Trabuco is one of the ancient war machines that was created during the Middle Ages and was mostly used to fire projectiles or crush masonry walls. The name has been taken in Brazil to mean a shotgun or revolver of a large caliber that’s made from an old manufacturer. The Trabuco first made its way in the Christian and Muslim countries around the Mediterranean and was able to accurately throw up to 140 Kgs of projectiles on enemies that were over 800 meters away. It is believed to have been constructed in China at around 400BC then later brought to Europe in 600 AD and was not abandoned until the emergence of the gunpowder.
The operational mechanism
Unlike the catapults, mangonels, and ballistae, the Trabuco doesn’t comprise of any complicated mechanism. Its popularity was due to its simple manufacture, maintenance as well as the fact that it could launch projectiles that are much heavier. The idea behind its functionality is that it’s able to transform the potential energy into kinetic energy according to mercadolivre.com.br. Additionally, it was designed so that the size of the counterweight can be proportional to the velocity of the projectile. This means that if you have a larger counterweight, then you can quickly launch a stronger projectile.
The tensile Trabuco
This was one of the first Trabuco’s to be operated by humans and was designed to feature a short end beam that can be pulled by people. The largest documentation of the Trabuco was made in the Wu Jing military tease as being operated by over 80 people and that it could haul about 140 pound stone at a distance of 80 meters. Such a large machine was hardly found given its complicated logistics on pt.wowhead.com, especially the need to have a large team of operators working on it.
The tensile model had the capacity to throw up to five shots a minute, and this was impressive for a machine of such an age. The tensile Trabuco also came with its limitation given that it is hard to control the team of humans and get them to pull strings with the same exact force. Due to such limitations, it remained in operation until the eleventh century.
The hybrid Trabuco
The hybrid Trabuco was taken up by the Arab merchants in the Middle East and was a refined version of the tensile model given the addition of extra weight on the short end arm to quickly reach the weapon. There are also early documentations in the thirteenth century of a hybrid Trabuco that had the capacity to hurl over 400 pounds of stone.
The Europeans first encountered the hybrid model during the crusades and loved its operability and later took it home. After an in-depth study, they realized that it could give a greater weight in a short period and this improved the accuracy of the scale on youtube.com. Such changes led to the development of a counterweight blunderbuss, and by the end of the thirteen century, such machines were capable of hurling stones that were more than one ton at a greater distance.
Learn more about Trabuco: http://memoriasdaditadura.org.br/programas/programa-de-radio-o-trabuco/index.html