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Old 19th January 2018, 08:42 PM   #1
OsobistGB
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Default Balkan/Ottoman flintlock pistol for ID and comment

Hi all,
Yesterday I managed to buy at one auction this wonderful flintlock pistol.
My resarch points towards it being from Western Balkans - Albania, but I can not be categorical.
Any information or suggestions as to the origin of this piece would be appreciated.
The length is 50 cm.
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Old 20th January 2018, 04:17 PM   #2
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Hi Osobist.

Congratulations!! That is a nice looking Albanian pistol. You can tell it was used, but not abused as they say. This one has the one piece longer barrel band/muzzle cover you don't see as often on Albanian pistols. Usually the barrel is held with one or two narrower bands. Very attractive on this pistol.
The butt stock/grip area is one of the two most commonly seen on Albanian pistols (the other being the rat-tail variation). It's somewhat similar to Greek pistols.
The style of miquelet lock on this pistol is sometimes simply called the Balkan lock. It was the most common lock style found on Albanian pistols and long guns. Probably made at one of the many gun shops in the Balkans. It appears that this lock must have been very popular as it shows up on all kinds of different Eastern type guns. My personal experience with this lock has been that the function and reliability are better than most of the other Ottoman/Balkan locks. This might be the reason it shows up on so many guns from this Region.
If you look closely, you might find on the top breech of the barrel or the front of the frizzen an engraved Albanian state bird crest.
A suggestion: The photos show the lock in full cock position. You might want to position the frizzen forward and release the hammer all the way down. That way there is not undo stress on the mainspring.
Again, congratulations. A really nice example.
Just for comparison, here are three Albanian pistols. Two have the butt stock similar to yours, the other being the rat-tail variation. Notice two of the pistols utilize the same Balkan style miquelet, while the other is mounted with a French style flintlock, less commonly seen on Albanian pistols.

Rick
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Old 21st January 2018, 05:45 PM   #3
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Hi Rick,
Thank you for the comprehensive answer.Unfortunately, I lack knowledge of Balkan weapons.I am trying to find literature for the Balkan weapons and am extremely grateful if you share to which authors have written on the subject.
Thanks once again!
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Old 22nd January 2018, 02:05 PM   #4
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Hello Osobist and Rickystl,
Now, I'm probably going to make a fool of myself, (not for the first time,I hear you say), but have you released or operated the lock yet?
The reason I ask is that it is not apparent to me what is actually keeping the cock cocked. Presumably there is another sear, above the mainspring, which we cannot see in the photograph, in which case what is the sear we can see for?
Genuinely interested.
Regards
Richard
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Old 22nd January 2018, 03:17 PM   #5
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You cannot see the two sears? The arrows show where they are.

A very good opus about the firearms in use in the Balkans is the book of Robert Elgood, The Arms of Greece and her Balkan Neighbors in the Ottoman Period.
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Old 22nd January 2018, 05:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OsobistGB
Hi Rick,
Thank you for the comprehensive answer.Unfortunately, I lack knowledge of Balkan weapons.I am trying to find literature for the Balkan weapons and am extremely grateful if you share to which authors have written on the subject.
Thanks once again!


I confirm, book of Robert Elgood, The Arms of Greece and her Balkan Neighbors in the Ottoman Period.
Just buy it! You will find plenty of yours.
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Old 22nd January 2018, 05:17 PM   #7
Fernando K
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Hello

There is an error in post number 5. Number 1 is the sear of half cock, but the firing sear is not visible, it is covered by the vision of the real spring. The number 2 indicates the visible end of the real spring.

Affectionately. Fernando K
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Old 22nd January 2018, 09:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickystl
Hi Osobist.

Congratulations!! That is a nice looking Albanian pistol. You can tell it was used, but not abused as they say. This one has the one piece longer barrel band/muzzle cover you don't see as often on Albanian pistols. Usually the barrel is held with one or two narrower bands. Very attractive on this pistol.
The butt stock/grip area is one of the two most commonly seen on Albanian pistols (the other being the rat-tail variation). It's somewhat similar to Greek pistols.
The style of miquelet lock on this pistol is sometimes simply called the Balkan lock. It was the most common lock style found on Albanian pistols and long guns. Probably made at one of the many gun shops in the Balkans. It appears that this lock must have been very popular as it shows up on all kinds of different Eastern type guns. My personal experience with this lock has been that the function and reliability are better than most of the other Ottoman/Balkan locks. This might be the reason it shows up on so many guns from this Region.
If you look closely, you might find on the top breech of the barrel or the front of the frizzen an engraved Albanian state bird crest.
A suggestion: The photos show the lock in full cock position. You might want to position the frizzen forward and release the hammer all the way down. That way there is not undo stress on the mainspring.
Again, congratulations. A really nice example.
Just for comparison, here are three Albanian pistols. Two have the butt stock similar to yours, the other being the rat-tail variation. Notice two of the pistols utilize the same Balkan style miquelet, while the other is mounted with a French style flintlock, less commonly seen on Albanian pistols.

Rick

LOVELY GUNS RICK AND THANKS FOR THE INFORMATION
REGARDS RAJESH
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Old 22nd January 2018, 09:09 PM   #9
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Nice Pistol Osobist ,Here Is My Albanian Rat Tail pistol
regards
rajesh
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Old 28th January 2018, 01:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fernando K
Hello

There is an error in post number 5. Number 1 is the sear of half cock, but the firing sear is not visible, it is covered by the vision of the real spring. The number 2 indicates the visible end of the real spring.

Affectionately. Fernando K

Fernando K is correct. The full cock sear is located just above the half cock sear and is flat versus round. It's difficult to photograph since it's usually covered up by the mainspring.

Rick
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Old 28th January 2018, 01:54 PM   #11
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Hi Rajesh.

That is indeed a nice rat-tail pistol. Also with the one piece muzzle band.
I notice your pistol is also in the full-cock position. Would also recommend you release the hammer as long term in this position will weaken the mainspring.
Again, nice example that appears in good condition.

Rick
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Old 28th January 2018, 01:57 PM   #12
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For those interested, here are some clean photos of this lock.

Rick
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Old 28th January 2018, 03:29 PM   #13
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Nice pistols! and nice lock Rick!

I would like to add that most of these locks were engraved
with clouds and wind, symbols that you can find on some blades too...
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Old 29th January 2018, 12:44 AM   #14
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Hi Kubur

I've often wondered if this paticular style of lock, wheather pistol or long gun size, was made in just a couple of maybe large shops somewhere in the Balkans. With the exception of various engraving, they are all almost identical in construction.
While still not equal to the better European miquelet locks, from shooting experience these locks are reliable and have good timing. Better than the other Ottoman/Balkan style locks. This must be at least one of the reasons this lock shows up on so many different Eastern style guns.

Rick
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