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Author Topic: Any weapons experts out there? Mystery flintlock!  (Read 1994 times)
Cubinoid
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« on: January 12, 2014, 07:09:09 pm »

I went to a friends place at the weekend and she showed me a variety of interesting weapons: but she is interested in knowing a little more about the history of this flintlock which used to hang in her father's study for years.

Does anyone have any thoughts or information based on these photos?




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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2014, 07:42:47 pm »

There appear to be markings at the rear end of the lock plate. Are they legible, and could we see a close-up? (Well, could "they" see a close-up — I fear I've nothing more to contribute.)
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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2014, 09:36:13 pm »

*ready to dodge if I get some of this wrong*

that second flintlock thingy (the one that looks backwards) is possibly an early frizzen mechanism?

i've found two pics so far both of Scottish design (not good photos but ok for wiki)
but the metalwork has me leaning toward spanish/moorish ...
it's hard to look things up when you dont know what they're called.

guns have so many little freaky-named bits it used to make me crazy (when living with x #3)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flintlock

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Muzeum_Diecezjalne_-_06.JPG

3/4 down the page has small ani to show how earliest frizzens worked.

the fancy-ness of it keeps me looking around french/spanish/morroccan design also even saw one pirate blunderbuss that this might have been a forerunner of - like I say is easier when you know what all the dang bits are called.
the word 'blunderbuss' does keep returning to my mind ...
things like ... rifling? caliber? and such are thrown around a lot as well.

not meant to be an answer - just a point toward the rabbit hole


an early snapchance flintlock?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snaphance

again, there's an animation of the action in .. erm.. action halfway down the page.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 10:35:08 pm by barb dwyer » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2014, 10:23:56 pm »

I'm also going to hazard a guess that this is Middle Eastern or at least Moroccan or Turkish
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barb dwyer
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2014, 10:26:01 pm »

I'm leaning toward the early snapchance flintlock now I've seen the wiki ...

I retract the blunderbuss after some reading because of the lack of flare at the end of the muzzle and it just doesn't look like the caliber to qualify. Doesn't mean some salty fellow couldn't cut off the end of the barrel though.

now I'm feeling like an idiot

waiting on the real experts to show up now LOL
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2014, 10:58:49 pm »

I'm leaning toward the early snapchance flintlock now I've seen the wiki ...

I retract the blunderbuss after some reading because of the lack of flare at the end of the muzzle and it just doesn't look like the caliber to qualify. Doesn't mean some salty fellow couldn't cut off the end of the barrel though.

now I'm feeling like an idiot

waiting on the real experts to show up now LOL

It would help to see the lock in a few positions, to understand how they work together. For now, I agree that it is possibly a snapchaunce.

The barrel looks very short, especially for a barrel that has no flare. Maybe it was a naval model for boarding, that was intended just for one shot and then to be used as a club (just look at the size of the butt). But then again, a boarding weapon would be used like a shotgun: spray and pray. It's not a sharpshooter's gun.
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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2014, 11:04:36 pm »

The barrel does look very short, from a functional perspective, so we may speculate. But the decorations are really interesting.  Also the shape of the stock is very unusual...
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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2014, 11:10:51 pm »

I fear I've nothing more to contribute.
… Except to point out that the flint clamp appears to be missing the upper jaw.
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2014, 11:14:23 pm »

I'm leaning toward the early snapchance flintlock now I've seen the wiki ...

 I agree that it is possibly a snapchaunce.    It does have the look of a late 16th cent. or early 17th cent. snaphaunce- one of the earliest types of flintlocks..  But the style continued in use in the Middle East & in Afghanistan until into the late 19th & early 20th centuries.

 (just look at the size of the butt).   Really, now.  Is this the appropriate place to comment on the size of other people's butts?
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2014, 11:21:46 pm »

The top jaw does appear to be missing.  I think that this type of weapon is called a jezail, but the barrel does look unusually short.  Perhaps it has been shortened at one time.
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« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2014, 12:16:30 am »

I'm leaning toward the early snapchance flintlock now I've seen the wiki ...
I agree that it is possibly a snapchaunce.    It does have the look of a late 16th cent. or early 17th cent. snaphaunce- one of the earliest types of flintlocks..  But the style continued in use in the Middle East & in Afghanistan until into the late 19th & early 20th centuries.
(just look at the size of the butt).   Really, now.  Is this the appropriate place to comment on the size of other people's butts?

Hell yes!!  Maybe not the appropriate PLACE but the appropriate DATE. Especially today!  Today is No Pants Day !!  *points to Off Topic section*
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« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2014, 12:18:44 am »

The top jaw does appear to be missing.  I think that this type of weapon is called a jezail, but the barrel does look unusually short.  Perhaps it has been shortened at one time.

The stock and maybe the barrel look like they may have been shortened...
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« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2014, 02:59:28 am »

Well, it is supposed to be a miquelet-lock rifle of some sort, I would say North African rather than Afghan or Pakistani. 

Example:



And, to tell the truth, it looks more like a tourist piece than anything anybody carried on a camel.  Judging from the apparent newness of the wood, the amount of decoration that doesn't seem to show any wear... The lock does look old; and it fits well into the stock, so those may have been together for a longer while - but I just get the 'feel' of a made-up piece.  I couldn't tell for sure without handling it, but that is what I would worry about.  No need to tell her that, of course, unless she wants to sell it.



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« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2014, 03:05:23 am »



Hell yes!!  Maybe not the appropriate PLACE but the appropriate DATE. Especially today!  Today is No Pants Day !!  *points to Off Topic section*
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« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2014, 05:28:36 am »

Well, it is supposed to be a miquelet-lock rifle of some sort, I would say North African rather than Afghan or Pakistani. 

