Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 16th May 2021, 06:29 PM   #1
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,597
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
Attached Images
      
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th May 2021, 06:31 PM   #2
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,597
Default

MORE PICS.....
Attached Images
     
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th May 2021, 06:33 PM   #3
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,597
Default

LAST PICS, INCLUDING THE LOCK...
Attached Images
      
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th May 2021, 07:02 PM   #4
Victrix
Member
 
Victrix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Sweden
Posts: 534
Default

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.
Victrix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th May 2021, 07:39 PM   #5
Kubur
Member
 
Kubur's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 2,145
Default

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
Kubur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th May 2021, 05:42 AM   #6
kahnjar1
Member
 
kahnjar1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: CHRISTCHURCH NEW ZEALAND
Posts: 2,629
Default

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
kahnjar1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st May 2021, 05:58 PM   #7
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,597
Default

Hi Victrix: Thanks for your reply. The heavy corrosion at the breech of the barrel and around the bolster and nipple area is from the percussion caps used during the period, which were very corrosive. This, combined with the Sulphur used in black powder, the general climate all contributed. Today's sporting percussion caps are non-corrosive.

Hi Kubur: I don't know the actual origin of this style of gun, or the others that look identical except for the decoration. I was always under the impression they were possibly from Yemen or Arabia (?). After this Post, I'll post pics of two more identical to mine.
Please do post any new guns you acquire.

Hi Stu: The butt cap on mine is a separate piece attached with two wood pins.
See my next post.

Rick
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st May 2021, 06:17 PM   #8
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,597
Default

Here are pics of two more of these muskets from another Forum member a few years ago. He won them at an auction and was going to sell one of them to me. But we couldn't find a way the ship it out of the Netherlands.

These two are silver mounted. But the styling of the stock, barrels, locks, and butt caps are close to identical. I've seen others similar in the past. So this particular style was popular somewhere for a time. I'll see what else I can find in my library. It would be interesting to know the origin.

Rick
Attached Images
   
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st May 2021, 07:01 PM   #9
Mefidk
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Denmark
Posts: 157
Default

Hi Rick
Very glad you finally got one of your own - these two you just posted are mine. They were brought back from Saudi by a Swedish diplomat.
I bought them the got them sent here, but Danish post office rules prevented me getting them to you. Danish post office are unfriendly to any form of weapons!
Chris
Mefidk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st May 2021, 08:16 PM   #10
Philip
Member
 
Philip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 963
Default

Hi, Rick

I agree that your gun is most likely rebuilt on a repurposed British / EIC barrel and stock. The remains of a rear sight mortise on the much-corroded barrel surface, and the shaping of the wood around the lock mortise (and corresponding effect on left side) are too obvious to ignore.

The lock has seen a lot of action, and field repairs. I like that Phillips-head screw used as a sear pivot! Try dropping a regulation type Enfield perc lock into that mortise, I bet it'll work just fine! Ditto for a barrel, somehow I don't have much faith in the shooting safety of the present one judging from exterior corrosion.

Keep us posted!

Philip
Philip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st May 2021, 09:22 PM   #11
kahnjar1
Member
 
kahnjar1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: CHRISTCHURCH NEW ZEALAND
Posts: 2,629
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip View Post
Hi, Rick

I agree that your gun is most likely rebuilt on a repurposed British / EIC barrel and stock. The remains of a rear sight mortise on the much-corroded barrel surface, and the shaping of the wood around the lock mortise (and corresponding effect on left side) are too obvious to ignore.

The lock has seen a lot of action, and field repairs. I like that Phillips-head screw used as a sear pivot! Try dropping a regulation type Enfield perc lock into that mortise, I bet it'll work just fine! Ditto for a barrel, somehow I don't have much faith in the shooting safety of the present one judging from exterior corrosion.

Keep us posted!

