The Completely Disorderly Guy Who Doesn't Walk ([personal profile] nyarlathotep) wrote in [community profile] steampunk_nusantara2010-04-13 11:50 pm
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Abstract of Item: Javanese / Balinese Hand-Cannon.

Item is a handcannon, measuring 20 cm from butt to end of barrel, and weighs approximately 10 kilograms. Barrel is smoothbore, and made out of a novel corrossion-resistant steel alloy, approximately 15 cm long. Barrel diameter is approximately 3 cm.

Firing mechanism has been removed, but we suspect it is in some way an analogue of how modern shotguns work; suspect that item was a museum exhibit, judging by a piece of string that was tied around the grip area, which resembles the twine that can be used for tagging and cataloguing. Twine was cut.

The design of the handcannon is, by all indications, of either Majapahit or Balinese design; the stock in itself is carved into the shape of a lion/tiger, and resembles, to a significant degree, a roaring Barong.

Materials analysis places the barrel to be at least as approximately 500-600 years old, but carbon-14 analysis of the wood indicates that the stock in itself is a later addition, and cannot be any older than 50 years old. Marks on the handcannon indicates almost constant tinkering and improvement, and our firearms specialist speculates that not only is can handcannon fire lead balls (which, according to our specialist, is possibly what it was originally designed to do), but also allows for the firing of loads that resemble those that can be fired out of a modern shotgun — from buckshot, birdshot, nonlethal “bean-bag” projectiles, as well as possibly a kind of net.

Ammunition seems to be loaded from a side hatch, similar to how shotguns are loaded. We’re still trying to figure out how the firing mechanism works — there are several levers on the gun itself that don’t seem to be connected to anything right now. Our firearm specialist will be coming around next week with a proposed design on how it works, along with proposed designs on possible ammunition that may be possibly fabricated for testing purposes.

It’s possible to actually lift the weapon with one hand, although it seems difficult to aim this the way you would aim contemporary firearms. It’s likely what you did was hold it with both hands at waist level, possibly using your body to balance itself against the inevitable recoil, likely making sure that the thing doesn’t drive itself into the wielder’s abdomen, possibly to cause internal bleeding.