The Hand Mortar

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Hand Mortar
The hand mortar was used to lob grenadoes, grappling hooks etc.  Several men were killed experimenting with the grenadoes as at first they would light the fuse, insert the grenade, then fire the piece.  If the gun failed to fire a problem ensued.

Then some bright boy came up with turning the fuse down for the charge to light when fired. Although this sounds good in theory, the reality was that when the piece was fired, the fuse is driven into the grenade and it immediately explodes.  We will leave it up to you to discover the best way to fire one of these monsters! 

Lets start with a look at some original Hand Mortars

Hand mortar from the Morges Museum in Switzerland

I recently went to visit my inlaws in Switzerland, and while there, we stopped by the Swiss Military Musuem in Morges ( you can find a pretty good review of the museum here ) and to my delight, they had 3 hand mortars, all from right around 1700.

The thing that impressed me, when seeing these in person is the beefiness of the stock, especially around the breech/lock.  The picture below doesn't do it justice, but these things are massive.

Hand mortar from the Morges Museum in Switzerland

Hand mortar from the Morges Museum in Switzerland


Handmortar from GoF collection

This is the author's Handmortar from a Rifle Shoppe Kit Completed by John Buck
(photo by J Macek)


Hand Mortar
Handmortar with Miquelet lock by Ben Coogle

Hand Mortar  Hand Mortar

I ordered my Hand Mortar kit from The Rifle Shoppe (TRS)  on September 16 2004, with a  promised delivery date of 12-14 weeks (which would have been December 10-24 2004).  I have never heard of a good story dealing with The Rifle Shoppe as far as delivery times go for items not in stock.  So I was planning on it not being ready for a Loooong Time.

I got a call in the spring, about May 15 that the Hand Mortar was Ready.  It was a few more weeks before I could pay for it, but I still had not recieved it  by the 1st of August.   I started calling and sending e-mails and in the first week of September, I got the barrel.  After a few weeks I started my e-mail campaign again. and Finally, on October 31st 2005 (ironically my Birthday) it arrived.

So would I suggest The Rifle Shoppe?  If you are prepared to wait, yes.  If you have to have something "sooner", then call them and find out what is in stock and you should not have any problems.  If that "have to have" item is not in stock.  1-2 years seems to be the average wait time.

Once it arrived, I quickly decided that it was more than my meager skills and lack of tools could handle.  I searched for a builder, and 8 months later, i had the Handmortar.


Here are the Parts that I received





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