Bullet Proof Medieval Armor. - Page 2


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Thread: Bullet Proof Medieval Armor.

  1. #11
    The Chinese used to have this crew-served crossbow that shot 1 pound quills about a half mile or so.
    Those would kill a man in armor, regardless of penetration.

    Here is one of my absolute favs for a weapons encyclopedia. It is NOT just another book of the same 50 guns.
    A third of the book is ancient weapons, and you would be surprised some of the crap humans have invented to kill one another. We are some sick bastages, to be sure.

    https://www.amazon.com/New-Weapons-W...gateway&sr=8-1

  2. #12
    Something geek-cool: In the era when firearms overlapped armor, the Damascus barrel was king.
    Investment cast molding was still 300 years away.
    A barrel was made by wrapping wire around a rod, then silver soldering it (essentially).
    Tho many were incredible works of art, they could only be used with the primitive powder of the era.
    Modern smokeless powder would blow them up.
    Black powder has a very slow impulse as compared to smokeless powder.


  3. #13
    And the secret to making black powder was peeing on it.
    Really!
    When you try to dry-mix the components for gun powder, they often blow up.
    So they figured out if you piss on it and mix it wet, no explody.
    Not only that, but the saline in the urine contributed to the saltpeter.
    True fact.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    The Chinese used to have this crew-served crossbow that shot 1 pound quills about a half mile or so.
    Those would kill a man in armor, regardless of penetration.

    Here is one of my absolute favs for a weapons encyclopedia. It is NOT just another book of the same 50 guns.
    A third of the book is ancient weapons, and you would be surprised some of the crap humans have invented to kill one another. We are some sick bastages, to be sure.

    https://www.amazon.com/New-Weapons-W...gateway&sr=8-1
    This is one to put on my wish list. I have another book about the history of pistols and that's been helpful but it's not a complete history of guns or other weapons in general.
    This might not be my best work but that just means there's room to improve.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    Something geek-cool: In the era when firearms overlapped armor, the Damascus barrel was king.
    Investment cast molding was still 300 years away.
    A barrel was made by wrapping wire around a rod, then silver soldering it (essentially).
    Tho many were incredible works of art, they could only be used with the primitive powder of the era.
    Modern smokeless powder would blow them up.
    Black powder has a very slow impulse as compared to smokeless powder.

    I'll have to look up Damascus and see just how effective it was at being made into weapons and armor.
    This might not be my best work but that just means there's room to improve.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    And the secret to making black powder was peeing on it.
    Really!
    When you try to dry-mix the components for gun powder, they often blow up.
    So they figured out if you piss on it and mix it wet, no explody.
    Not only that, but the saline in the urine contributed to the saltpeter.
    True fact.
    Aw yes the power of urine.
    This might not be my best work but that just means there's room to improve.

  7. #17
    Long story short, it is possible to make parts of Medieval armor bulletproof against typical period firearms, and such armor did indeed exist. The thing is, the only genuinely bulletproof part of these armor suits usually was the cuirass - the plates covering the torso - seeing how torso contains most vital organs and is naturally the likeliest area to be hit by gunfire. Making the whole suit impervious to gunfire, however, was out of question, since that would make it impractically heavy, not to mention prohibitively expensive even for those few who could afford one as it were. For this reason, heavy cavalry gradually did away with full-body armor, eventually retaining only the helmet and the cuirass which could be made considerably thicker (and more bullet-resistant) at the expense of protecting the limbs.

    Now, on average Medieval armor was no match for musket balls (or crossbow bolts, for that matter) - but it must be taken into account that the quality of Medieval armor suits varied wildly, depending strongly on the means of the individual wearer, who mostly wasn't a very rich person. The existing examples of true bullet-resistant armors were almost invariably owned by very wealthy nobles who were furthermore very committed to soldiering, which would justify the extra expense at a time when armored cavalry was on a rapid decline.

    16th century Japan also saw the development of bulletproof armor, the tameshi gusoku. Although a fairly late adopter of firearms, the first matchlock guns only being introduced to Japan in the 1540's, Japan also became the single largest producer and user of firearms in the world by 1600, there being more muskets in Japan than in all of Europe combined. The samurai class was consequently forced to adapt in order to remain a viable fighting force in an age of mass-deployed conscripts with firearms. Tameshi gusoku was the result, incorporating European-style plate cuirasses into the traditional samurai armor suits. For an armor suit to qualify as tameshi-gusoku ("firearm-tested"), it had to survive a test shot from a tanegashima musket, often while the armorer was wearing it. The resulting dent was then further inscribed and served as proof-mark of quality. Surviving specimens in museums also show bullet dents sustained in combat, attesting to the armor's effectiveness.

    So long story short, yes, bulletproof armor did exist in the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance period, but it wasn't very common, and having one was the period equivalent of owning a Ferrari sports car - a mark of status reserved for the very rich.

