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Hello to all. Long time collector of nihonto but new to teppo. I found this at an antique shop while on vacation in Tennessee. Thanks to some Facebook friends, I know the signature is Goshu Kunitomo Tayosuke Katsumasa. It also contains Niju makibari. Would really enjoy learning more about Tayosuke Katsumasa such as time period he worked, how he is viewed as a smith compared to other Smith's of the time. Any information is greatly appreciated! https://i.imgur.com/caJc0US.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/3sjGU9d.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/ahkZe9x.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/Beft3Bg.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/dn4vjjW.jpg

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Congratulations XXX, on your newly acquired teppo. (The board requires your posts to end with a real first name and at least the first letter of your last name.)

 

Not really easy to photograph them. Can you get some lighter and closer shots of the lockwork, etc.? The Mei shot would be best upright with the Bisen breech screw towards you. (The zogan on the barrel is generally least important, except for the commercial aspect.)

 

It would be great if you could measure the internal barrel diameter in centimeters if possible, the overall length and length of the barrel, any details of the Bizen breech screw, etc.

 

There is very little known about the great majority of individual gunsmiths, unlike swordsmiths. Your smith, however, a descendant of the first Tayosuke,  was a 四人方鍛冶 Yonin-gata Kaji (not sure about the Romanization) in Kunitomo, and made among others a 50 Monme gun which is in the Nagahama Museum, apparently. Another, a comparatively large-bore 5-Monme 'Dragon in Clouds' pistol  is recorded as being in the possession of a Mr Yoshioka. No barrel dates for this smith are given in the written records as far as I know, but we can probably assume 1810-1850 to start with. More detailed photographs might help assign an earlier or later slot in history.

 

The first Tayosuke is listed as a disciple of 丹蔵 Tanzo, and there is one gun made by Tanzo dated at Meiwa 8, or 1772.

 

Imagine a working life of... +/- 30 years with overlaps?

Smiths in order:

1. Kunitomo Tanzo

2. Kunitomo Tayosuke  多与助 or 太与助(disciple of Tanzo)

3. Kunitomo Tayosuke Katsumasa

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Congratulations indeed XXX.  A hurried note before lunch and more chopping wood after...

 

I have two teppo signed by Tayosuke Katsumasa.  These are shorter guns with internal springs and I just love their lines.  Here is a few photos I put aeons ago.  The two on the bottom are by Katsumasa.

 

BaZZa.

 

post-671-0-41747700-1595992453_thumb.jpg

post-671-0-51008300-1595992502_thumb.jpg

post-671-0-70875200-1595992526_thumb.jpg

post-671-0-30970000-1595992545_thumb.jpg

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Now that’s some good-looking matchlocks, BaZZa! Just the way I like em’ :)

They are very similar. Cool to have several guns from the same smith.

Regarding the first post, I can hardly see a thing. Hope you can provide some better pictures, because from the little I can see, it looks interesting.

 

Jan

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I meant to add that I have two more teppo that I have been "gunner" put up for some time, a big Oh-zutsu and a little bajou zutsu.  I should also measure the above 3 guns and put their details up as well, but I do battle with straws on my back!!!

 

I also have oshigata of a HUGE teppo with sanju makibari inscription that I was able to borrow for a short time many years ago.  Sadly I couldn't afford the asking price at the time and it has "disappeared" into the wilds of suburbia.  Maybe it will pop up again somewhere, sometime.

 

Thank you Piers for the detail about Katsumasa that I must add to my records.

 

Bestests,

BaZZa "Gunnadoo" Thomas.

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BaZZa, your guns have a very healthy end-of-Edo look about them, the result of 250 years of evolution within the matchlock remit.

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Apologies to all about the crappy pics. I was in a hurry to get something posted. The dimensions are as follows;

 

Bore is 11.65mm (.459in)

 

Length of barrel is 97.15cm (38 1/4in)

 

I will get some better pics of everything this evening.

 

Dan C.

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Your gun, Dan, will surely be a Hosozutsu, or literally 'narrow gun', usually used for target shooting or bird/light game. One Hosozutsu that I found a couple of years back had a blocked barrel; imagine my surprise to see crude Edo Period shotgun pellets wrapped in filthy paper come out. 

 

11.65 mm is pretty close to my chart here quoting 2.5 Monme bore (for a 11.55 mm diameter ball). 

 

Dan, quote: "Bore is 11.65mm (.459in)"

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Hi Dan, thanks for the lock internal shots, which are great in and of themselves.

 

The Bisen looks original, with perhaps some work done on it way back when to increase a loosening seal.

 

What I would like to see is some external views of the right side of the gun, which you have not yet shown, overall, (well lit) and then particularly of the lock and pan and trigger areas. 

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Ah, perfect thanks! Although your gun was made in Kunitomo, the stock decorations have many of the hallmarks of Osaka (Sakai), indicating that they were probably conscious of each other's customers and what would sell.

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Piers, 

The internal bore is in good shape, with some minor pitting. The pan, however, has some deep pitting. What should the diameter of the through hole be? I would like to get this into working condition. With the through hole being so large, there would be a great loss of pressure once the main charge ignites.

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Dan, this was a problem that all blackpowder matchlock guns faced after heavy use. Often a large vent hole in a gun that turns up on the market today indicates that the gun was losing pressure, and that that was probably the end of its effective life. 

 

The usual fix though was to fill it all in with brass or whatever, (or fit a new pan) and redrill a new pan down and a new vent from the outside, and fill in the outside rim hole. You can often see evidence of such solutions in a well-used gun, and the phrase to indicate such work was "Buku-naoshi" .

 

For reference, I have an almost unused 10-Monme gun, and the vent hole is so tight that I really have trouble fitting a narrow gauge wire through to clean it.  It's painfully difficult. The pipecleaners and interdental brushes that I normally use will NOT go through this one. To me this indicates that Tanegashima matchlocks were developing finer and finer tolerances in search of a bigger bang, right up until they finally gave way to Western weapons. 

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I work at a machine shop and have access to many machines. I planned to make the existing hole a solid size...say 2mm for example, then make a plug that is 2.1mm outside diameter, with a hole in the center of about .5mm (maybe less). I can freeze the plug in liquid nitrogen and insert easily into the 2mm hole, then as the plug heats up, it will have a solid interference fit, and no fear of ejecting out.

Your thoughts on this?

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Add to that, I will also be making replacement fittings for the area around the flash pan. These are the best pics I have found to attempt to replicate the parts.

Matchlock Parts.jpg

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That all sounds very interesting and innovative. I'd be interested to see your processes, and results. Would the plug hold under blowback?

I think I remember those photographs, with pristine examples. A gunsmith near here (in Japan) says he prefers to make new parts from oid Shinchu (if available). Adapting existing parts from another gun is more trouble, he says.

 

An article on Buku-naoshi is waiting to be written by someone. When I get some time I'll see if I can find a gun that illustrates such traditional work, for a photo or two.

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