Arheoloogiline eksperiment Otepää varspüssi rekonstruktsiooniga [Archaeological experiment with a reconstructionof the Otepää handgonne]

Jaak Mäll


Eesti vanima tulirelva taktikalis-tehniliste näitajate analüüs
Analysis of the tactical and technical characteristics of the oldest Estonian firearm

The paper describes a series of tests performed with a reconstruction of the oldest known firearm in Estonia – a 15th-century handgonne from the castle of Otepää. Th e purpose of the experiment was to investigate the impact of the earliest hand-held firearms on 15th-century European warfare. As there have been many well-documented experiments with reconstructed late mediaeval bows and crossbows published in recent years, it was possible to compare the results tothe performance of this reconstructed early hand-held firearm. The experiments included penetration tests into solid pinewood and muzzle velocity measurements. It was concluded that judging from the results of the experiments, the early hand-held firearms were vastly superior compared to the mechanical missile weapons of the time, both in terms of penetrative properties and the kinetic energy of the attack.


Handgonne, medieval firearms, experimental archaeology, history of firearms.

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Kirjastaja / Published by:

ISSN 2228-0669 (trükis / print)