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Old 1st December 2017, 05:19 PM   #1
rickystl
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Default Omani Matchlock Barrel - Abu Fathilah

Hello all.

I don't have one of these Omani guns in my collection. But I have always wanted one of the barrels. Well, I now have one. I just could have never thought I would obtain one in this manner. LOL
Judging by the stock, someone in the latter 20th Century built this gun from scratch, but utilizing an original Abu Fathilah barrel !!! I have no idea if it was built for shooting or just for display. Seems like a lot of work just for display. I'll check the bore to see if there is any evidence of recent black powder usage.
The trigger and serpintine are fully functional. Anyway, everything is wrong with this gun except the original barrel. It has a jazail type stock that looks like it's from a Sindh gun, and a serpentine from a chinese gun. LOL Obviously, the builder had no idea what an Omani matchlock is supposed to look like. Too bad. Alot of work when into making this.
I bought the gun VERY cheap, so it really doesn't matter. It was worth the price just to get the barrel from it, which is all I really wanted.
Since this Forum is for original items, I will post just one photo of the gun as I received it, and the other photos of the barrel only, unless other members want to see additional photos - and the Moderator will allow it. I can always PM other members.
I re-read some of the Threads/Posts on these guns and barrels which are very interesting. I can't imagine how long it must have taken to make these barrels.
Anyway, this barrel appears similar to others posted here in the past. It seems in good condition with a heavy patina, but smooth all over. There appears to be two deep makers marks at the breech. The barrel is 46" long and .55 caliber. While some of the decoration at the breech is worn, the barrel appears to be in good condition. There is probably no way to accurately date these barrels since they were made/used over such a long period of time.
So, I now have a Abu Fathilah barrel to add to my collection. Don't know what to do with the rest of the gun LOL

Rick
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Old 1st December 2017, 05:32 PM   #2
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Please see~

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=futtila

If you need any more close ups I can provide .. Good luck with the restoration.
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Old 1st December 2017, 06:27 PM   #3
rickystl
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Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Please see~

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=futtila

If you need any more close ups I can provide .. Good luck with the restoration.

Hi Ibrahiim.

Thanks again for the Link. I remember these discussions and it was good to re-read.

I'm just happy to have the barrel for study and my collection.

Rick
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Old 1st December 2017, 06:45 PM   #4
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Hi Rick,
As you quite rightly say, and as we have discussed elsewhere, the only thing "real' appears to be the barrel, and might I say a very nice one too! The rest is IMHO new made or from non correct bits. An interesting creation!
You mention that you have an Omani Matchlock in your collection....is it your intention to swap the barrels? Can you post a pic of the other one that you have please.
Stu
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Old 2nd December 2017, 01:58 PM   #5
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Stu,

I think Rick meant he does not have another, that this is his first. I am sure he will put me right if I am mistaken!

Rick,
Very nice barrel!
According to Elgood, these Fluted barrels aren17th C.
The 18th C and later ones he shows are not fluted, but still very nice barrels.

I am still "all of a squirm" wanting to know Exactly where these barrels came from, and what they looked like in their original stocking up.

It was very interesting to me, when I saw that Tipu Sultan had two of these barrels in his collection, stocked up in more modern European style, And that the poincons of silver were also missing as we see in most cases now.
This must mean that they have been in many cases missing for a very long time indeed!
I do not see them inthis case, but you are well aware of them I am sure.

Pity the clown drilled the tang but I am sure you can correct it.
Please keep us posted about the re-stocking.
Somewhere I may have an Omani stock, or part of it anyway!

Is the bore OK?

Richard.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 03:07 PM   #6
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Hi Stu.

Thanks for the coments. Yes, it's really a strange creation. You would have thought that the builder would have at least done even a rudimentary research as to what the gun looked like before doing all this work. But, no loss here. The price was easily doable just to obtain the barrel.
NO, I don't own an original, complete gun. And honestly, have never tried to seriously obtain one. But I've always thought the barrels were so interesting and full of mystery. So I couldn't pass this one up when the opportunity arose.
Yes, the barrel appears in nice shape. No corrosion that I can detect so far. Just a nice smooth even patina. I'll take the barrel off the stock this weekend and see if there is anything of interest. I'll give it a light oil cleaning while I'm at it.

Hi Richard.

Thanks for your coments. As you mention, Elgood dates these fluted barrels to the 17th Century. But there does not seem to be any conclusive evidence as to their original origins. Persian, German, ?? But the speculation is very interesting.
I am not planning at present to re-stock the barrel in a more correct, representative manner. But it's a "maybe" down the road. LOL Too many other gun projects at present. But I am sure happy to get this barrel. Especially in such nice condition.

