Quote Originally Posted by GraaEminense View Post
Point taken. My previous statement also carried a strong North-Western European bias where I would expect the situation to be different than in the Mediterranean trade cities, though I might well be wrong there as well.

On that note: I was under the impression that one of the limitations of early gunpowder weapons was the availability of gunpowder -the ability to make it in quantity, to store it and to transport it, and the availability of salpeter.
Can anyone enlighten me as to whether or not I am embarrasingly mistaken?

Gunpowder was rather expensive -- the price falling during the second half of the 1400s (I think, it was discussed in detail on an earlier incarnation of this topic). Early powders used calcium nitrate which is hydrophillic (?). Dry compounded gunpowder seperates when transported so mixing in the field was common.