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Old 15th April 2018, 05:22 PM   #1
rickystl
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Default Albanian Tanchika

Hello All.

Thought all you gun enthusiests would enjoy seeing this one. This is the fourth Albanian Tanchika long I now own. Would have been five, but traded one away, and that one I understand was traded again. LOL So, how many Tanchikas does a collector need ? Well, I thought three was enough. But I simply could not pass this one up. The pictures will probably be self-explanitory.
Over the years I've seen/held a number of these unusually designed muskets. But this one is the most beautiful that I have personally seen. And the condition is simply wonderful. My preliminary inspection shows me it is 100% original down to the last tiny nail. The lock is in perfect working order, with both the main and frizzen springs still strong. A preliminary cleaning of the bore, and inspection of the vent hole area, show the gun had been fired, but very little. There is zero corrosion ariund the pan area which lines up with the vent hole perfectly. There is not a single crack/break/chip on the wood stock. The stock has a black, almost ebony look. The entire gun is covered with a combination of finely engraved iron - and silver decoration (probably low grade ? ). The barrel has light engraving, and is filled with silver wire, of which over 95% still remains.
Anyway, I'm going picture heavy on this Post. But wanted you to get a better idea of the quality of this piece. Hope you enjoy, and thanks for looking. Any comments most appreciated.

Rick
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Old 15th April 2018, 05:24 PM   #2
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MORE PICS........
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Old 15th April 2018, 05:26 PM   #3
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MORE PICS.....
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Old 15th April 2018, 05:28 PM   #4
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STILL MORE PICS........
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Old 15th April 2018, 05:29 PM   #5
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LAST TWO..........
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Old 15th April 2018, 06:12 PM   #6
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Beautiful. What caliber? Were these meant to be fired from the shoulder? Looks like it might be hard on the shoulder.- bj
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Old 15th April 2018, 08:27 PM   #7
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What a beautiful gun Rick. The original sellers pics did not do it justice IMHO, but DID give some hint of the quality. Your pics just confirmed that this Tanchika just HAD to join your others!
A question.......What is the purpose of the indentation towards the end of the rammer?
Stu
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Old 15th April 2018, 09:27 PM   #8
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Hi Rick,

waow really beautifull, finelly carved, with really nice silver barrel bands...
no loss expect the four coral stones, one of the best that i ever seen on this forum...
I got one too that I have to post once i'll receive it...

Kubur
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Old 15th April 2018, 09:28 PM   #9
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And I LOVE the silver repousse work! 😃
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Old 15th April 2018, 10:18 PM   #10
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The most elegant flintlock I've ever seen. Congratulations on your find.
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Old 16th April 2018, 01:41 AM   #11
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IMHO, the frizzen doesn't show any signs of having been used. Does this weapon look unfired to anyone else?
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Old 16th April 2018, 03:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treeslicer
IMHO, the frizzen doesn't show any signs of having been used. Does this weapon look unfired to anyone else?

Rick's original preamble above suggests that it HAS been fired, but not often. The frizzen would not show wear after a few uses as flint, whilst hard, is not as hard as iron/steel. Either way it is an absolutely top notch example of a Tanchika.
Stu
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Old 16th April 2018, 04:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Rick's original preamble above suggests that it HAS been fired, but not often. The frizzen would not show wear after a few uses as flint, whilst hard, is not as hard as iron/steel. Either way it is an absolutely top notch example of a Tanchika.
Stu

Not wanting to start any controversy, but quartz (flint is a microcrystalline form of quartz) is harder than steel. Siliceous stones are commonly used to sharpen swords. Flintlocks work by using the sharp edge of the flint to slice away extremely tiny slivers of the steel frizzen, and set them on fire by impact/friction heating, making sparks of burning iron. This is why frizzens wear out through use. I've owned enough flintlocks to know that any "clatch" leaves scratches and other marks. A "habitant" like myself will get right nasty if a visiting "whuffo" attempts to dry fire one of our pieces at a rendezvous or other re-enactment.

Wasn't saying anything bad about the firearm, just saying it looks unused. A right pretty piece.

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Old 16th April 2018, 05:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treeslicer
Not wanting to start any controversy, but quartz (flint is a microcrystalline form of quartz) is harder than steel. Siliceous stones are commonly used to sharpen swords. Flintlocks work by using the sharp edge of the flint to slice away extremely tiny slivers of the steel frizzen, and set them on fire by impact/friction heating, making sparks of burning iron. This is why frizzens wear out through use. I've owned enough flintlocks to know that any "clatch" leaves scratches and other marks. A "habitant" like myself will get right nasty if a visiting "whuffo" attempts to dry fire one of our pieces at a rendezous or other re-enactment.

