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Old 15th August 2020, 12:18 PM   #1
BANDOOK
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Default A Rare unique early Pistol

Hello friends,have been busy so have not posted since a long time,here I am sharing a small pistol which recently came in a local auction .The guess would be Afganistan/india but found out that this actually is a Russian Cossack gun,may have been shortened at both ends at some stage of its life ,Thanks Oliver Pinchot for this information.A rifle of similar lock and character was recently sold at Auctions Imperial as a rare Russian snaplock rifle being preserved foe centuries in the Imperial Russian hinterlands,the archaic wooden stock with faceted butt,the characteristic lock,showing a variety of influences and all other stock furniture handwrought
the first recorded examples of this type of weapon in Russia occurred during the late 16th century.They were rugged,reliable weapons popular amongst Cossacks and other march forces ,remaining in use ,formally unchanged ,until the late 19th century
he also mentioned it could be Russian or Swedish , some where along the Baltic coast and late 19 th century
the overall length of is just 52.5 cm

someone here will tell us more about this unusual pistol,am also adding a photo of a Afgani man with a similar type of pistol around his waist

Regards Rajesh
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Old 15th August 2020, 02:04 PM   #2
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Exclamation Please edit pictures for clarity ...

Hi Rajesh:

Your pictures are a bit hard to see against the black background. Do you think you could work on them with a picture editing program, adjusting the contrast and exposure a bit, in order to make them clearer. This is a rare and interesting gun, and it would be good to have some clearer pictures for the archives.

I've adjusted your first picture to show what a little editing can do. If you don't have access to a picture editing program, let me know and I will edit them for you.

Regards,

Ian

P.S. Having not heard back from Rajesh, here are the remaining pictures of his gun that have been edited for contrast and exposure.
.
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Last edited by Ian : 16th August 2020 at 08:12 AM. Reason: Added further edited pictures
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Old 15th August 2020, 03:29 PM   #3
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Maybe this is a rare variation of the Norwegian "Goenge-snaplocks" made around 1650, at least the lock is very similar except its strange release mechanism. The rest of the gun was certainly made in later times.
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Old 15th August 2020, 04:31 PM   #4
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Old 16th August 2020, 04:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fernando K


Hi, Fernando, please see my comments on this post, as re lack of frizzen springs on other locks as well.
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Old 16th August 2020, 05:06 AM   #6
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Default horse of a different color

Quote:
Originally Posted by BANDOOK

someone here will tell us more about this unusual pistol,am also adding a photo of a Afgani man with a similar type of pistol around his waist

Regards Rajesh


Hello,
Looking closely at the image of the Afghan (a drawing, not a photo) I can see that the artist has depicted a firearm notably different from your "pistol". The lock mechanism in the artwork shows a "swan neck" cock or hammer dissimilar to the piece under consideration, and a lack of the large external mainspring. Seems to me that the artist was trying to depict, in a rough sketch format, a typical flintlock of the 19th cent., of a type used by the British in India.
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Old 16th August 2020, 05:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrado26
Maybe this is a rare variation of the Norwegian "Goenge-snaplocks" made around 1650, at least the lock is very similar except its strange release mechanism. The rest of the gun was certainly made in later times.


Udo, you raise an interesting point. Let me first show this pic of two Scandinavian snaphaunces, both out of Howard L Blackmore's Guns and Rifles of the World (1965), figs 136, 137.

The one above is Norwegian (Norsk Folkemuseum, Oslo, no. 34-29), described as late 17th cent. It is a true snaphaunce, the frizzen and pan cover are separate; the latter is manually opened as on a matchlock, a very primitive form for something supposedly made in the late 1600s. The one below is Swedish, mid-17th cent., (Livrustkammaren, Stockholm, no. 1795), it is identified as a Göinge-bössa and note that it is more like a true flintlock in that the frizzen and pan cover are combined in one L shaped unit.

What is interesting to note is that the locks on both these guns feature mainsprings that press UPWARD on an arm extending to the REAR of the bottom of the cock. (Like the Spanish or Ottoman "patilla" miquelets). The lock on the gun in this thread has a mainspring that is supposed to press DOWNWARD on the FRONT of the cock's foot (the end of the spring on this exemplar seems to be dislodged from its position and possibly the lock is non-functional at this time). The way the mainspring is arranged on this type of lock is analogous to the Italian alla romana or Algerian "toe lock" miquelets.

In the next post I will show a Russian snap lock for comparison.
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Old 16th August 2020, 05:39 AM   #8
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OK, so here we have a Russian snap lock, published in the same book. This is a very princely example, dated 1654, in the Kremlin Armory, Moscow (no. 6763).

