Compiled by Larry B. Schuknecht

The following introduction to the subject of Early Firearms Makers and their Tools is found in Claude Blair’s 1962 book European & American Arms.

The following article appeared in the 1936 Die Büchsenmacher und Waffenhandler

Images of Late Medieval Skilled Tradesmen

The Tools of the Tradesmen

The most prominent and important tools found in any workshop both then and recently were the Forge, Anvil and Leg Vise. While both Forge’s and Anvils are found in many forms, the Leg Vise has not changed much in the last 500 years and is still in use in shops today.

The Leg Vise and Screw Cutting Machine

Hand Tools

Individual Tools

A Leg Vice in use at the Merkel Plant in 2008.
An old Grinding Wheel used to grind the flats on an Octagon Barrel, found on the grounds of the old J. P. Sauer plant in Suhl in 2008

In 1881 the author and Gun Maker Friedrich Brandeis of Prag published a book titled Die Moderne Gewehrfabrikation, which contains 7 plates of gunmakers hand tools at a time when work with hand tools was giving way to rudimentary machinery. They are included here with the lists of numbered tool names in German.