Philip
I agree with Philip.......repurposed (likely) British military stocks.
Stu
kahnjar1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st May 2021, 09:24 PM   #12
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,597
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mefidk View Post
Hi Rick
Very glad you finally got one of your own - these two you just posted are mine. They were brought back from Saudi by a Swedish diplomat.
I bought them the got them sent here, but Danish post office rules prevented me getting them to you. Danish post office are unfriendly to any form of weapons!
Chris
Hi Chris !!! Glad you saw my Thread. Been a long time. I hope you will forgive me for assuming it would be OK to post your guns here to make a point ?
And I want to thank you once again for going above and beyond the call of duty trying to find a way to ship.

But yes, I finally have one.

Rick
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st May 2021, 09:35 PM   #13
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,597
Default

Hi Philip

Yes, I'm certain these guns were assembled utilizing British or EIC parts.

There are no markings (left) on the lock. And it needs some repair/rebuilding. But I have access to original parts as needed.

I just so happen to have an exact replica of an 1858 British Enfield. I'll see if the barrel and lock are indeed interchangeable. I also have an original EIC lock that is in unused condition that I can try.

I'll post again after the trial. LOL

Rick
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th May 2021, 08:17 AM   #14
Mefidk
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Denmark
Posts: 157
Default

Of course Rick, no problem. Nice to see them appear here again.
I believe that both these guns started life as Sepoy smoothbores. One lock is dated 1855 Tower, crown and VR and broad arrow, but the barrel is standard Sepoy issue with dog kennel foresight from 1859 (rear sight replaced). It is fully stamped with all the normal inspection marks for military issue. The butt cap (with the studs) is a separate piece attached as far as I can see with nails.
The second lock was never removed. I was going to leave that to you
Now underway, so once its done I will be able to tell if its also a regulation lock and hopefully whether Tower or EIC. The sights on the barrel have been replaced but I think originally were as the first gun. The barrel is otherwise standard with military/EIC issue stamps (pictured).
The butt is simply a carved down original stock on this one, and put side by side matches exactly my original example from 1959.

I did not remove the barrel of either gun to look for more inspection marks and possibly a maker since I am afraid of damaging the silver work, which is firmly in place.
/Chris
Attached Images
 
Mefidk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th May 2021, 09:05 PM   #15
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,597
Default

Hi Chris

Thanks for Posting again. Interesting information about your two guns.
I wouldn't try to take the barrels off either. Not worth messing up the silver since its nailed on.

Sepoy smooth bores. Hmmm..yes. Probably correct. I was thinking originally that the barrels might be surplus 1840-50's Enfield barrels not in use after the 1853 Enfield introduction with the rifled barrels. But the Supoy troops were still supplied with these smooth bores till at least the mid-1850's if my memory serves (?)

I do have a barrel and lock from a British 1858 rifled musket and a EIC lock that I will see if they fit in my Saudi gun. Just curious. I don't know if there was much change in the locks from the 1853 pattern and the earlier locks used with the smooth bores. We shall see.

Rick
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2021, 09:44 PM   #16
Mefidk
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Denmark
Posts: 157
Default

Yes Rick - the 1859 model of the Enfield was specifically made for Sepoy troops after the Indian Mutiny. It is the only version of the barrel with the 'dog kennel' foresight.
So, a smoothbore barrel with this sight is an easy identification. The tombstone rear sight on these barrels is replaced. If it was a standard army issue it would have had a ladder sight. I don't know why this rounded sight with a hole was preferred, but this seems to be a local adaptation, and in both mine clearly brazed on later. The lock on mine is therefore incongruous, but the locks for at least 1856 to 1859 (which are the examples I have) are totally interchangable. I have an EIC musket from the 1840s and later (patterns C & F) but these are slightly different, and the pattern C lock would not fit a later Enfield, but I think that the pattern F would. This suggests to me that the locks from British 1850 guns were interchangeable - but I don't quite have enough examples to exchange them to test this (I sold my 1856 to my neighbour who was enthralled by it - maybe I can ask him for a loan to try the exchange).

I don't have an 1840s army issue rifle or smoothbore, but if it follows EIC then the lock is a different shape compared to the later versions (easiest spotted by the thicker forward part of the lockplate).
Mefidk is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 01:35 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.