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Old 7th August 2019, 08:02 PM   #1
Jim McDougall
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 7,748
Default Frontier Arithmetic: The Afghan Jezail

"....a scrimmage in a border station, a canter down some dark defile;
two thousand pounds of education, drops to a ten rupee jezail".
"Arithmetic on the Frontier"
Rudyard Kipling, 1886

I somehow came across this jezail, in Albuquerque of all places, and have always wanted one after all the years of reading about them here, so I got it.
While it clearly is in the 'tourist' category, and most probably came from the Kuch-e-Morgha (Chicken Street) in Kabul, I would like to think that perhaps it came there from the Khyber regions, and was genuinely fashioned for a Pathan tribesman some time ago.

After reviewing as many images as possible of EIC gun locks, I feel that this is quite possibly a genuine lock from probably a Windus pattern Brown Bess that was acquired in the First Anglo-Afghan war in 1839.
The use of the rampant lion on the lock seems to have begun around 1808, with the date on the tail of the lock.
Both these and the quartered heart with initials of EIC seem to have abound in these Afghan regions ever since, and while they were widely copied, this seems close enough to be authentic.

The gun itself highly embellished in style that was used often authentically by tribesmen, was also of course widely produced as souvenirs, often using authentic locks as refurbished from worn old guns.

The pics are of the one I acquired, said to be .58 cal. smoothbore.

The red backed lock image is of an known authentic example as comparison.
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