FLASH !!! I just realized there is an obstruction in the bore, at the breech end, about 3" long. And, when you run a wood rod through the bore, and bounce it a couple times, it has that familiar sound of wood against lead.
Will have to investigate this weekend and report back. Could be an old load !! Stay tuned.......

Rick
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Old 2nd December 2017, 06:56 PM   #7
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Hi Rick and Richard....you are both of course correct. I did not read Rick's post properly. I took it to say that he DID have an Omani in his vast collection........maybe he actually does but just can not remember it?? Keep looking Rick
Stu
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Old 2nd December 2017, 09:01 PM   #8
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Rick,

These barrels have the same constriction of the bore well up from the breech. as far up as maybe 5-6"
How and what they loaded with I have no clue. When I checked mine, although small bore of .50 or less, they still wanted to hold a couple of hundred brains of powder to fill this chamber!

Try a long wire down the bore, as it may be just the constriction you are hitting.

Stu,

LOL!
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Old 3rd December 2017, 05:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Hi Rick and Richard....you are both of course correct. I did not read Rick's post properly. I took it to say that he DID have an Omani in his vast collection........maybe he actually does but just can not remember it?? Keep looking Rick
Stu

Hi Stu.

LOL!!! No. I checked. I really don't have an Omani matchlock. LOL.
However, I think I mentioned to you a while back that I discovered another Afghan jazail - that I had comepletely forgot about !! LOL
So your suggestion was not without merit. LOL

Rick
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Old 3rd December 2017, 05:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pukka Bundook
Rick,

These barrels have the same constriction of the bore well up from the breech. as far up as maybe 5-6"
How and what they loaded with I have no clue. When I checked mine, although small bore of .50 or less, they still wanted to hold a couple of hundred brains of powder to fill this chamber!

Try a long wire down the bore, as it may be just the constriction you are hitting.

Stu,

LOL!

Hi Richard.

Well, I was partially mistaken. After further investigation here is what I've found so far: Running a wire in the vent hole, there is evidence of powder in the breech. From the muzzle end, there is some type of semi-soft cloth or other fabric about 3" from the breech. Twisting, my patch puller will get a hold on it, but it doesn't want to budge. Hmmmm. If there is a ball/projectile it would half to be behind this cloth/wad/material. I'll try a bit more with the patch puller. Next, I think I will try some boiling hot water or penetrating oil to see if it will soften the material.
So far, I have not noticed a conctriction like on some Torador barrels. But you may be right. Just need to get that piece of material out.

Rick
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Old 4th December 2017, 01:44 AM   #11
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I'm holding my breath, Rick!
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Old 9th December 2017, 07:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pukka Bundook
I'm holding my breath, Rick!

Hi Richard.

The bore is now clear. Used boiling water. Whatever was down there seems to have melted LOL I also used a smaller diameter rod than I was originally using, and discovered it would go all the way to the breech end. What came out of the bore with a dry patch was the usual black/rust - but also some ugly looking grey colored substance. LOL The bore at the muzzle is about .55 caliber. I've been cleaning using a .50 caliber bronze bore brush. However, a too loose .45 caliber brush is a perfect snug fit the last 4 inches at the breech end. So you are correct. The boree has a constriction, and tapers smaller the last 4" or so from the breech end. That was adding to my confusion. LOL
Anyway, thanks for the tip. Just needs a bunch more cleaning now.

Rick
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Old 18th December 2017, 05:33 PM   #13
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I would have said this barrel is set up in a modern version of the traditional Scinde stock. I have seen a number of these Scinde 'jezails' with this type of barrel. My suspicion is that these barrels, as you say, closely associated with Omani matchlocks, actually originate in Scinde.
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Old 22nd December 2017, 03:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard G
I would have said this barrel is set up in a modern version of the traditional Scinde stock. I have seen a number of these Scinde 'jezails' with this type of barrel. My suspicion is that these barrels, as you say, closely associated with Omani matchlocks, actually originate in Scinde.
Regards
Richard

Hi Richard.

Thanks for your reply. Yes, the stock shape of this gun more reflects the stocks made for the Sindh guns. See below. My guess is that this was the stock style used as a pattern by the late builder.
I seem to recall our beloved, Matchlock had posted a gun on the European Forum from the late 15th to early 16th Century that had the barrel near the muzzle end fluted similar to the Omani barrels. This might mean some type of very early European influence (?) It's just curious the only surviving specimens with this style of barrel are on Omani matchlocks.