Wasn't saying anything bad about the firearm, just saying it looks unused. A right pretty piece.

I stand corrected. Just goes to show that we are all still learning. I had always understood that steel/iron was harder than flint, and it was the flint which sparked rather than the steel/iron.
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Old 16th April 2018, 05:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
I stand corrected. Just goes to show that we are all still learning. I had always understood that steel/iron was harder than flint, and it was the flint which sparked rather than the steel/iron.

Yup, always learning something. I think some confusion arises from the common term "flint" used for the pyrophoric rare-earth ferrocerium alloys used to make the sacrificial sparking elements in cigarette and other lighters. That substance (being relatively soft) is shaved away by the steel part of the lighter, and catches fire to make sparks.

I've wasted some time occasionally trying to use ferrocerium (scavenged from a survival-kit firelighter) in flintlock ignition, using the frizzen as the striker, so to speak, but the stuff is too frangible to withstand impact. Might work in a wheellock, though.
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Old 16th April 2018, 06:10 AM   #16
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Rick-

Is that barrel welded Damascus like it looks in the photos?
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Old 16th April 2018, 10:02 PM   #17
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I would guess the 'indentation' at the end of the ramrod is actually a hole through which you can thread a rag if you want to swab the barrel.
Is it my imagination, or is there script on the top jaw of the cock?
Regards
Richard
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Old 16th April 2018, 10:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard G
I would guess the 'indentation' at the end of the ramrod is actually a hole through which you can thread a rag if you want to swab the barrel.
Is it my imagination, or is there script on the top jaw of the cock?
Regards
Richard

Hi Richard,
I doubt that the indentation is actually a hole as it would considerably weaken the end of the rod. Rick will no doubt confirm or deny this when he next replies.
Stu
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Old 16th April 2018, 10:21 PM   #19
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I do not think there is such a thing as "too many" tanchikas, especially if they are as nice as this one. Congratulations on a truly great piece. The barrel is most definitely damascus, and probably deserves to be etched, as it looks like a nice complex pattern on those sections where it is visible on the photos. It looks like an old Ottoman or Persian barrel, 18th century or older (per Elgood) and the rest of the gun certainly matches in quality.

Regards,
Teodor
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Old 19th April 2018, 11:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBJW
Beautiful. What caliber? Were these meant to be fired from the shoulder? Looks like it might be hard on the shoulder.- bj

Hi B.J.
It's right at .70 caliber. A bit larger than most of these wich normally run between about .60 and .65 caliber.
I still don't understand the thinking behind the butt stock design. That fishtail is small and thin. I have another Tanchika that will become my shooter as soon as the barrel returns from the barrelsmith for lining. So I'll find out how uncomfortable it will be to shoot these. LOL

Rick
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Old 19th April 2018, 11:50 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
What a beautiful gun Rick. The original sellers pics did not do it justice IMHO, but DID give some hint of the quality. Your pics just confirmed that this Tanchika just HAD to join your others!
A question.......What is the purpose of the indentation towards the end of the rammer?
Stu

Hi Stu

Thanks for the kind comments. Ramrod: The hole in the end of the rod is of course for a cleaning patch. The circular type cuttings are decorative, and facilitate the hand grip while pulling the ramrod from the stock.

Rick
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Old 19th April 2018, 11:59 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Hi Rick,

waow really beautifull, finelly carved, with really nice silver barrel bands...
no loss expect the four coral stones, one of the best that i ever seen on this forum...
I got one too that I have to post once i'll receive it...

Kubur

Hi Kubur !!

Thanks for the comments. And, very observant of you to notice the small missing stones, two on each side. You know, I totally missed this. Thanks.
Coral stones ? Hmmmm. Or maybe turquoise ? I realize both were used for decoration throughout much of the Ottoman Empire. But I seem to only remember Coral stone on Ottoman/Moroccan/Algerian arms. Don't recall the same on Albanian weapons. But I could be wrong. What do you think ?

Rick
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Old 20th April 2018, 12:08 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
And I LOVE the silver repousse work! 😃

Thanks Batarra. Yes, the silver work is wonderful on this one. Also, the extra engraving on the lock hammer you don't usually see on these locks. This gun seems to have gone the extra mile by the builder/owner. LOL

Speaking of which.......there is only a small makers mark on the lockplate. There is no marks on the barrel, possibly due to all the decoration (?) But maybe a mark on the bottom of the barrel. I will check that out in due course.

Rick
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Old 20th April 2018, 12:20 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treeslicer
Rick-

Is that barrel welded Damascus like it looks in the photos?

