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Everything posted by bluelake

  1. The show was on last night. It wasn't too bad (although they did include a 10 sec. hangfire ) and my part wasn't very long. They did not show the kendo armor getting hit, but they did show a shot going through several layers of boards.
  2. Interesting story, Ron! Thanks for sharing it
  3. Thanks, guys--it's appreciated. I only hope, when they finish the editing and post-production for the TV show, they leave my gaffs on the cutting room floor (Well, the show is supposed to be a serious history show and not a comedy ). I had the hangfire that peppered my finger, along with a few others; also, when I was shooting my bow, my first shot was with a tong-a/pyeonjeon (bamboo overdraw and half-size arrow)--however, I neglected to check the wrist strap and my overdraw went flying along with the arrow... Still, I did shoot a regular bamboo arrow (with a war point) about 200m. Now, if they concentrate on the kendo armor and the good arrow shot, I'll be happy :D
  4. Hi George, Although it's possible the powder could have had moisture in it, I don't think so, as it actually fired well and I never had a misfire (only hangfires). Still, it is a possibility. I appreciate your input. Thomas
  5. Thanks, Piers! This info (and your pics below) are very helpful. I think it must be a matter of the matchcord placement; I will try the adjustment you showed in the 2nd pic the next time I get a chance. I make my own matchcord, so the results can somewhat vary, due to human error; I wish I had a supply of good commercially made cord (it might also make a difference). Again, thanks! Thomas
  6. Yesterday, I was interviewed by Korea's KBS TV show, History Special (역사스페셜). They are doing an episode on the Korean "Righteous Army" leader, Yu Paeng-no (柳彭老). As I am probably the only person in Korea who actually shoots matchlocks, KBS was referred to me. They wanted me to demonstrate and explain about both the Japanese teppo and also the Korean bow (They got a 2-for1 deal, as I shoot both). I had them bring black powder from the Korea Military Academy, which was left over from last November when I showed Korean military officers how to shoot a matchlock; we met at Korea's 3rd Military Academy's shooting range located nearby my city. The biggest problem I've been having with my matchlock is hangfires. At first, I believed the problem was because the gunsmith who crafted my reproduction (it was a custom order) put the serpentine too far forward in the primer pan; thus, the matchcord would not ignite the primer quickly and I ended up with several-second hangfires (a couple were ten seconds long). Because of that, I had some help and adjusted the serpentine a couple millimeters back, so that the matchcord would land towards the other side of the primer pan. However, yesterday, I still ended up with several hangfires (a couple shot quick enough). One of the hangfires bit me; when it had delayed too long (I thought), I was going to close the pan and remove the matchcord. However, just as I was doing so, it ignited and I received a peppering of bp grains in my right index finger; today, I had a doctor pull them out--not fun... Oh, well! (I hope the show's producer cuts segments such as that). Any ideas or suggestions on getting rid of hangfires? A side note on our targets. The first target was kendo "do" chest armor. Using 50gr and a .45 cal. roundball, I hit it dead-center at about 50m. The roundball went clean through and continued on merrily down the range. The second target was a group of wooden layers. The first shot went through 14/18 layers. For the second shot, I used an original Korean Joseon dynasty roundball, which was fired against American forces 141 years ago in June 1871. So, it made its second flight. It only penetrated ten layers of wood, but it was easy to see why; the lead had oxidized/degraded over the last 1-1/2 centuries, so its mass was not the same as the modern roundball. Still, it was a special shot, as the first shots of the battle between the US and Korea began 141 years ago yesterday. Thanks in advance! Thomas
  7. Thanks, Piers--If you ever find out the price, it would be interesting to know. Although firearms aren't prohibited here in SK, they are highly restricted. In this case, I received special permission (over a year ago) for educational/academic purposes. Except for the time at the Academy, it will never be fired; however, if a traditional association gets off the ground, this past Monday may have just been the first of many times. Here's hoping! :D Thomas