Rick
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Old 28th December 2017, 05:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickystl
Hi Richard.


I seem to recall our beloved, Matchlock had posted a gun on the European Forum from the late 15th to early 16th Century that had the barrel near the muzzle end fluted similar to the Omani barrels. This might mean some type of very early European influence (?) It's just curious the only surviving specimens with this style of barrel are on Omani matchlocks.

Rick

Not surprising that this bit of Germanic influence should persist in this remote corner of the Ottoman Empire, considering the flow of goods and concepts via war and trade to the east and south from the Habsburg domains down through the Balkans to Turkey, then southward through the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula from the 15th cent. onward.

Ever notice the similarity between the barrels of German "jaeger" style rifles of the 17th-18th cent., and the barrels of many Ottoman shoulder weapons of the same period? Short- to medium lengths (compared to Arab and north African), octagonal cross-sections, swamped muzzles, and rifled bores of fairly large diameter with an odd number of round-bottom grooves in a rather slow twist? I think that this is more than just coincidence.
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Old 29th December 2017, 03:34 PM   #16
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Richard G,

I too have seen these barrels obviously stocked up in Scinde fashion, and wondered about their originating there. Very interesting !
I do not recall seeing more than one stocked in toradar fashion, and came to the "conclusion" that likely these were indeed Persian barrels traded up into Scinde as well as Oman. This however may be all wrong, and maybe Scinde Did produce these barrels. There appears very few examples for us to work off.

Philip & Rick,

As these barrels appear to all have Persian (?) stampings at the breech, I think wherever they were made they are copies of European barrels made in a Very similar manner and are very old.. As they have usually un-drilled tangs, I see this as being copied from European tangs, but in this case mounted in a different manner and the tang not used as support or fastening.
Henry V111's barrels on his breech-loaders are Northern Italian products, and are Very similar in the fluting of the barrels to these mystery pieces.

All very interesting!
Richard.
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Old 29th December 2017, 05:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pukka Bundook
Richard G,

wherever they were made they are copies of European barrels made in a Very similar manner and are very old.. As they have usually un-drilled tangs, I see this as being copied from European tangs, but in this case mounted in a different manner and the tang not used as support or fastening.
Henry V111's barrels on his breech-loaders are Northern Italian products, and are Very similar in the fluting of the barrels to these mystery pieces.

All very interesting!
Richard.

Good points, Richard. You see a lot of design "spillover" from earlier European technology and stylistics which survive in Eastern arms for quite awhile. And yes, fluting (and conversely, ridging) was a an important part of the decorative repertoire of Brescian barrel makers of the 16th and 17th cent.

Also, ket's keep in mind that barrel tangs were not a universal feature on earlier European firearms. They were not typical on, say, the Bohemian Schnapplunte arquebuses that the Indo-Portuguese snap matchlock guns were based on. (see close up image in Rainer Daehnhard's ESPINGARDA FEITICEIRA , Lisbon 1994, pp 50-51) The Germanic antecedents seemed to have flat breeches that butted against the end of the channel in the stock, the barrels being retained by the transverse pins in the forestock which held the perforated mortises dovetailed to the underside. Interesting to note that the firearms of Malaya, China, Japan, and Korea never had tanged barrels, inheriting the constructional details introduced by the Portuguese in the 1500s -- in all these areas the breechplug has a very short square extension that locks into a corresponding mortise in the end of the channel. Some Indian toradars of the 18th cent or later still retain this particular feature.

I have in my collection a Brescian gun, ca 1630, fitted-up for an Ottoman barrel made without any tang or tenon whatsoever on the breechplug. As is typical with Ottoman matchlock guns, it was designed to be retained by barrel pins or keys, which suited Italian stock-fitting practices perfectly.
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Old 29th December 2017, 06:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
Not surprising that this bit of Germanic influence should persist in this remote corner of the Ottoman Empire, considering the flow of goods and concepts via war and trade to the east and south from the Habsburg domains down through the Balkans to Turkey, then southward through the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula from the 15th cent. onward.

Ever notice the similarity between the barrels of German "jaeger" style rifles of the 17th-18th cent., and the barrels of many Ottoman shoulder weapons of the same period? Short- to medium lengths (compared to Arab and north African), octagonal cross-sections, swamped muzzles, and rifled bores of fairly large diameter with an odd number of round-bottom grooves in a rather slow twist? I think that this is more than just coincidence.

Hi Philip.
Thanks for your respose. Yes, the flutes would seem to have a German/European origin if you go back far enough in time. It seems that most everything gun related in the Eastern markets can be traced to a European design one way or the other.

