What Is It? Game 108

Yes, this week's collaboration with the always awesome What is it? Blog brings us ... a spike - but can you guess its specific purpose? (hint: it has a VERY specific purpose)

Place your guess in the comment section - no prize this week, so you're playing for fame and glory. Please post no URL - let others play. For more clues, check out the What is it? Blog.

Good luck!

Update 8/22/09 - it's a device to disable cannons:
Since the head of this tool can pivot, it can't be used as a hammer or pick. The owner of it had a Civil War book that described it as a cannon tool, he said that it was used by soldiers to disable enemy cannons or their own if they had to retreat. The spike was placed in the ignition hole and hammered until the cannon cracked or until the hole was large enough that the cannon was no longer usable.

I've since been informed that:

The phrase "to spike a cannon" meant to disable it by driving a tapered wrought iron plug, or spike, down the touch hole with a hammer until it was level and firmly embedded. I suppose the spike could eventually be drilled out, but tools to do this were not readily available, and the process would take some time.


Seems that nobody got it this time around!

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If it were ordinary it would not be here. It has to be something unheard of. My guess is that it's a medieval medical instrument for giving labotomies.
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It is a blacksmiths hot punch, for drifting round holes in hot metal. If it had a rectangular point it would be a farriers pritchel chisel, but the round makes me think it is more for blacksmithing than farrier work. If it was for cold work it wouldn't need the handle, but for hot work it would get too hot to hold so the handle is attached.
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