Hi Treeslicer

Yes, the barrel is some type of pattern damascus. But I'm not knowledgeable enough to offer a good I.D. But, I know there are members on this Forum that are really well versed in the different damascus patterns. I plan on posting the barrel only once I remove it from the stock and do a light oil cleaning. Should be interesting.

By the way, ferrocerium does in fact work very well in wheellocks. It's harder than pyrite, but still much softer than the wheel. Doesn't crumble like pyrite either.

Rick
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Old 20th April 2018, 12:24 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard G
I would guess the 'indentation' at the end of the ramrod is actually a hole through which you can thread a rag if you want to swab the barrel.
Is it my imagination, or is there script on the top jaw of the cock?
Regards
Richard

Hi Richard G

No, it's just additional decorative engraving. This is the first of these common style Balkan locks I've seen with that additional engraving on the jaws of the hammer. But I guess in this case it's fitting with the rest of the gun's quality.

Rick
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Old 20th April 2018, 12:45 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVV
I do not think there is such a thing as "too many" tanchikas, especially if they are as nice as this one. Congratulations on a truly great piece. The barrel is most definitely damascus, and probably deserves to be etched, as it looks like a nice complex pattern on those sections where it is visible on the photos. It looks like an old Ottoman or Persian barrel, 18th century or older (per Elgood) and the rest of the gun certainly matches in quality.

Regards,
Teodor

Hi Teodor

Thank you for the kind comments. Yes, I'm really happy finding this one. Wasn't going to let it get away. LOL
And, thank you for your interesting suggestion. The engraving on top of the barrel is similar to another known Persian made barrel that I own. Also, the early Persian made barrels seem to have a different style of front sight arrangement, similar to this one. However, the rear sight is very typical of ones you see on other Albanian Tanchikas.
If the barrel is earlier, and was reused for this gun, that would answer another question of why the barrel has seen very light usage, but the lock looks like it's never had a flint against the frizzen. Even the threads on the top jaw screw are sharp and snug. No wobble/play at all.
I'll re-post the barrel only to see if anyone can reconize the damascus pattern after I clean it.

Rick
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Old 20th April 2018, 01:13 AM   #27
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I want to thank everyone who posted on this Thread. Took a while to get back to everyone. The comments were most helpful.
This gun will actually clean up much better than it looks at present. It doesn't even look like it's been outside in the elements. There's only a couple small marks on the bottoem butt late. It's almost as if someone built it and than sat it in a dry corner for 200 years. LOL. Anyway, here is my current plan for it:

1 The lock needs to be completely disassembled and given a normal oil cleaning so you can get into all the crevices. Then re-assemble.
2 I'll take the barrel off the stock and clean the bore better and give the outside a light oil cleaning all over. (I'll repost it here for a better I.D. before putting it back into the stock) and give the silver mounts a very light cleaning.
3 The wood on the stock just needs a light cleaning and a thin coat of Renwax. Will look much better and bring out the black better.
4 Thanks to Kubur's sharp eye, I will need to replace the four little missing stones. I'm sure it would have looked something like a half of a round bead (?) But what type of stone (or jewel?). Seems like turquoise would be appropriate for Albanian ? What type was used on Albanian blade handles/scabbards ?

Rick
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Old 22nd April 2018, 09:19 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickystl
Hi Kubur !!

Thanks for the comments. And, very observant of you to notice the small missing stones, two on each side. You know, I totally missed this. Thanks.
Coral stones ? Hmmmm. Or maybe turquoise ? I realize both were used for decoration throughout much of the Ottoman Empire. But I seem to only remember Coral stone on Ottoman/Moroccan/Algerian arms. Don't recall the same on Albanian weapons. But I could be wrong. What do you think ?

Rick


Hi Rick,

You might be wrong. I haven't seen turquoise on Albanian weapons.
On your gun I've seen red beads, mother-of-pearl and coral.
Please look at my pistol, the coral is still preserved...

Kubur
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Old 22nd April 2018, 04:02 PM   #29
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Hi Kubur

OK. We will eliminate turquoise from the list. I forgot that one of my other Tanchika's has mother-of -pearl in the butt stock. This would probably be the easier route since I have a good supply of tiny MOP, round pieces I could use.
But my first choice would be the red/pink coral. I have some genuine pink coral beads, but the shape and size are too large. Doing some research, it seems the coral beads this small seem to be made of glass versus the real stone. Especially in the tiny 3mm or smaller. Hmmm. I'll see what else I can locate. Thanks for your help.

By the way, that's a great example of a rat tail pistol !!

Rick
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Old 27th May 2018, 08:03 AM   #30
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Hi Rick

Look at this tanchika, you can see the little red beads and mother-of-pearl, I think its what you need...or just let it as it is, it's a very nice gun.
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