Barrels on Ottoman shoulder guns: Now that you mention it, yes, the similarities in barrel design do mimic the early jaegar barrels. Good observation. The only difference in the Ottoman barrels being the more frequent use of damascus, which would be the norm.

Rick
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Old 29th December 2017, 07:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pukka Bundook
Richard G,

I too have seen these barrels obviously stocked up in Scinde fashion, and wondered about their originating there. Very interesting !
I do not recall seeing more than one stocked in toradar fashion, and came to the "conclusion" that likely these were indeed Persian barrels traded up into Scinde as well as Oman. This however may be all wrong, and maybe Scinde Did produce these barrels. There appears very few examples for us to work off.

Philip & Rick,

As these barrels appear to all have Persian (?) stampings at the breech, I think wherever they were made they are copies of European barrels made in a Very similar manner and are very old.. As they have usually un-drilled tangs, I see this as being copied from European tangs, but in this case mounted in a different manner and the tang not used as support or fastening.
Henry V111's barrels on his breech-loaders are Northern Italian products, and are Very similar in the fluting of the barrels to these mystery pieces.

All very interesting!
Richard.

Hi Richard.
Thanks for your response. I, personally, have not seen a Sindh or Torador gun with this fluted barrel. Doesn't mean they don't exist. Interesting that you've seen even a couple examples. At present, I too am in the school that these barrels, in this form, have a Persian origin. Problem is also that there are so few genuine all-Persian made specimens to examine. A while back there was an entire Thread delving into this. A real curiosity.
By the way, I took the breech tang screw out of this gun to examine. Sure enough, the hole in the tang was drilled later by the builder to accept a somple wood screw. Darn. But it confirms your analysis.

Rick
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Old 29th December 2017, 09:03 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickystl
Hi Richard.
Thanks for your response. I, personally, have not seen a Sindh or Torador gun with this fluted barrel. Doesn't mean they don't exist. Interesting that you've seen even a couple examples. At present, I too am in the school that these barrels, in this form, have a Persian origin. Problem is also that there are so few genuine all-Persian made specimens to examine. A while back there was an entire Thread delving into this. A real curiosity.
(...)
Rick


Isn't this one quite similar fluted barrel stocked in poor jezail style?
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Old 30th December 2017, 02:12 AM   #21
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Default great-looking barrel

That sure is a nice one! Is the bore rifled? Any sign of twist forging? The flat-bottomed channels with square ends take a lot of skilled labor to cut, with chisels and then finishing with scrapers and shaped whetstones. The style of those grooves is also seen on the fullering of some saber blades from Eastern countries.
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Old 30th December 2017, 02:21 AM   #22
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Grendolino,

Yes indeed, the barrel you show is of the type in question.
A very nice barrel too, with all the hallmarks belonging to this type.
I do not know whether it has been shortened, as it Is shorter than we normally see, and the tang appears shortened or broken off.
Thank you for showing it! It adds even more questions to this equation!!
I note that the rear sight has been removed, and a later one fitted right at the breech. All V interesting!

Rick,

here are the other two I have seen photos of, One tarador and one Scinde fashion;
Please forgive the poor photos, they are all I could get.
Both guns doi show the 'same' barrel style although the torador has a sight at the breech whereas most have the rear sight further forward.

Sorry photos came out in random order!!

Philip,
Yes, we do see Toradors with a lump below the breech for a fastening pin. Good observation and how it ties in with the earlier European breeches!
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Old 30th December 2017, 02:49 AM   #23
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Default damascus barrels not an Eastern monopoly

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickystl
Hi Philip.


Barrels on Ottoman shoulder guns: Now that you mention it, yes, the similarities in barrel design do mimic the early jaegar barrels. Good observation. The only difference in the Ottoman barrels being the more frequent use of damascus, which would be the norm.

Rick


Before damascus and fancy twists became the rage in 19th cent. Britain (shotguns) and France (pistols), it was also practiced by some European barrelsmiths as early as the 17th cent. Last year, Czernys sold a ca. 1700 Italian sporting gun with a rifled damascus barrel signed by Johann Schifter (Wiener Neustadt, Austria, fl 1694-1730, Stöckel 8210, 8211). In my collection is a miquelet carbine with a rifled damascus barrel of a style normally seen on early-mid 17th cent. wheellocks, that happens to have the same rifling pattern as that of the Johann Schifter example. (It, too, is deeply fluted at the breech).

