is written: «Thimphu, Schlegelmilch Suhl». On the right: «Nimrod – Arms Factory». Suhl – city ​​in South Thuringia, which originated the German arms industry. Thimphu and Schlegelmilch – German gunsmiths known for some time to work together. Nimrod – their collective pseudonym. On the inside of the barrel is written: «Krupp – Steel receiver».
More Tkachenko asked why on the last and shattered trunks different numbers. This is usually due to the fact that parts of the gun were made by different masters. Until the middle of the XIX century, when the barrels were made only by winding the steel strip on a cylindrical mandrel, there were masters and the company made only trunks. Other craftsmen specialized in manufacturing locks. Work independently and some lozheyniki. Sometimes weapons XIX century on every barrel was individually numbered, which is placed after the initial testing of the receiver tube.
Master Thimphu, who took part in the manufacture of guns our readers, was well known in Europe gunsmith. Recently we got a wonderful union made them in cooperation with other German gunsmith Leue. We believe that to meet him will be interesting to readers.
Perhaps unions first appeared in Germany. In favor of this assumption is the word «Stutzen». In Germany it has two meanings. One – verb meaning «shorten». «trim». «chop off». Initially, in Germany the term was used in this meaning. So there called rifled gun with a short barrel. In the lexicon of Russian arms, this term usually refers to a double-barreled rifled «watershed» gun. The union, which want to tell you, just reminds us about the second meaning of the word «stutzen» – verb «marvel». This fitting is really amazing care of all details of execution. Its owner did not save a thin and fragile box. She broke in the neck, and the stock was gone forever. In such a gun is not only non-functional, but in a sense, even invisible. Not seen its overall architectonics, it is unclear how his affairs with balance and handiness. But the trunk, shoes and all the mechanisms implemented soundly and very clean. These majestic remains deserve description, because they are the ancestors of today and show the successive stages of the development of weapons technology.
Around the base of the hammers gold lettering. Left – «Hofbuchsen m. Berlin». On right – «H. Leue & Timpe». Assuming that the lowercase letter «m» – an abbreviation of the German word «Macher» – the manufacturer, the manufacturer, the label will mean: the first – «Berlin court gunsmiths»The second – «Mr. Leue and TIMP». These labels allow us to determine that the gun was made in 1870–1876.. Later TIMP worked for an Englishman Griner. On top of the shoe is made of gold and the individual number of the gun – 1312. Interestingly, as in the gun of our reader, to trunks and board bear two different rooms, and neither one of them is not the same «gold» number of all guns. This suggests that the shoe and trunks produced different masters whose names we do not know.
Time of creation of this union – time of rapid development, not only the mechanics of rifle, but the whole of arms. Recall that recently Casimir Lefoshe made the first breech-loading gun. In 1851 he showed it at the international exhibition in London. In 1855, the French gunsmith M. Potte created cartridge in the center of the bottom of the sleeve which was a nest for the capsule with the impact structure. In 1861, the Frenchman M. shader patented cartridge central battlefield in which we use today. To better imagine the time, adding that the bullets were used in those days only lead. Before the shell was still pretty far away. Recall that all firearms used at the time only «the black» – black powder. The first more or less reliable Nitric cellulose (smokeless) gunpowder will only invented in 1885 by Frenchman P. Viel.
At the apex is a small forearm choke lever disconnecting nozzles and the forearm, which is not separated from the pads and only turns on the axle bolt approximately 30 degrees. The very same axle bolt is fixed in the block are not nuts, as modern guns and transverse screw stopper. Another feature: the union have no grenade hooks, and in their place podstvol’nyy cylinder. From the front of the finger acts as a diameter of 8 mm, included in the corresponding hole forearm. A breech of the cylinder there is a nest square (8 x 8 mm), in which you lock includes a slide, slide-out «window» the bottom of the panel block. This invention will soon become Purdy part of its name, moving in horizontal grooves and blocks included in one or two grenade hook. In our socket slider is drawn into the connector at the bottom arm abduction Purdy, who «hugs» the front part of the trigger guard. It is interesting that the carrier arm is very similar to what was soon made to move Greener cross bolt. A double spring from the old union «will move» to the gate Westley – Richards, who works today in our guns.
It is very interesting that in the axis brandtrubok socket located exactly on the axes trunks. This has led to the block select very deep niche and upper bend to the center hammers guns about 10 mm. As a result, the width of the triggers do not exceed the dimensions of the block. Locks, like almost all the guns of the time, made «neck-». Long double spring located behind the trigger. The ankle, which planted the trigger is connected to the mainspring chain. We already have a safety hammers squad, while strikers return springs. Another feature: hammers planted in four, and hexagon. I can imagine how difficult it was to cut a small hole in a file responses trigger. However, it is clear that with the hands of the creators of the union was all right. Both the trigger are not mere triggers the system, as provided by the French or the rear set trigger, allowing optional hand or to make slopes with ordinary effort, or shoot after pre-Priming with small free course and effort, independent of the depth to which screwed adjusting screws.
The trunks of the union, the best at the time, made of highly prized in Germany «bernardovskogo damask». Their length is 620 mm. Caliber 11 mm (in the fields). Measurements of the chamber showed that the union made under the cartridges .45-70 Governement. Interestingly, some cartridge company (Federal, Remington, Winchester) still produce such cartridges. The nozzle channel seven deep helical grooves with a pitch of about 400 mm. Obviously, this was done under the gun lead bullets. The trunks of very massive, their weight is about 3.5 kg. To a large extent they are weighted by a strong coupling. She, like trunks, made of Damascus steel. Front clutch cut obliquely. The top of the barrel chamber it is slightly longer (60 mm), and the bottom – All forearm (about 200 mm). Thick walls of the stem. The breech – 8 mm, in the mouth – 2. rib concave «Conical»From 12 to 9 mm. This suggests that this union, as often happens in our time, has been on the basis of a shotgun. This conjecture is confirmed by the very light strip for fitting of this caliber. And Celik bead embedded in rear sight so that they can move in the transverse direction (prism type «dovetail»). Tselik set to 200 mm from the official muzzle. After zeroing on prisms and bar put the risks clearly visible now.
Fitting decorated artistic engraving performed flawlessly in a very animalistic laborious technique dropped. On the shank block has a medallion, probably silver monogram for the owner. But the following inscription on it is not visible. This suggests that the masters did explicitly gift option arms.
Very easy to block it corresponds to an elegant forearm of carefully trimmed nut.
We hope that familiarity with the gun – monument rifle of History and Art – It will be of interest to the readers of the history of hunting weapons.

Vladimir Tihomirov3 February 2012 at 11:25

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