Reply To: How accurate were early firearms?

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Hans Hellinger

To give an example of the potential payout for a Schützenfest,

First prize was 40 gulden in Ausgburg in1440, 101 gulden in Augsburg in 1470, 110 gulden in Zurich in 1504. This is in addition to usually two oxen and a silver cup. In a couple of early Schützenfest in Magdeburg (thirteenth century, the first was in 1279) first prize was a maiden.

There were also many other prizes. Whoever shot the worst got a sow. Whoever told the best lie got 1 gulden. There were prizes for prostitue races, a long jump, a foot race, the fechtschule, and a horse race. Nor were these prizes negligeable. The winner of the horse race at a Schützenfest in Ausburg in 1446 won 45 gulden.

This is all from Johannes Jansse’s Geschichte des deutschen Volkes seit dem Ausgang des Mittelalters in 1896. Prof Tlusty corroborates much of this same data in her Martial Ethic, and also notes that so many women participated that a lot of the prizes were specifically for women – fabric, shoes, women’s jewelry and so on.

So compared to all that a mark or two for a firearm isn’t a crazy investment.