Note 3 things similar to the primitive version on this "pistol" being discussed.

1. Mainspring pushes down on the front of the cock's base.
2. Similar loop on top of the cock, to make it easier to pull back with the fingers.
3. Simple leaf spring that provides tension on the frizzen.

So it would seem that the gun being discussed is a rustic version, with a greatly simplified (but no doubt effective) trigger system, based on a Russian design and made in the hinterlands, perhaps Siberia?
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Old 16th August 2020, 06:03 AM   #9
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Default found two more!

This, from a French magazine, Gazette des Armes, December 1986, article by J R Clergeau on firearms from Siberia, prior to the introduction of industrial-age weaponry from Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union.

Here are two examples, with snaplocks of differing design. The example in the black-and-white illustration has the combined frizzen and pan-cover of a true flintlock, as seen on the Swedish Göinge-bössa posted above, but with the downward-acting mainspring of the 1654 Russian snaphaunce in the Kremlin Armory. The gun in the color photo is a snaphaunce with separate frizzen, and an upward-acting mainspring of the Swedish and Norwegian locks shown two posts previously.

So it would appear that the locally-made firearms of Siberia did not mechanically conform to any single precedent, but rather exhibit varying features depending upon the maker's preferences.
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Old 16th August 2020, 05:46 PM   #10
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Here is a link to the lot I referenced:

https://auctionsimperial.hibid.com/...rue&SortOrder=0
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Old 16th August 2020, 09:03 PM   #11
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Hi Rajesh

Yes, it's been a long time since we've heard from you.

WOW!! What an interesting piece. By the way, in the artist rendition what appears he is holding in the left hand is a blunderbuss pistol, commonly referred to as an Ottoman knee pistol which were popular throughout most of the Empire during the period.

Some comments/observations about the posted gun:

BARREL: The barrel looks to be a reuse of a discarded smooth bore musket barrel. The octagon to round profile along with the length of travel for the octagon portion tells me this. The crude, hand made rear sight crudely dovetailed into the barrel and the bead front sight, both added at some later point.
STOCK: I'm having a hard time deciding if the butt stock, forearm, and barrel started life as a long gun and later cut down (?) The sear/trigger/release extending so far back to the end of the butt stock, and somewhat interfering with gripping where the hand would position makes me think this. Hmmmm. But I can also visualize the gun being made as shown from a wood blank. A personal protection item. Is there a hole in the stock for a ramrod provision ?
LOCK: This is really interesting. The lock looks like it was made by a backwoods blacksmith attempting to somewhat copy the Russian/Baltic snaplocks from his memory. He likely had a bare minimum of hand tools to build the gun, also utilizing the barrel and any other surplus screws, etc. lying around. As mentioned, the mainspring has slipped off the toe of the hammer. I can't tell from the photos if there is a frizzen spring or if that is just a ledge for the frizzen to rest on. I can see how the trigger/release works. Crude, but clever in it's simplicity. (Somewhat reminds me of the Vietnamese monkey guns).

The post Oliver provided is a good example of the commonly referred to Russian/Baltic style snaplock gun used for hunting with it's heavy full octagon barrel and small caliber. A unique feature being the use of a single spring to operate both the hammer and frizzen.

Anyway, congratulations on a really nice find. The crudeness of the build and the trigger release is what I find so interesting.

Rick
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Old 17th August 2020, 12:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrado26
Maybe this is a rare variation of the Norwegian "Goenge-snaplocks" made around 1650, at least the lock is very similar except its strange release mechanism. The rest of the gun was certainly made in later times.


Interesting
Thanks Corrado
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Old 17th August 2020, 12:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
Hello,
Looking closely at the image of the Afghan (a drawing, not a photo) I can see that the artist has depicted a firearm notably different from your "pistol". The lock mechanism in the artwork shows a "swan neck" cock or hammer dissimilar to the piece under consideration, and a lack of the large external mainspring. Seems to me that the artist was trying to depict, in a rough sketch format, a typical flintlock of the 19th cent., of a type used by the British in India.

Thats Right Philip
thanks
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Old 17th August 2020, 12:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
This, from a French magazine, Gazette des Armes, December 1986, article by J R Clergeau on firearms from Siberia, prior to the introduction of industrial-age weaponry from Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union.

