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Old 10th June 2009, 11:09 PM   #1
fernando
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Default An Ottoman blunderbuss pistol

I know this is a classic specimen and reveals nothing new.
But it's nice ... i mean, i find it nice myself.
... As also i find it nice to be called a 'knee pistol'. Was it true that horsemen used to shoot them with their butts leaning against their knees?
Fernando

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Old 10th June 2009, 11:54 PM   #2
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I find it nice too!

According to R. Elgood, many of these were made in belgium and exported to the Balkans and the rest of the Ottoman Empire. You have it in hand, do you think it was one of those export items? Also, it looks like it was fitted with a percussion mechanism originally and is not a conversion from a flintlock - am I right?

I am really not sure how these were used and what kind of people used them, and Elgood does not shed any light on this either. All I know is compared to long barrelled rifles and pistols, they tend to rare in Bulgarian museums. It is my guess that for local irregulars, be their Christian haiduts or Muslim bashi-bozouks, the emphasis was on accuracy and range, which may explain why the blunderbuss did not enjoy a great popularity.

I would expect these to have a pretty strong recoil, and so I am not sure if the knee idea is a good one. Granted, I have never fired one off of my knee, so I am not speaking from experience and I may therefore be completely wrong.

Thanks for sharing,
Teodor
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Old 11th June 2009, 05:15 AM   #3
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I came across alot of blunderbuss's in argintina and was told they used them tell the early 20th centry there. Nice piece fernando
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Old 11th June 2009, 04:01 PM   #4
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Hi Teodor,

Silly me
I forgot to mention this has a percussion action, converted from flintlock; holes from the old mechanism fixation maybe noticed in the lock plate.
Judging by the characteristics, i would say this is not the type imported from Liege, but the local made version. Two details that would so indicate is the lock plate, that has some implausible engraved lettering, imitating latin scribing, and the ramrod, which is an inoperational 'tooth pick' like thing. Also the barrel interior has some phony lettering.
Besides Elgood, who mentions that Cavalry regiments were to be found with these 'blunderbuss pistols with a vestigial butt ' in the Ottoman empire as also in further east regions, also Tirri illustrates and describes this type of weapons, mentioning their naming 'knee pistols' and the reason why ... whether this is ot not true.

Fernando.

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Old 11th June 2009, 04:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwork
... Nice piece fernando ...

Thank you Tony .
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Old 11th June 2009, 04:49 PM   #6
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Fernando,

I see now that it has clearly been converted, which is always nice, because it means that someone used it well into the 19th century and tried to extend its working life.

I saw the decorative ramrod. The pistole on my avatar is fitted with the same thing, which you very approptiately describe as a big toothpick. I have always been under the impression that in the Ottoman Empire, a separate ramrod for pistols was used - I believe the Turkish word is "harbi". At least this is what these are called in a book on firearms, issued by the Askeri Museum. Artzi calls them something else, but I forgot the exact word. The harbi was of course decorated with an elaborate bronze head and worn in the "silyahluk" letaher belt.

Regards,
Teodor
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Old 11th June 2009, 05:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVV
...I have always been under the impression that in the Ottoman Empire, a separate ramrod for pistols was used - I believe the Turkish word is "harbi". At least this is what these are called in a book on firearms, issued by the Askeri Museum. Artzi calls them something else, but I forgot the exact word. The harbi was of course decorated with an elaborate bronze head and worn in the "silyahluk" letaher belt ...


Tirri says the Ottomans call it 'Suma'. Maybe there are diverse variations.

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Old 11th June 2009, 07:22 PM   #8
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I have one, they replaced the barrel with a modern version, including a rear _screw_ instead of a breechplug...

Remember Fernando?

: )




Quote:
Originally Posted by TVV
I find it nice too!

According to R. Elgood, many of these were made in belgium and exported to the Balkans and the rest of the Ottoman Empire. You have it in hand, do you think it was one of those export items? Also, it looks like it was fitted with a percussion mechanism originally and is not a conversion from a flintlock - am I right?

I am really not sure how these were used and what kind of people used them, and Elgood does not shed any light on this either. All I know is compared to long barrelled rifles and pistols, they tend to rare in Bulgarian museums. It is my guess that for local irregulars, be their Christian haiduts or Muslim bashi-bozouks, the emphasis was on accuracy and range, which may explain why the blunderbuss did not enjoy a great popularity.

I would expect these to have a pretty strong recoil, and so I am not sure if the knee idea is a good one. Granted, I have never fired one off of my knee, so I am not speaking from experience and I may therefore be completely wrong.

Thanks for sharing,
Teodor
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Old 11th June 2009, 09:23 PM   #9
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Hi Manolo,

Quote:
Originally Posted by celtan
I have one, they replaced the barrel with a modern version, including a rear _screw_ instead of a breechplug...

But mine is sexier than yours .
Fernando.
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Old 12th June 2009, 12:27 AM   #10
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What can I say? It's true...

M

Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Hi Manolo,


But mine is sexier than yours .
Fernando.
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Old 12th June 2009, 01:43 AM   #11
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That is an interesting replacement barrel Manolo.

Here are some pictures from the Turkish book on firearms I mentioned in my previous post. All of the ramrods are labeled as "harbi". The Bulgarian word is "harbiya", obviously of Turkish origin.

How Artzi and Tirri came up with suma, I am not sure.

Regards,
Teodor
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