I Wanna Be a Schwarze Reiter

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Karl Helweg
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no cam

Post by Karl Helweg »

No my Indian made wheellock does not has a cam to open the pan cover and it is too covered by the cock to open it by hand. Oh well, it still works within its limits. At over two feet long it makes a good mace. :twisted:

I have been shooting mine with 30gr FFFg and a .570 (or maybe a hair larger) patched ball with good results. I might reduce this a little for future target loads but I feel that I need to dremel out the pan a little since it barely has enough room to close over FFFg priming powder. Someone described these Indian guns as "assembled kits" since they need so much tuning but in the end they suit me pretty well.

The fellow my wheellock came from has them listed for $550.00 now.
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Post by Rittmeister Frye »

Wow, that's a major boo-boo on their part to make them without the self-opening pan covers! Ow... Oh well, maybe the newer batch has that minor defect dealt with. I certainly wouldn't recommend one, nor buy one myself that didn't have that little detail. Sort of makes the whole "spanned and ready to go" cavalry weapon a bit far fetched, doesn't it?

Anyway, thanks for the heads up. Maybe you can fix it by silver soldering a cam onto the axle so it works properly. "Assembled kits" is pretty much on the mark, BTW.

Cheers!

Gordon
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learning

Post by Karl Helweg »

There are things that I just would not learn without reenacting.

I first checked Georg Lauber's book to see the pan-cover-opening-cam that you mentioned since mine did not seem to have one.

Then I opened my wheellock and there the cam is. It was simply ground too thin on the inside edge to catch enough to open. It just jumps a little right now.

The only wheellock demonstrations that I had seen the operator opened the pan manually before lowering the cock. I can fix this. At least I got to save money as well as indulge my desire to tinker and tune something new.
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Post by Rittmeister Frye »

Karl;

You should be able to either build up the cam with some weld, or silver solder on a piece and then file to fit, OR cut out a new connector to the pan-cover out of sheet steel and make a "bump" on it to act with what cam there is on the spindle. Either way, definitely let the vendor know of this issue, so that he can in turn bitch to the manufacturers to have them fix the problem. They're not going to sell a whole lot of them in the first place, and definitely not many of them if there are major mechanical problems with them like this.

Anyway... glad we figured out the problem, and good luck in tinkering with it to get it fixed!

Cheers!

Gordon
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Post by Sigurd Fjalarson »

So what would be the proper way to wear the wheellock pistol(s)?
Sigurd Fjalarson,Heinrich von Faulkner
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Post by Rittmeister Frye »

Sieghart wrote:So what would be the proper way to wear the wheellock pistol(s)?
In saddle holsters, for pistols were par excellence Horsemen's weapons. For the earlier "Puffers" (the short-barreled German-style pistols with large ball butts and a distinctive angle to the grip vis-a-vis the barrel axis) they were in pairs next to one another, to be carried on the left side of the horse's neck, with the ball-butts hanging nicely above the horse's mane.

For the longer French or Dutch style pistols more common in the late-16h and throughout the 17th Century (and in fact the style continued until belt holsters became the norm in the middle of the 19th Century) the holsters were on either side of the horse's shoulders, coming down from the saddle bow.

In the case of the "case of pistols" in the German style, the pistols are carried in their holsters barrels facing outwards. In the case of the longer-barreled pistols they are carried with the barrel to the rear, the trigger-guard facing forward to make for an easier "draw" with such long barrels (upwards of 20" in many instances).

Some of the Puffers, especially smaller one's, were also fitted with belt hooks on the left side, so that they may be carried by footmen, and there are some German engravings and paintings showing this technique to be in use. Some of the Puffers were in fact made specifically for carry while on foot. Occasionally a footman would simply stuff the pistol into his sash or belt "a la pirate", as it were. However, for the most part men on foot used either arquebuses )or muskets) or pole-arms. Gentlemen carried swords.

Cheers!

Gordon

(Edited for clarity)
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Post by Sigurd Fjalarson »

Ok, while looking at pictures I arrived at a query. It seems to me that the reitters dressed a bit more.... respectable then the landsknechts. I see a lot of fitted doublets, minimal slashing and puffing, no yards of fabric erupting from every orifice and what have you.