Damascus barrels were also made at the Royal Arsenal at Naples for especially fine guns. The 18th cent. Neapolitan master Michele Battista is known to have made a few, there are examples in the Windsor Castle collection and in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (Munich).

Truth be told, improvements in European barrel-forging techniques beginning in the 17th cent. began to give twist-forged and damascus barrels a run for the money, especially in the realm of shotguns and pistols. The legendary Cominazzo and Franzino families produced tubes of superb strength and lightness, thin-walled at the muzzle allowing for far better balance yet standing up to healthy powder charges that could give mid-caliber projectiles good muzzle velocity. Ditto for the horseshoe-nail-forged shotgun barrels devised by the Hispano-German master smith Nicolás Bis and taken up by virtually all of Spain's finest smiths thereafter. Of course, none of these superior products had a surface pattern in the steel that gave the swirling patterns of damascus its immense aesthetic appeal and for some applications, such as mid-to-large caliber rifles, captured Turkish barrels rebored and remounted in Western style made very respectable sporting weapons even into the early 19th cent.

Were damascus barrels "the norm" for Ottoman shoulder weapons as a whole? I would suspect that they were actually the minority back in their working lives, since their cost made them unaffordable for the back-country hunters or the masses of rank and file troops alike. We see so many of them now because they were the ones that were saved rather than scrapped because of their outstanding appearance.
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Old 30th December 2017, 03:26 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grendolino
Isn't this one quite similar fluted barrel stocked in poor jezail style?

Hi Grendolino.

Thank you so much for posting this Jazail. Yes, the same family of barrels. And this one converted to percussion no less. While the use and re-use of barrels was common, this barrel may have been near 200 years old by the time it was mounted in this Jazail stock. Amazing. As Richard mentions, the barrel may have been shortened at some point. Maybe at the time it was converted.
The original rear sight removed and a simple notch rear sight mounted at the breech, which seemed to be favored on Jazail and Torador barrels.
The prolonged use of these barrels is amazing. Very interesting. And adds further to the mystery of these barrels.

Rick
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Old 30th December 2017, 06:50 PM   #25
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Richard: Thanks so much for posting these photos. Sure enough, a Sindh and Torador mounted with these barrels. First I've ever seen outside the Omani matchlocks. These barrels were more traveled in the Region than I thought.
very interesting. Thanks again.

Rick
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Old 30th December 2017, 06:52 PM   #26
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Were damascus barrels "the norm" for Ottoman shoulder weapons as a whole? I would suspect that they were actually the minority back in their working lives, since their cost made them unaffordable for the back-country hunters or the masses of rank and file troops alike. We see so many of them now because they were the ones that were saved rather than scrapped because of their outstanding appearance.

Good point Philip. I never thought about it that way. Makes sense. Thanks.

Rick
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Old 11th January 2018, 10:58 PM   #27
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Default Italian origin of this style of Omani barrel?

Here's an image of two barrels in the Museo di Artiglieria in Turin, both made for guns originally fitted with matchlocks, 16th cent. similar 3-stage format with fluted ends, faceted or round centers, and with flaring muzzles. They are of short carbine length (a pistone), the one with short tang is 17 mm and the other is 24 mm bore diameter. Published in A. Gaibi, Armi da Fuoco Italiane (Milan , 1968), pl 6 d,e.
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Old 12th January 2018, 12:54 PM   #28
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Philip,

The barrels you show are very similar to Michael Tromner's barrell (Matchlock)
His was Tusco Emilian C 1525 if I recall correctly.
Also two rifles (I believe both are rifled) once the property of Henry V111 had the same fluting, and interestingly came from the same workshop but 1540's.
I will come back with a link and photo.
BTW,
I have yet to tackle a fluted barrel! If you have details on this work, please let me know. :

Link to Michael's thread;
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...light=Matchlock

As can be seen barrels were getting longer between the 1520's and 40's.
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Old 13th January 2018, 04:02 PM   #29
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I'm hoping to attach an extract from Egerton
Regards
Richard
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Old 13th January 2018, 06:36 PM   #30
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Philip: You may be on to something here. So, could it be possible that the origins of the Omani fluted barrels were from Italy in the 16th Century ?
That fluted barrel on the top in the photo is strickingly similar.
It's always been assumed that the Omani fluted barrels had some type of European origin. But it seems to have been about a century earlier than previously thought. Great information. Thanks for posting this.

Richard: Yes, that's the gun from Matchlock's collection that I remembered. The swamped muzzle with the flutes. And also Italian.

This Thread is turning out better than I expected. LOL Thanks for everyone's input. Super interesting.

Rick
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