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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.

mini crossbow

Miniature crossbow

Mini Howitzer.

drgood elkhorn knife
A mini Elk Horn slab knif by DR Good.

1/4 scale luger
A tiny, fully functioning 1/4 scale Luger.
mini pinfire
Antique 2mm pinfire mini circa 1890s
Gordon Heasman
Gordon Heasman 1/4 scale open top rimfire revolver.
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