  8. This past Monday, I spent the day with faculty and staff from the Korea Military Academy. We went to a Korean Army rifle range and we shot my reproduction matchlock; it is the first time in over a century that the Korean military personnel shot such a firearm. The purpose was to not only let Koreans experience doing so, but to also collect data. They made a very big production out of it (It was originally planned as an informal event, but it became quite formal). There were all kinds of people recording the event (photos, videos, etc.). Also, the superintendent of the Academy was very concerned about safety; I assured the KMA people that, as long as safety procedures are followed, it is quite safe. Everyone followed safety rules and all was fine. I had to pick up the black powder from a company about 100km from my place; it was arranged for by the KMA. BP is highly restricted here in Korea, so it was quite an exception given to me to bring it to the event. I had sticker shock, however, about its price--400g cost me about $80; in the States, it's only about $15-20 (plus a hazmat fee for delivery--still cheaper). I'm curious--how much is bp in Japan? My biggest concern was misfires and hangfires, which we certainly had a few of. I knew it would probably happen, so I let people know ahead of time. Still, every shot eventually went off. I shot at a target they set up 50m away. They had me do the first shooting, as I had the experience. Fortunately, I hit the target each time and not too far from center; my pride was intact Later, they put a body armor vest on the wood backboard and I put a roundball in it; it put quite a dent in the vest and fairly deep into the backboard. Later, a couple officers, including a close friend of mine, shot the musket. They became, undoubtedly, the first Korean army officers to shoot a matchlock in over a century. Later, we went back to the KMA ballistics laboratory, as they wanted to chronograph it. I shot a couple .45 cal. balls with 45gr and also 70gr. The 70gr. shot at around 400m/sec. I think the interest is there to eventually start an association for muzzleloading here in Korea. At least the first step was taken. Here are a few pics. Notice the one of me in the laboratory and no match cord. As the computer that controlled the chrono needed input from a gunshot within 20 sec., we could not risk hangfires or misfires. We used paper fuse put directly into the vent. It did the job.: Our core group with the matchlock and Traditional Muzzleloading Association banner: Col. Ki-hoon Kim became the first Korean officer to fire a matchlock in over a century: Another officer became the second:
  9. I appreciate the info, Ian. Someday I may use the lock, but I'll have to have a lot more time than I have right now. As it is, I use it, along with a modern-made percussion pistol lock, to show Koreans how they work. For a country that had a long muzzleloading history, Koreans know very little about it. Aside from some pretty crude perc rifles that were either smuggled into the country or homemade, which were used by the Righteous Army (의병) against Japanese colonial forces, Korea did not have them. They went from matchlocks directly to metallic cartridge arms, skipping over flintlock and percussion lock firearms. T
  10. Ian, The only reason I said that is because that is what I was told at the time by the person I got it from. I'm used to American percussion locks, so I have to take someone's word when it comes to the European ones... :D However, looking around the web at some shotgun locks, I see what you mean. T
  11. Any idea on the length/caliber of that looooooooong matchlock? That looks huge!
  12. (American here :D ) The attached percussion lock is one I have that is similar in some respects to the one you have. Supposedly, it was Russian-made, although it's hard to say. Ironically, I was going to make a reproduction matchlock-to-percussion with it, but have not had the time.
  13. Thanks for the info on the events; I really wish I could go to them. Unfortunately, as it is, I rarely am even able to visit my son (he teaches at another university in another city here in Korea) due to my schedule. However, I am hoping to have a bit more time from next year (my dissertation should be published), so visiting then might be a possibility. Thomas
  14. I'm sorry I didn't reply to this thread earlier--I was out of Korea for the summer and got quite busy when I returned. Thanks for the info, Piers, along with the pictures--they are all very interesting. Yes, a muzzleloading association in Korea will probably need to be a by-the-bootstraps effort here in Korea, but I may be asking for some help/advice on this forum from time to time If all goes well, I plan to take my repro matchlock to the Korea Military Academy sometime this next month, as profs and museum staff have never shot one. If it works out--my schedule may preclude it--I'll take some pictures of the event and post them here. Thomas
  15. On a different, but somewhat related note, one item that is with the 1871 Korean items at Transylvania University was some armor. There was no armor on the inventory of the 1871 items and it looks Japanese to me (I'm quite sure it is not Korean, in any case).
