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Old 16th May 2021, 05:29 PM   #1
rickystl
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Default Arab Style Musket

Hello All. Been a while since I posted. Here is a new addition to my collection.
I've wanted one of these guns for quite some time to study. But was never able to locate one here in the States. As it happened, a collector/shooter friend was browsing in a local gun store in the New England area of the States and spotted this gun. He said he immediately thought of me and emailed me a photo and asked if I wanted it. The price was low enough that I told him not to bother negotiating the price. Just buy it. LOL. So I paid him for the gun and shipping and received it a week latter.
I've long believed these percussion guns started life as British/EIC muskets from the 1840-1860's period. The stocks were slimmed down considerably, and the crescent-shaped wood butt cap added. There has been considerable discussion in the past with regard to the odd butt caps - especially the so called Indo-Arab matchlock muskets. But these percussion style muskets all look similar with the difference being in the decoration. Most I've seen are decorated with silver mounts. This one has simple brass bands and brass tack decoration. There are no British or otherwise markings on top of the barrel. But the significant corrosion (from corrosive percussion caps during the period) could have erased the markings. I'll take the barrel off in due course and check the bottom for any marks. I took the lock off and found it to be a genuine British/EIC lock. Although in a poor state of latter repair (phillips screw, etc,) with a very loose hammer and the lock and stock mortice smeared with grease. LOL I'll learn more when I disassemble the lock and clean it. The barrel is smooth bore and about .67 caliber. The barrel length (less the tang) measures 38 inches. Which seems a couple inches short. But the muzzle doesn't appear to have been shortened in the past. The far rear mounted peep-style sight was added by it's latter owner as was common with many Eastern style guns for long range shooting. But the dove tail cut for just ahead for an earlier fixed, open rear sight is consistent with British/EIC barrels of the period. The lock screws also have the better cut European threads.
So, for the moment, I think this gun started life as a British/EIC musket from 1842-1850's Models. The stock slimmed down (and it's obvious) and the wood butt cap added and attached with two wood pins. Further study may lead me to some slightly different conclusions. We'll see.
But there still seems to be a difference of opinion as to the origin of these percussion muskets. Latter, I'll post a couple photos I saved from years ago from another Forum member from the Netherlands who posted a pair of these same guns, although silver mounted. But almost identical in general style. Thanks for looking. Comments most welcome.

Rick
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Old 16th May 2021, 05:31 PM   #2
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Old 16th May 2021, 05:33 PM   #3
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Old 16th May 2021, 06:02 PM   #4
Victrix
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Congrats on your new musket! I find it interesting with the added buttstock and brass studs which adds to its tribal character and uniqueness.

I always marvel at the curious Arab and Afghan rifle butts, and wonder why there seems to be a preference for convex butts where Europeans prefer concave butts. Makes you wonder if the rifles were used and handled differently there to account for the different shapes.

The lock and barrel metal seems curiously dull and porous as if exposed to some chemical reaction. Maybe itís the extremely salty and humid air along the coast of the Arabian Gulf where temperatures reach +50C in Summer that caused it.
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Old 16th May 2021, 06:39 PM   #5
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Hi Rick,

Good catch as always.
I have a Yemeni matchlock with the same kind of butt, but yours seems more Indian, or Indo Arab as they say, what do you think?

You posted some similar guns in the past...

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=24257

I have new guns that I have to post, including Indian pistol.

Best wishes,
Kubur
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Old 17th May 2021, 04:42 AM   #6
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Hi Rick,
IMHO the butt on Kuburs Yemeni matchlock is quite different to yours. I think butt of yours looks to be a resahped european style whereas Kuburs has been purpose made in the shape it now is.
Stu
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