Types of Miniature Arms:
Miniature arms for collecting include hand weapons,
firearms, cannon, and weapon systems. Hand weapons are arms such as bow
and arrow, edged weapons (daggers, knives, swords, maces, and spears),
that depend on human force for their effectiveness. Firearms are
weapons that depend on small charges of gunpowder and small missiles
for their effectiveness, and include handguns, shoulder guns, and
machine guns. Cannon are arms that depend on large charges of
gunpowder, and large missiles, for their effectiveness. These are
mortars, cannons, and howitzers. Weapons systems are arms that are a
combinations of two or more of the first three defined weapons.
Though broad in scope, this definition would include suits of armor,
crossbows, mangonels, battering rams, and Gatling guns.
The size of miniature arms is expressed as “scale”.
A scale of 1/3 would mean that all three dimensions (length, width, and
height or depth) of a miniature arm have been reduced to 1/3 of those
same three dimensions of the full-sized arm. The most popular
sizes among collectors are 1/3 and 1/4 scale pieces.
Representations of virtually every ignition system
ever used appear in firearms as miniature arms. These are matchlock,
wheel-lock, flintlock, percussion, and cartridge systems. Although
commercially available ammunition may be used in some larger scale
pieces, cartridges for pieces as small as 1/3 or 1/4 scale must be
produced by the miniature arms makers.
Suits of armor as miniature arms must be as fully
articulating and as detailed with real rivets and real seams as they
were during the days depicted in the stories of Ivanhoe and Camelot.
For this reason suits of armor vary from about 1/3 to 1/8 scale. For a man with a height of 6
feet, the size of these suits of armor would be two feet and nine
inches respectively, which would render them easy to transport by the
arms merchants of the 16th Century.
A mini Elk Horn slab knif by DR Good.
A tiny, fully functioning 1/4 scale Luger.
Antique 2mm pinfire mini circa 1890s
Gordon Heasman 1/4 scale open top rimfire revolver.