The following pages would like to give the opportunity to all friends of history as well as to historical reenactment groups to get an authentic and historically correct impression of look, design and funtionality of late 16th and early 17th centuries firearms and the corresponding equipment. In order to achieve a more realistic view of function and handling of this weapons, it is sometimes more appropriate to approache this theme from an experimental-archeological, rather than from a museum-like standpoint.
While there is sufficiant experiance with historical firearms of the 18th and 19th century, also because of their use at muzzle shooting competitions with plenty of hight-quality reproductions available, there is hardly any practical knowledge about firearms of the 16th and 17th century. A great part of the wheellock and matchlock reproductions available in the todays market miss most of the originals authentity and functional details and just barely fullfill their basic intention to create some noise at reenactment performances. Contemporary wheellock originals are kept in museums or are sold at auctions at 5-digit prices. These showpieces first of all are to valuable and expensive, secondary to fragile to expose them to mechanical or ballistical stress situations. This creates demand for reproduction firearms, which according to size, materials, design, weight and functionality are 100% idendical with their original examples.
The following pages show exact reproductions, as well as (for comparison reasons) their corresponding originals. All replicas were built by Armin Koenig from Hohenberg a. d. Eger (Bavaria) and are proofed with a muzzleloader certification by the proof authority (Beschußamt) of Suhl. Because of the exactly idendical optical and functional correspondence with the original prototypes and to avoid misuse (which appearently should happen in antique trade from time to time) the original master- and proofmarks are replaced with modern master signs.