  16. Ian, It's unfortunate the picture from the 1950 newspaper article is so dark; years ago I tried to see if the newspaper had the original negative, but it seems as though it's as lost as most of the items taken from Korea in 1871. The hat you see in the picture, although the relative size and shape of the Japanese jingasa, is actually a Korean officer's hat called a "jeollip" (戰笠) or "beongeoji". Thomas
  17. You're welcome, Ian It's interesting you should mention the Japanese bringing guns back. As there was not much contact, at least militarily, between 1598 and 1875, there may not have been many Korean matchlocks brought back to Japan by soldiers (although there may have been a few during the second Hideyoshi invasion, as Korean matchlock making had improved a little by that time). Still, during the Japanese colonial period of Korea, many of their early cartridge weapons were taken to Japan; a person I know, who is one of the foremost experts on the Remington rolling block, has one of them that he got from a Japanese fellow. That being the case, I think it is likely many Korean matchlocks were also taken back to Japan during the colonial period. At the same time, many Korean matchlocks were taken to the United States in 1871 following the US military action. In Rear-Admiral John Rodgers report dated July 5, 1871 (two days after the US fleet left Korean waters back to China), he wrote, "...four hundred and eighty-one pieces of ordnance fell into our hands, besides very many match-locks and gingalls." One of those matchlocks was given to the mother of a US Navy lieutenant who was killed in action; she, in turn, donated it (and other items) to what is now Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. Unfortunately, the only items that are still in the university's collection are a small cannon and a cotton helmet (there is also an armor vest, but it didn't seem Korean to me). I'm sure there were many others brought home, by both officers and crew. Here is the only known picture of those items, taken in 1950. Thomas
  18. OK, I understand now According to records, Koreans used them, too, but there are no examples extant, as far as I know. Their name was almost the same: 馬上銃 (masangchong). They also have the term 短銃 (danchong), meaning "pistol" (literally, "short gun"). Thomas
  19. Piers, Unfortunately, I don't know what Tabuse-Ryu is, although I can guess that bajo-zutsu refers to the type of arm. I look forward to the education as to what the one thing is and why it is bad when combined with the other Thomas
  20. Here is an example of a Japanese matchlock sidearm that is in the collection at the Korean Army Museum. It was imported back in 2007. Thomas
  21. Dear Ron, Like you, I am always happy to learn something new and rarely take offense to others' criticisms and observations (the exception being, if such criticisms and observations were intended to offend--definitely not the case on this board). The reason I first sought out the NMB was precisely to gain different perspectives on a nearly identical type of firearm. An important point being that Koreans' knowledge of their firearms history is incomplete; the Japanese matchlock experience, which is still active today--as is evidenced in such things as this forum--is a good analog to consider when researching Korean matchlock history. Ironically, Koreans lost their matchlock knowledge after the Japanese started instituting--along with Western countries--modernization, including the introduction of cartridge firearms towards the end of the 19th century. Even though Korea and Japan have historically often been--and sometimes still are--at odds with each other, Korean scholars readily admit their matchlocks' Japanese lineage. It's really unfortunate that they don't retain the related traditions about them that are still observed in Japan. It's interesting that, although Japanese gun laws are seemingly more restrictive than those here in Korea, there is an active muzzleloading association in Japan, but most Koreans, including those who understand firearms, don't know what "muzzleloading" even means. Koreans know modern firearms well, as every able-bodied male must serve in the military (and the Korean firearms industry produces some world-class weapons), but they have a lack of knowledge about traditional firearms. The only black powder firearms they have put a lot of effort into researching have been cannon and rockets. When I took my repro matchlock, along with an original Japanese barrel and stock (which may be either Korean or Japanese) to the Korea Military Academy last month (I gave a lecture to cadets on the Westernization of Asia), the faculty and museum staff were amazed; they also had me explain the use of the matchlock. This fall, when I come back from summer break in the States, the KMA wants me to return to show faculty and staff how to fire the musket; according to them, it will probably be the first time in modern history that Korean army officers have ever fired a matchlock That is where I believe Korea and Japan can further connect with each other. The group decided they would like to establish a muzzleloading association here in Korea, with the KMA being the nucleus of the movement. They asked me about getting their own repro matchlock they could use, which I will help them with. However--and this is just my thought at the moment--they will need help and guidance as to organizing, training and gaining gov't acceptance of the idea; I believe, as Japan has already crossed those hurdles, that a fledgling organization here in Korea could benefit from the experience of its Japanese counterparts. Again, the last part is just my idea, but I think it is reasonable and could foster a spirit of cooperation between the two countries. Just a thought. Thomas
  22. Hehehe, Ron--Ain't it the truth! Thomas
  23. Here is an example of a long Korean matchlock in the inventory of the Korean Army Museum. Notice the "Hunryeondogam" mark:
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