Monday, April 12, 2010
Matchlock Technology: The Caliver
The caliver or the culiver was an improved arquebus (i.e.) a light matchlock weapon. One of its main improvements over the arquebus was that it was built to a standard size, which meant that soldiers could load bullets much easier. With the earlier arquebus, no two of them had the same caliber, which meant that soldiers would either have to deform or cut bullets to fit into their barrels, or they would have to cast bullets individually for their weapons. With the caliver, this step was unnecessary as their barrels were built to a standard diameter or caliber. In fact, the name of the weapon, "caliver", owes its name to "caliber", since these weapons were originally called as "arquebuses of caliber", which is to say, "arquebuses of a specific barrel diameter". This was later shortened and corrupted to "caliver".