Flintlock Hand Mortar

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During the 1600s and 1700s, flintlock and wheel lock systems were used to make “hand mortars”; firearm-like apparatuses to throw objects. Some of these were military grenade launchers, capable of withstanding significant pressure and generating very substantial recoil upon firing (they were vitally all fired with the butt braced on the ground). Others were used for launching signal flares and fireworks; roles which required much less strength on the part of the launcher. This appears to be one of the latter type (as are most), with a flintlock action and a launching cup some 3 1/3 inches (85mm) in diameter.

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