(from French couleuvrin, “snakelike”).
(1) An early harquebus-type hand firearm used in France during the 14th to 16th centuries. Caliber, from 12.5 to 22 mm; length, from 1.2 to 2.4 m; weight, from 5 to 28 kg. It had a narrow, curved buttstock, which was held under the arm during firing. An iron or brass barrel was fastened to a wooden stock with hoops. In Russia, the couleuvrin was called a pishchal’.
(2) Artillery pieces with long barrels and of various calibers, which were used for long-range firing in European armies and navies during the 15th to 17th centuries. Couleuvrins differed in caliber (from 1/2 Ib. with a 4.2-cm bore diameter to 50 Ibs. with a 24-cm bore diameter) and in relative barrel length (from calibers of 18 to 50).