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Old 19-05-20, 09:10 AM
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Default nail/spike

An intriguing little item which needs verifying.
Flat tapered brass nail/spike and which is barbed; on one side is the broad arrow.
Could this be a spike as in 'spiking a gun'? Length 1 1/2"

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Old 19-05-20, 09:53 AM
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First thought is shipbuilding spike/nail

Size would be very small (and difficult to handle) for spiking guns/cannons. Drawings (and a statue) of guns being 'spiked' show something the size of a railway spike (10-12") being used.
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Old 19-05-20, 10:10 AM
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I think a gun spike would be longer, round rather than flat, tapered in order to fit tightly in touch holes of different diameters, notched or serrated and of harder metal than brass or copper.
I'm happy to be corrected it wrong.

I like that little nail, a nice little item.
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Old 19-05-20, 11:58 AM
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I think The touch holes are about 5/6mm for cannon's
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Old 19-05-20, 01:24 PM
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Must admit I don't know - a flat spike could be more practical for that sort of diameter, easier to snap off?
I've read in the past that bayonets would be used and snapped and that those jacknife marlin spike thingeys for removing boy scouts from horses hooves could also be used.

Must be an artilleryman on forum knows about these things?
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Old 19-05-20, 02:18 PM
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Thanks all for your contributions.
Must be an important item for a nail or so to be individually stamped with Arrow! I can understand a tool, however small, being stamped and that may also have been a link in my mind to a cannon/gun spike. Secondly, it could perhaps have to do with boat-building but not currently
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Old 19-05-20, 02:29 PM
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This is telling, from Googling:


A proclamation issued by Charles II in 1661 ran:

And His Majesty doth further command, That on all other Stores, Where it may be done without prejudice to the said Stores, or Charge to His Majesty, as Nails, Spikes, and other the like Stores, that the broad Arrow be put on some part of the same, whether by Stamp, Brand, or other way, as shall be particularly directed by the principal Officers and Commissioners of His Majesties Navy, to whom the care thereof is committed.[16]



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