Is this correct, or is there more I'm not seeing. Note my time is in the 1570-1580 range.
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Post by Rittmeister Frye »

I think it's more a case of different decades featuring different fashions. Most of the "Landsknecht" images date from the first half of the 16th Century when they were still the new, cool thing, while the Schwarzereiter images are from the second half of the century, when they were the new, cool thing. It is my belief that Landsknechts of the second half of the century dressed rather in accordance with the Schwarzereitern of the same era, i.e. pluderhosen with fairly tight doublets, and other than the major eruptions of linen from between the bands of the pluderhosen, mostly just tiny slashes on the other garments. It's more a factor of the decade rather than the specific employment.

Cheers!

Gordon
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Post by Sigurd Fjalarson »

Thought as much. Thanks Frye, once again you are the man with the knowledge. :D

Now i have been perusing beaver hats, as i need one, but can't really tell which ones are correct, as i haven't seen many woodcuts featuring them. Any help there?
Sigurd Fjalarson,Heinrich von Faulkner
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Post by Rittmeister Frye »

There are several different styles to chose from in regards to beaver hats. Most of them are actually rather "modern" in style, and can be made up from modern hats handily enough. Here are a couple of period illustrations of gentlemen in beaver hats:

This is Sir Henry Sidney, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland for Queen Elizabeth, ca. 1580. He and his attendants wear slightly bell-crown hats, but with "normal" brims:
[img]http://www.lib.ed.ac.uk/about/bgallery/ ... 58_jpg.jpg[/img]

This image shows the Lant Roll of the funeral procession for Sir Philip Sidney (Sir Henry's son) from 1587. Very high-crowned hats, but definitely of a "modern" shape (sans the silly creases which are now popular :wink: ):
[img]http://wiki.umd.edu/psidney/images/3/37/Lant08.jpg[/img]

Granted, these are both English illustrations, but the fashion was Continental rather than simply English. These were ones I could come up with fast. :) If you can get a hold of a copy of Jost Amman's "Illustrations for Artists and Illustrators" which Dover Books published a while back, it is absolutely chuck full of wonderful period engravings of Landsknechts, Schwartzereiters, and all sorts of other colourful characters of the era, and originally published in 1568.

Insofar as making them, get yourself to a second hand store and find a nice Stetson, preferably black and with a very high crown. Reblock the crown out with hot water, flatten or curl the brim slightly to taste (or curl it up tightly, as in the Lant Roll illustrations), make yourself a hatband from twisted or coiled fabric in the colour of your choice, and "Viola!". Hat, period, one each.

Cheers!

Gordon
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Post by Sigurd Fjalarson »

Oh great knowledgeable folks, I have yet another query...

What kind of jewelry would normally be worn by a reitter? I have seen crosses frequently, but as a personal thing thats out. And I have heard of these livery collars, but I figure its beast to wait on that till I have a device, and maybe a bit more station.

Any ideas?
Sigurd Fjalarson,Heinrich von Faulkner
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Post by Rittmeister Frye »

Jewelry for late-16th Century German gentlemen? Other than fancy-grade swords and pistols? I'm afraid that I haven't a clue.

Cheers,

Gordon
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Post by Dragon_Argent »

A pearl teardrop earring (for the more dashing and up-to-date gentlemen) and possibly a pater noster or some other religious badge or pendent - depending on denomination of course!
Not sure about anything else. Maybe rings? I guess a lot of this would depend on status etc.
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Post by Karl Helweg »

Image

Image

Image

Image

This is just a quick search but gentlemen seemed to always have an ornate sword, sometimes a dagger, showing belt pouches were common, gold chains seem very common sometimes with pendants or badges. I cannot find any earrings on males; do you have portraits?
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Post by AvM »

Rittmeister Frye wrote:Jewelry for late-16th Century German gentlemen? Other than fancy-grade swords and pistols? I'm afraid that I haven't a clue.

Cheers,

Gordon
Oh my God you stumped Gordon. :D

Well done, Sieghart.
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Post by Rittmeister Frye »

:oops:

Caught red handed! Oy...

I still think that an ornate pistol and sword ought to count as proper jewelry... 8)

Cheers!

