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Old 18th June 2013, 02:49 AM   #1
trenchwarfare
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Default Arabic Rolling Block Rifle

Recently acquired this very unusual rifle. Remington mfg. It is in a "musketoon" configuration, but is a cut-down long rifle. Shows many years of hard use. Markings do not match any of the known military contract weapons. Many were purchased by Egypt & Sudan, but this isn't one of those. Also purchased by Ethiopia, Morocco & French North Africa, Persia, Turkey, Yemen, and Israel. The markings of none of these nations are present on this rifle. The left side, has what looks like a unit number. The rest... that's why I'm here. Could someone please translate what is marked on this piece. It looks as though, some of the markings on the right side, are under the rear sight base.

Also, are there any ideas as to what the stylized "bird", on the right side is. Could be a clue as to ownership/history. The rawhide repair at the wrist is cool, in that there is no seam. The leather must have come from the animals leg, as a single piece. There is also a bullet, embedded in the right side of the butt-stock.

Any assistance is very much appreciated.
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Old 18th June 2013, 07:24 AM   #2
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Nice musket. Its written Zakariya in the 1st pic. I think so.
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Old 19th June 2013, 12:36 PM   #3
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It's a Remington.
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Old 19th June 2013, 02:09 PM   #4
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Thanks BANTARU. In my very limited understanding, isn't that vaguely similar to "thank you"? Yes, it is a Remington.
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Old 19th June 2013, 05:16 PM   #5
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Ywlc. No. Zakariya is the Arabic version of the biblical name "Zechariah". it means God has remembered.

I think it is a name, possibly engraved by the owner to identify it as his own rifle.
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Old 19th June 2013, 06:47 PM   #6
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Thanks. What about the markings on the other side. I know they are partially covered by the rear sight.
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Old 20th June 2013, 01:11 AM   #7
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I dont understand the first word. ill leave it as ____ Muhammed Abu

(Muhammad's father? )

I think its a name aswell.
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Old 20th June 2013, 01:47 AM   #8
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Thanks again. This is one of those weapons that, if it could only talk... With the amount of wear from carry, I'd say that this rifle was used continually, for over 100 years.
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Old 20th June 2013, 04:09 PM   #9
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yes I agree. Its a nice piece!
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Old 22nd June 2013, 10:12 AM   #10
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Salaams all... I dont recall seeing a mark like the apparent birds feet on any rifle... or until now sword... please see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...utioners+swords

Are we looking at a firing squad rifle here? Is this a talismanic style perhaps indicating a trigger guard protected by two sets of triple marks ... 3 was a talismanic way to protect against the devil .. It is seen on Islamic prayer beads ... three beads at the end preventing the devil from climbing up.

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Old 22nd June 2013, 04:03 PM   #11
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Interesting rifle and a good spot by Ibrahiim. So perhaps the engraved motif on the rifle represents gallows, as on the execution sword in the previous linked post ??

Here are images of late 19th century gallows at Omdurman - one a drawing from the book "Fire and Sword in the Sudan" by Rudolph Slatin and the other a photograph from "Khartoum Campaign 1898" by Bennet Burleigh...
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Old 22nd June 2013, 06:21 PM   #12
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Hi,
A very nice piece, and that embedded bullet...! Isn't there a date on the first pic, 1316= 1898 Gregorian? As for the Birdfeet thing, could it be a war drum, similar to this one?
A Sudanese copper drum on a carved mahogany tripod stand with stylised cloven feet. The drum by repute captured in Kitchener’s Nile Expedition in 1885 (From a past auction).
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Old 22nd June 2013, 06:31 PM   #13
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^wow that might actually make sense, especially the first pic. good job!

where do you dig up all these photographs?
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Old 24th June 2013, 05:07 PM   #14
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Thanks guys. Excellent information. This rifle gets more interesting by the day. That first image is very powerful, Colin. Looks like the guy on the left, threw his arm out, on that last chop. Occupational hazard I guess. I'm starting to wonder, about the rawhide repair. On close examination, there are no visible hair follicles. I had thought animal leg. But maybe, human wrist?
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Old 25th June 2013, 03:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trenchwarfare
Thanks guys. Excellent information. This rifle gets more interesting by the day. That first image is very powerful, Colin. Looks like the guy on the left, threw his arm out, on that last chop. Occupational hazard I guess. I'm starting to wonder, about the rawhide repair. On close examination, there are no visible hair follicles. I had thought animal leg. But maybe, human wrist?



Salaams trenchwarfare ~ The most likely hide material is wolf skin on the butt of a rifle... going back to the abu futtila days when it was commonly employed as a Talismanic addition. Oddly enough a lot of rifles crack at that point.. it being the likely weakspot; thus the repair.

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Old 29th June 2013, 09:01 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trenchwarfare
Thanks guys. Excellent information. This rifle gets more interesting by the day. That first image is very powerful, Colin. Looks like the guy on the left, threw his arm out, on that last chop. Occupational hazard I guess. I'm starting to wonder, about the rawhide repair. On close examination, there are no visible hair follicles. I had thought animal leg. But maybe, human wrist?


The author of the book "Fire and Sword in the Sudan", was Rudolph Slatin, the Austrian Governor of Darfur, until his surrender to Mahdist forces in 1883. He was a captive until his escape in 1895, and an eyewitness of the Mahdist regime.

The first illustration shows the execution of members of the Batahin tribe, who had refused to carry out the Khalifa's orders. Seemingly execution in the Mahdist period was by hanging or decapitation rather than firing-squad.

The book is certainly an excellent read for anyone interested in the historical Sudan.

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