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A Beginner’s Guide To Bayonets and Medieval Weapons

Technological conditions and nature of availability of raw materials form the basis of any culture’s arsenal at any point of time in the history of mankind. Prehistoric human race, often better known as the Stone Age civilization were known for their intelligent usage of grinding tools, stone and shaping axes, and creating arrows and spears as weapons for survival strategies. But these implements improved over the years as the technological skills of these cultures improved.

The development of the metallic tools, implements and weapons that persisted through the Middle Ages were actually originated during the Bronze and Iron Ages and following that, these implements have dramatically altered over time. Eventually, with the appearance of gunpowder in Europe in the early 14th century most of these weapon were rendered useless and the castle too took a backseat to the extent of becoming redundant.

The castle was considered to be one of the most formidable weapons of medieval warfare while if we consider the smaller weapons, there were also a lot of lethal ones, the ones that were movable and capable of wreaking havoc and death of an opponent. Thus despite having played a key role in the deaths of many people during the Middle Ages, it is a category of its own and hence will be kept out the following discussion on medieval weaponry.


BayonetsThe Middle Ages witnessed the dominance of double edged swords, metal-headed spears, bayonets and axes among weapons while arrows and short bows were also in vogue. A very interesting fact that is pretty well known in this regard is that the Saxons valued swords very highly to the extent of considering the value of a sword to be equivalent to the value of 120 oxen or 15 male slaves and thus according great importance and status to a man possessing a sword. Because of these weapons being simple to construct and easy to wield, throughout the Middle Ages these weapons remained popular.

In spite of the three weapons of the sword, the spear (or lance) and the battle-axe being very prevalent during the 12th century, yet the crossbow quickly gained popularity. Compounded with the rapidly rising popularity of the horse warfare that supposedly made movement easy and allowed a benefit to its martial riders who held spears and the beginning of massive siege engines, eventually these hand-held weapons helped invaders like the Normans to overpower these less technologically advanced people.

Antique Firearms

Antique Firearms

Because of the tightening up of gun laws around the world the future of gun shows, now called arms fairs, is uncertain. Many are going down the route of having stalls completely unrelated to guns selling coins, stamps, and bric-a-brac which makes them boring for the true collector.


At the Brisbane Gun Fair we are of the old school and believe the gun lovers and collectors who come to our shows should be treated with the respect they deserve and we have a policy to only display guns, gun-related items and militaria.

The Australian antique weapons laws are very complicated because single-shot or double-barelled firearms that are muzzle loaded and made before July 1st 1901 are recognized in every state as antique and can be legally bought and owned without having to apply for a licence.

But cartridge-loaded weapons made before that date are not always accepted as antique if the ammunition is still available and any firearm made after January 1st 1901, including modern replicas, are not classed as antique and cannot be owned without a licence. As it takes about six months to clear paperwork to import an antique Winchester rifle or a Smith and Wesson gun from the USA they are only purchased by true collectors.

That is why the Brisbane Gun Show is so exciting because you can walk round the 200 plus tables and see displays of both muzzleloading and cartridge firing guns, you can even touch some of them. Imagine how exciting it is to see antique weapons you may not have seen before.

Exhibits such as old Winchesters, Lee Enfields, military snipers and more. That is why the Spring and Autumn gun shows must have a permanent place in your diary.