Gordon
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Post by Dragon_Argent »

"I still think that an ornate pistol and sword ought to count as proper jewelry..."

Absolutely! Like the Cartier hilted Rapier in the George MacDonald Frazer book The Pyrates.
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Re: I Wanna Be a Schwarze Reiter

Post by Sigurd Fjalarson »

Ok, been stumped again. What is "normal" clothing for under the breastplate? Some kind of padded doublet, sorta like a gambeson? Normal everyday clothing?
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Re: I Wanna Be a Schwarze Reiter

Post by Rittmeister Frye »

I wear a buff coat under my armour myself. Kind of on the late side, but it works well, and is comfortable to boot.

Cheers!

Gordon
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Re: I Wanna Be a Schwarze Reiter

Post by Sigurd Fjalarson »

Pardon the ignorance, but what is a buff coat?
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Re: I Wanna Be a Schwarze Reiter

Post by Rittmeister Frye »

Buff coats are skirted coats or jackets made from a heavy but pliable leather. Usually the longer the skirt, the later the period of the design. By the middle of the 17th Century often as not light Cavalry was just wearing buff coats as their sole armour, and dropping the steel breastplates, etc. A good buff coat however can be fairly expensive.

Here's a painting showing a buff coat being worn as under-armour by the fellow on the right. The breastplate has not been put on yet (it's on the floor next to his feet with the helmet resting on top of it), but you can see how it is worn below the gorget and tassets. What is really cool about this painting is that it shows the use of arming points to attach the cannons/vambraces and re-rebraces (the arm harness) to the buff coat. (You can see the points coming from the shoulders of the buff coat, tied to a leather piece, which is riveted to and suspending the arm armour.) Usually by this time the arm harness was attached to the pauldrons and the entire arrangement was suspended by straps buckled to the gorget.

Cheers!

Gordon
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Re: I Wanna Be a Schwarze Reiter

Post by Ancel fitzCharles »

I thought of posting this question in the Historical Research forum, since it probably pushes the timeline past is subject a bit, but I figured to try: by 1618, I know that the troop types for the Horse had become Currassiers and Harquebursers. However, according to a couple of books I've read, including the TYW Swedish Cav Osprey, a number of the German Horse recruited by the Swedes were labels Reiters, and seemed to be armed like Harquebursers without the carbine (i.e. sword and pistols). I'm looking for illos of such (if they were indeed around) of the poorer sort, unarmoured like the poorer Harquebursers. That would have them in riding coats, if I'm reading thing right. Or am I totally off on this?
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Re: I Wanna Be a Schwarze Reiter

Post by Rittmeister Frye »

The man to ask about this is Daniel Staberg, who often inhabits MyArmoury.com, but sometimes posts here as well. He's quite well informed as to the specifics of the Swedish Army during the period up to, during and after the 30 Years War. However, I'll give it a shot.

Up to the middle of the 30 Years War, "Cuirrassiers" were armed in 3/4 armour for the most part, with a pair of wheellock pistols as their primary armament with a sword as a back-up, on the model of Henry of Navarre's Heavy Cavalry during the later stages of the French Wars of Religion. Harquebusiers of the same period were generally armed in breast and back, with an open helmet, a wheellock harquebus or carbine (with a tenuous difference between them at best), usually one or two pistols and a sword. For the set-piece battles of the Dutch Revolt/80-Years War, the French Wars of Religion and the early phases of the 30-Years War, this remained standard and was fairly suitable to the combat at hand. (In fact in some cases the Spaniards used their Harquebusiers in line-of-battle against heavily armoured Cuirrasiers, and suffered grievously for it. Ivry in 1590 is such an example.)

However, during the later phases of the 30-Years War, such set-piece battles as Lützen, Breitenfeld, etc. became less and less common while smaller "combat patrol" type engagements became more the norm, so such heavy Horse as Cuirrassiers became more and more expensive to keep around and not be employed. Thus they tended to lose their heavier armour, and act more like Harquebusiers (which in fact became the standard model for Horse during the English Civil Wars of the 1640's). Warfare became more fluid, so troop types had to become both lighter and more versatile. By the end of the 30-Years War, such designations as "Cuirrassiers" and "Harquebusiers" were becoming more and more nominal in regards to the armour worn. Both wore buff-coats and usually a breast and back, and ziscagge/lobstertail helmet, and it was more in armament that they differed. The Cuirrassiers' primary weapon was still the pistol, while the Harquebusier's primary weapon was still the carbine.

