Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Jim: Again, thanks for starting this super interesting Thread. And thanks for your research. Most helpful.
LOCKS: Every flintlock lock I've examined on a Jazail of Afghan origin was either a genuine EIC lock or a locally made copy. (Although I now recall seeing one with an unmarked European lock that I believe was from Belgium). It's likely the EIC Armories would have spare locks in their inventory to replace broken/worn locks on their muskets. While the British were known for keeping good records, it is conceivable that many of these spare locks found their way into Afghan hands one way or the other. LOL
It would seem that the Afghan gunsmiths/customers considered the India pattern Brown Bess lock and trade variants to be the "standard" for building Jazails (?) Even the locally made copies attempt to stylistically copy the same lock. Also, as mentioned above, we can't exclude the probability of exporting the locks only for sale/trade in the Region.
BARRELS: The barrels on Afghan made Jazails seem to originate from regions elsewhere. Persia, Sindh, even Ottoman. I've even seen one with a Northern Indian style Torrador barrel. One common theme was the re-use of older barrels from different regions. You even see this on better quality Jazails.
Here is another good example from my collection: Also in unmolested condition, this Jazail is heavily decorated with pierced brass and punched iron mounts. The genuine EIC lock is marked HIRST (another prolific British maker) and dated 1799. The lock plate and hammer are flat versus round faced. The most interesting feature is the barrel, which is chiseled and fluted. The barrel (probably Persian) is much earlier than the rest of the gun. There is a Persian style makers stamp on the top breech of the barrel that looks like it was originally gold filled (now missing).I need to study this gun further.