Here are two examples, with snaplocks of differing design. The example in the black-and-white illustration has the combined frizzen and pan-cover of a true flintlock, as seen on the Swedish Göinge-bössa posted above, but with the downward-acting mainspring of the 1654 Russian snaphaunce in the Kremlin Armory. The gun in the color photo is a snaphaunce with separate frizzen, and an upward-acting mainspring of the Swedish and Norwegian locks shown two posts previously.

So it would appear that the locally-made firearms of Siberia did not mechanically conform to any single precedent, but rather exhibit varying features depending upon the maker's preferences.

Thanks Philip Interesting information here
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Old 17th August 2020, 12:59 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver Pinchot
Here is a link to the lot I referenced:

https://auctionsimperial.hibid.com/...rue&SortOrder=0

Thanks again Oliver
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Old 17th August 2020, 01:07 AM   #16
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Default Good work Ian

Hi Ian sorry ,was on on the computer yesterday so missed your query regarding better pictures,thanks for editing them better quality
Regards
RAJESH
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Old 17th August 2020, 01:31 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickystl
Hi Rajesh

Yes, it's been a long time since we've heard from you.

WOW!! What an interesting piece. By the way, in the artist rendition what appears he is holding in the left hand is a blunderbuss pistol, commonly referred to as an Ottoman knee pistol which were popular throughout most of the Empire during the period.

Some comments/observations about the posted gun:

BARREL: The barrel looks to be a reuse of a discarded smooth bore musket barrel. The octagon to round profile along with the length of travel for the octagon portion tells me this. The crude, hand made rear sight crudely dovetailed into the barrel and the bead front sight, both added at some later point.
STOCK: I'm having a hard time deciding if the butt stock, forearm, and barrel started life as a long gun and later cut down (?) The sear/trigger/release extending so far back to the end of the butt stock, and somewhat interfering with gripping where the hand would position makes me think this. Hmmmm. But I can also visualize the gun being made as shown from a wood blank. A personal protection item. Is there a hole in the stock for a ramrod provision ?
LOCK: This is really interesting. The lock looks like it was made by a backwoods blacksmith attempting to somewhat copy the Russian/Baltic snaplocks from his memory. He likely had a bare minimum of hand tools to build the gun, also utilizing the barrel and any other surplus screws, etc. lying around. As mentioned, the mainspring has slipped off the toe of the hammer. I can't tell from the photos if there is a frizzen spring or if that is just a ledge for the frizzen to rest on. I can see how the trigger/release works. Crude, but clever in it's simplicity. (Somewhat reminds me of the Vietnamese monkey guns).

The post Oliver provided is a good example of the commonly referred to Russian/Baltic style snaplock gun used for hunting with it's heavy full octagon barrel and small caliber. A unique feature being the use of a single spring to operate both the hammer and frizzen.

Anyway, congratulations on a really nice find. The crudeness of the build and the trigger release is what I find so interesting.

Rick

hi Rick,nice to hear from you ,thanks for the valuable inputs and observations on the musket,yes there is a provision for the ramrod am attaching a picture
kind regards
rajesh
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Old 17th August 2020, 04:09 PM   #18
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Hi Rajesh

Thanks for the additional photo. I now notice the thick wall barrel versus caliber. So the barrel, after all, was not from a musket. This feature, along with the ramrod hole, is more evidence that the gun was originally a shoulder arm - and simply shortened on both ends sometime during it's original life cycle.
All of these Russian/Baltic style snaplock rifles I've seen have full octagon barrels. But obviously this one was made with an octagon to round barrel, which would lighten the weight somewhat. Interesting.

Rick
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Old 17th August 2020, 05:32 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickystl


All of these Russian/Baltic style snaplock rifles I've seen have full octagon barrels. But obviously this one was made with an octagon to round barrel, which would lighten the weight somewhat. Interesting.

Rick


On those Russian/Scandinavian rifles you've seen, what is the rifling configuration? Polygonal bore, as you see here, or else the round bore with semicircular grooves as typical on barrels made in Germanic countries and Turkey?
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Old 19th August 2020, 01:14 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickystl
Hi Rajesh

Thanks for the additional photo. I now notice the thick wall barrel versus caliber. So the barrel, after all, was not from a musket. This feature, along with the ramrod hole, is more evidence that the gun was originally a shoulder arm - and simply shortened on both ends sometime during it's original life cycle.
All of these Russian/Baltic style snaplock rifles I've seen have full octagon barrels. But obviously this one was made with an octagon to round barrel, which would lighten the weight somewhat. Interesting.

Rick


Thanks Rick,will be interesting to know where this was finally used by which culture,origins are Scandinavia,thanks again for the additional observations you have made,regards Rajesh
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