Per "Reiters", there were certainly several different models to choose from, from the mid-16th Century on, and on paper at least there doesn't seem to have been a lot of distinction between them. All were referred to as "reiters". Some were what later was simply designated "Cuirrasiers", being heavily armoured and able to stand up to fully-armoured lancers in line-of-battle, while some was quite light, being in effect no more than an unarmoured man on a horse provided with a full assortment of pistols and a sword. These latter were generally employed much as would be Harquebusiers, on scouting and convoy-escort work. As buff-coats were expensive, I'm sure that there were plenty of such "reiters" who were clothed simply in cloth, and made do with what they had until they could scrounge up better.

By the end of the 30-Years War though, such duties were often as not taken over by Dragoons, who were even cheaper to field than the low-end Reiters/Pistoliers, needing only a musket and a sword, and mounted on a nag just sufficient to keep up with the convoy. Since the horse was the most expensive proposition of the whole shooting match, this was a far more equitable solution to the exchequer's of Europe, who were already pretty well overwhelmed by the expenses of fielding the massive armies of the war. So lighter and lighter forms of cavalry were definitely the trend moving towards the middle of the 17th Century, and beyond.

I hope that this helps some, but feel free to ask for clarification if I've been hazy in places.

Cheers!

Gordon
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Re: I Wanna Be a Schwarze Reiter

Post by Mike J »

Sorry guys, my Google-Fu must be weak. Can you give me a link(s) to a reputable vendor of the Indian wheellocks?
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Re: I Wanna Be a Schwarze Reiter

Post by Rittmeister Frye »

Here is the link to Loyalist Arms:

http://www.loyalistarms.freeservers.com/Wheellock.htm I'm sure there are others, but this is the outfit I am aware of.

Since they're in Canada, they avoid the issues of shipping "real" guns over international borders by not having the touch-hole drilled out, so it's non-operational. All you have to do is drill it out, or have a gunsmith do so. Pretty easy fix.

There are some "issues" with these imports that I am aware of. Our own Karl Helwig got one (see the above posts concerning this issue) but it did NOT properly open the pan-cover upon pulling the trigger. Thus the pan-cover had to be opened by hand prior to shooting. This is fine for a wheellock made in 1510, but not so good for one representing a lock from 1610. Prior to purchase, I would discuss this matter with the vendor, and make sure that the lock functions reliably, at least from a mechanical standpoint.

Second point, if you do get one, ONLY use pyrites, NEVER use flints. Flint will wear down the wheel, and eventually ruin it, where as the wheel wears down the pyrites as it is designed to, and the pyrites are replaceable.

Cheers!

Gordon
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Re: I Wanna Be a Schwarze Reiter

Post by Ancel fitzCharles »

[quote="Rittmeister Frye"]The man to ask about this is Daniel Staberg, who often inhabits MyArmoury.com, but sometimes posts here as well. He's quite well informed as to the specifics of the Swedish Army during the period up to, during and after the 30 Years War. However, I'll give it a shot.


I hope that this helps some, but feel free to ask for clarification if I've been hazy in places.

Cheers!

Gordon[/quote]
I think I phrased the question badly, but basically what I'm looking for if what would the unarmoured horse wear, if they couldn't afford a buffcoat, be they armed with carbine or just pistols. I'm recalling the thread on buffcoats where you brought up a passage that was commonly mistranslated:
From "Buffcoats, when and where?"
[quote="Rittmeister Frye"] Unfortunately the reference provided by Sir Charles W C Oman in "History of the Art of War in the 16th Century" is a mis-translation. I was informed of this fact by fellow Archiver Daniel Staberg in Sweden, who has access to the French primary source. In the original passage by Agrippa d'Aubigne, he in fact states that the men in the rear sections of a company of Heavy Cavalry in the early part of the French Wars of Religion were clothed merely in their cassocks and armed with pistols, rather than in the full armour, wearing close-helmets and carrying lances of "the gens de combat, and these decide the day" who made up the front ranks. So rather than being a nice, early reference to the use of buff coats (which I for many years took to be as gospel), it is dispelled, and only cloth was in fact being referenced as having been worn. Alas. [/quote]