    ---

    Where it comes to how armor was tested, I can't point you to a source immediately, but I do recall reading there were local ordinances against false advertising by armorers in several German cities in the early 1500's, which specified that an armorer claiming to make bulletproof armor had to demonstrate it to the customer by wearing it while a test shot was made. Similar regulations existed in 16th century Japan.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberWar View Post
    Long story short, it is possible to make parts of Medieval armor bulletproof against typical period firearms, and such armor did indeed exist. The thing is, the only genuinely bulletproof part of these armor suits usually was the cuirass - the plates covering the torso - seeing how torso contains most vital organs and is naturally the likeliest area to be hit by gunfire. Making the whole suit impervious to gunfire, however, was out of question, since that would make it impractically heavy, not to mention prohibitively expensive even for those few who could afford one as it were. For this reason, heavy cavalry gradually did away with full-body armor, eventually retaining only the helmet and the cuirass which could be made considerably thicker (and more bullet-resistant) at the expense of protecting the limbs.

    Now, on average Medieval armor was no match for musket balls (or crossbow bolts, for that matter) - but it must be taken into account that the quality of Medieval armor suits varied wildly, depending strongly on the means of the individual wearer, who mostly wasn't a very rich person. The existing examples of true bullet-resistant armors were almost invariably owned by very wealthy nobles who were furthermore very committed to soldiering, which would justify the extra expense at a time when armored cavalry was on a rapid decline.

    16th century Japan also saw the development of bulletproof armor, the tameshi gusoku. Although a fairly late adopter of firearms, the first matchlock guns only being introduced to Japan in the 1540's, Japan also became the single largest producer and user of firearms in the world by 1600, there being more muskets in Japan than in all of Europe combined. The samurai class was consequently forced to adapt in order to remain a viable fighting force in an age of mass-deployed conscripts with firearms. Tameshi gusoku was the result, incorporating European-style plate cuirasses into the traditional samurai armor suits. For an armor suit to qualify as tameshi-gusoku ("firearm-tested"), it had to survive a test shot from a tanegashima musket, often while the armorer was wearing it. The resulting dent was then further inscribed and served as proof-mark of quality. Surviving specimens in museums also show bullet dents sustained in combat, attesting to the armor's effectiveness.

    So long story short, yes, bulletproof armor did exist in the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance period, but it wasn't very common, and having one was the period equivalent of owning a Ferrari sports car - a mark of status reserved for the very rich.

    ---

    Where it comes to how armor was tested, I can't point you to a source immediately, but I do recall reading there were local ordinances against false advertising by armorers in several German cities in the early 1500's, which specified that an armorer claiming to make bulletproof armor had to demonstrate it to the customer by wearing it while a test shot was made. Similar regulations existed in 16th century Japan.
    And it just boggles my mind that not a whole lot of guns or bullet proof ( or is resistant more appropriate?) armor show up in modern day fantasy stories. I mean guns have been around for centuries even with a few basic rudimentary designs showing up in the 12th century during the crusades. You can have some awesome set pieces and battle scenes involving various characters with guns, magic, and other weapons.

    Fun fact the first tank was called a battle wagon and it consisted of a literal wagon that had armor plate strapped to its side and cannons sticking out of it. It looks insanely cool! Don't even get me started on grenades and flamethrowers which also existed back then. Did you know that somebody actually bult a medieval grenade launcher!?

    Man a lot of fantasy authors are just missing out due to there heavy reliance on MAGIC! for all of there needs. Need to blow something up? Fireball! Need to fly in the air? Screw the ancient world's fist attempts at flying machines! Just use Levitation! Seriously the real world is chocked full of awesome goodies if you dig deep enough.
    This might not be my best work but that just means there's room to improve.

  9. #19
    Damascus barrels were a thing for a couple hundred years. The pic I showed was an artsier version, some of the Damascus barrels were truly artwork.
    Dunno if there was such a thing as Damascus steel armor tho.
    Damascus barrels were made from wrapping wire around a mandrel and welding it.

  10. #20
    OMG, I must be getting Alzheimers or something, because the entire time we have been discussing this topic, I have completely forgotten that I've actually done some of these tests you are asking about.

    Yep, I have shot some klazy stuff with black powder weapons. Dunno why I forgot about that.

    Anyhow, here is one test I ran once. Using a 58 caliber Kodiak double rifle, firing 480grain bullets seated atop 120gr of black powder (or pyrodex substitute) I could shoot halfway through a washing machine. The rounds would penetrate into the tub, but go no further. This was actually on par with a modern 12ga shotgun firing rifled slugs.

    Question: But a 58 double would be like...an elephant gun...right?

    Actually, back in the day 58 cal was state of the art. Remember Gettysburg? Thems was mostly 58 caliber muskets they shot at each other. Back then the big calibers were 60 & 72 calibers.

    I have also shot through 1/16th" plate steel (pig iron) with my 58.
    I may still have that plate, I'll check when I get home and post pics if I do.

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