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Shooting the Japanese Tantsuzu Gonne

(for starting this movie click the start button at the console)

Why match lock pistols in Japan?

In Europe during the match lock era few match lock pistols were built.   They were curiosities rather than weapons.  It was impractical to carry a hidden match lock pistol with a burning match in one’s pocket.   Here the flint lock was invented by the Spanish gunsmith Miquelet in the 16th century and was in widespread use in Europe by the 17th century; for rifles and pistols.. 
Quite the opposite in Japan, match lock arms of all kinds were in use until as late as 1850. According to the Japanese author Shigeo Sugawa, in his book Japanese Military Match Lock Guns (2001), Tantsuzu pistols were used by the cavalry for shooting enemy horses. The literal meaning of tantsuzu is "short-tube", actually a parallel to the word pistol which derives from the Czech word "pistala" or "little pipe".
 Flint lock arms  were never imported or built by the Japanese.  The reason for this is that flint which is a sedimentary rock, is not naturally occuring on the Japanese islands, which are of volcanic origin.  Thus, the Japanese had no easily easy acccess to flints.  Only as late as 1850 the cap lock ignition was adopted in Japan replaceing the match definitly. 


The spelling of tantsuzu and its meaning.
(The credit for this explanation goes to Yanaka Takeo, Japan. One of my readers who gave me this information, mailed July 15. 2011.)

It's spelling in Japanese is 短筒.
   is meaning "short, small, tiny".
   is meaning "pipe, gun, tube".

So the meaning "short tube" is a good Japanese translation.

And its pronunciation is tan-dutu, or tann-dsutsu.
If you happen to pronounce one character each, not in succession, then it will be pronounced "tann" and "tsutsu".

Tantsuzu as a new international muzzle loader discipline

Competing with all kinds of muzzle loaders has been internationally popular since 1971 with the founding of the MLAIC (Muzzle Loaders Association International Committee). But the Tantsuzu discipline was adopted only recently, in 2004.
So what would be more welcome to me as an exclusive match lock arms competitor as this new discipline. It's an add-on.

Benno's Tantsuzu pistol

Fig. 1. This is the pistol Benno has copied exactly from an original, displayed at the criminal museum of the police of the city of St. Gallen, Switzerland. He was allowed to disassemble it for taking the measurements.
Total length is 41 cm, weight is 0.88 kg, Caliber is 0.38' or 1 Japanese monme (9.6 mm)
Not that this pistol once has played a role in an act of crime. A former conservator of the museum was an arms collector himself and donated it by his last will.

Want to buy a Tazutsu pistol too?

Then write to Benno Büchel, the same smith who makes the Tabor Handgonne. Look here