If this sort of thing continued (and no reason to think otherwise, the way the militaries worked), then likely some portion, possibly the majority, of a unit would be be unarmoured due to a lack of funds. What would they then wear?
By the by, I know of Daniel, not from MYArmory, which I only occationally look at, but from a YaHoo group called The Perfect Captain; a group of wargamers who write games, and post them for free. He has often commented on this period, so I wioll ask him there as well.
Thanks Ancel
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Re: I Wanna Be a Schwarze Reiter

Post by Rittmeister Frye »

Ancel;

Okay, gotcha now.

For unarmoured Horse, without even buff-coats, they would just be wearing what you might call "street clothes". Pretty much the normal, nominally fashionable clothing that the rest of the soldiery would be attired in. For the 16th Century, doublet and hose of whatever sort was the national trend (Jost Amman shows lots of illustrations of "Reiters" wearing doublets and pluderhosen, with tall boots pulled up to mid-thigh). By the mid-17th Century, the longer-skirted doublets would be the norm for such wear, with loose breeches. They would, with the exception of boots and spurs (and of course their arms), pretty much look the same as either Dragoons or Foote.

For head-wear, the illustrations of the 30-Years War show LOTS of Horse, even those wearing armour, with nothing more than a soft felt hat on their heads. These may or may not have also contained a "secret" for noggin protection, who knows. Most probably did not, but since they were indeed "secret", hard to tell. ;)

I would recommend you check out the paintings of Sebastian Vranx, BTW. He did a ton of "Cavalry" paintings during the 30-Years War, and they show all sorts of interesting details that you don't get many other places. There are a number of his paintings on-line, and they're quite interesting to go through. Check this one out, for example. Some cool stuff in there:

http://www.arthermitage.org/Sebastiaen- ... Scene.html

Cheers,

Gordon
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Re: I Wanna Be a Schwarze Reiter

Post by Ancel fitzCharles »

Thanks much. Ancel
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Post by AvM »

[quote="Rittmeister Frye"]Jost Amman's "Illustrations for Artists and Illustrators" which Dover Books published a while back, it is absolutely chuck full of wonderful period engravings of Landsknechts, Schwartzereiters, and all sorts of other colourful characters of the era, and originally published in 1568.[/quote]

Gordon,
I've been perusing the Google for this. Is this what you mean?

http://www.amazon.com/293-RENAISSANCE-W ... B000HTDLXC
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Re: I Wanna Be a Schwarze Reiter

Post by Rittmeister Frye »

Ancel;

Indeed, this is the one. It's an excellent resource of period illustrations. BTW, it also has some "classical illusion" illustrations, as well as some from "the old days" (i.e. a few generations prior, with nice Gothic armour and whatnot) so one mustn't jump to the conclusion that because it was in a book dated in the mid-16th Century, folks were wandering loose in late-15th Century armour. I don't expect you would, but just a reminder to all on the hazards of interpretation.

Cheers!

Gordon
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Re: I Wanna Be a Schwarze Reiter

Post by JvR »

Since my kit resembles a 3/4 b&w harness (well from a distance anyway) I was wondering how I can use it in SCA.

I wont be fighting sword and shield and I certainly cant use a wheel lock. What would be somewhat appropriate? Some type of polearm, two handed stuff.
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Re: I Wanna Be a Schwarze Reiter

Post by Karl Helweg »

Karl
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Re: I Wanna Be a Schwarze Reiter

Post by Karl Helweg »

Karl
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Re: I Wanna Be a Schwarze Reiter

Post by Jose Cabrera de Castilla »

Here's me fighting at An Tir's Grand Thing X, in the multi-weapons tournament.
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RenJunkie
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Re: I Wanna Be a Schwarze Reiter

Post by RenJunkie »

Are there any period images of the style of boot they would have worn in the second half of the 16th century?

Thanks!
Chris
War kittens?!!!

"Born to lose. Live to win."

Historical Interpreter- Jamestown Settlement Museum
Master's Candidate, East Carolina University
Graduate of The College of William & Mary in Virginia
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