Example:



And, to tell the truth, it looks more like a tourist piece than anything anybody carried on a camel.  Judging from the apparent newness of the wood, the amount of decoration that doesn't seem to show any wear... The lock does look old; and it fits well into the stock, so those may have been together for a longer while - but I just get the 'feel' of a made-up piece.  I couldn't tell for sure without handling it, but that is what I would worry about.  No need to tell her that, of course, unless she wants to sell it.



Chas.


I would feel more comfortable saying Turkey and neighboring countries by the style of stock. (very Western, which was a lot more common in those regions) 

I agree on it feeling "made-up."  To me the lock seems original, but everything else seems sketchy.  The decoration is simplistic, which is not necessarily a bad thing.  The trigger guard however seems thin.  The wood seems new. 

The length, again, why I feel the geography is closer to the remains of the Ottoman Empire/Russian Empire does not bother me too much.  I have seen plenty of pieces out of that area which came in a variety of lengths.  This would essentially be a carbine/musketoon.  (which again points to a Western influence) 
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« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2014, 05:41:54 am »

It looks like somebody chopped a substantial amount of the muzzle and barrel off of an African, Indian or similar trade rifle (maybe Dutch in origin) to me, then tried to make it "look right" by sticking a front sight blade on the new muzzle. a lot of even the 19h century examples of such (which are much, much longer in the muzzle) tended to carry "obsolete" types of locks and actions long after they were superseded by more modern ones in the armies of the world powers.

I'm not a true expert, however; I just read a lot.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2014, 05:44:31 am by MWBailey » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2014, 08:53:39 am »

In Mexico you can find a number of rifles and guns that are purely decorative.  They're made for the tourist trade, basically.  Still, we can pretend to be Lawrence of Arabia...
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« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2014, 06:27:13 pm »

I say, Captain Lyerly - have you a link for that image, please?

photos I found of the miquelet action were far too small for this laptop screen
and hadn't that particular mechanism (perhaps later pieces)

and how is a snapchance different from a miquelet (other than nation of origin)
if you know, that is. No challenge, just curious.

I'd agree about the N. African (like maybe Morocco) far as tourist piece
as far as the pressed patterns in the applied metal decorative plates go
Anyone familiar with Turkish patterning of metal from around that time?
and-
does the trigger wired onto the stock speak of possibly someone at some time
actually attempting to use this?
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« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2014, 06:35:54 pm »

I say, Captain Lyerly - have you a link for that image, please?

photos I found of the miquelet action were far too small for this laptop screen
and hadn't that particular mechanism (perhaps later pieces)

and how is a snapchance different from a miquelet (other than nation of origin)
if you know, that is. No challenge, just curious.

I'd agree about the N. African (like maybe Morocco) far as tourist piece
as far as the pressed patterns in the applied metal decorative plates go
Anyone familiar with Turkish patterning of metal from around that time?
and-
does the trigger wired onto the stock speak of possibly someone at some time
actually attempting to use this?


Wow, first search on google and we have the stock and the type of metal work:  http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/19825/lot/184/

The reason I lean against North Africa is the stock.  North African stocks tended to be more akin to the stocks of Matchlock weapons from Europe, they are much more triangular in the butt.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2014, 06:38:59 pm by D.Oakes » Logged
Mr. Boltneck
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« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2014, 07:00:31 pm »

While I make no claims to firearms knowledge, the general cut-down feel made me think of the Old West "coach gun": a shortened weapon that was easy to pull up and fire in someone's general direction, supposed to have been favored by stagecoach drivers. I doubt that mid-19th Century America was the only time and place where this was an issue.
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« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2014, 08:06:27 pm »

Sorry if I am just condensing others guesses but here is mine...

-The lock looks to big/complex to be past an 18th century flintlock and lacks the distinct Europian shape I have seen, and the frizzen spring is odd.
-The decoration looks Middle Eastern/Ottoman in pattern and barrel decoration.
-The odd taper at the end of the barrel may signify Greece as they did this with cannons.

How to check if its real. (Not steps, seperate tests)
-Fire it
-Put a magnet Down the barrel to see if there are metal bits from the bullet/ball
-look down the barely to see if oxidation has occurred (high heat and pressure + age)
-See if there is a feed hole from the pan to the barrel, if not it is fake

Please in all regards I do not consider myself an expert. I state these from my readings and studying of flintlocks and have no proof of my knowledge. Besides this, I am happy if this helps.
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« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2014, 08:20:35 pm »

Sorry if I am just condensing others guesses but here is mine...

-The lock looks to big/complex to be past an 18th century flintlock and lacks the distinct Europian shape I have seen, and the frizzen spring is odd.
-The decoration looks Middle Eastern/Ottoman in pattern and barrel decoration.
-The odd taper at the end of the barrel may signify Greece as they did this with cannons.

How to check if its real. (Not steps, seperate tests)
-Fire it
-Put a magnet Down the barrel to see if there are metal bits from the bullet/ball
-look down the barely to see if oxidation has occurred (high heat and pressure + age)
-See if there is a feed hole from the pan to the barrel, if not it is fake

Please in all regards I do not consider myself an expert. I state these from my readings and studying of flintlocks and have no proof of my knowledge. Besides this, I am happy if this helps.


DON'T FIRE IT!!!!!!  Even a light powder load can turn a fake into a bomb.  It's quite scary really. 

The feed hole is not a clue either.  Some reenactors have actually been converting the non-firing repros to blank weapons by drilling out the feed hole.  Depending on rust and build up, these sometimes clog up.  (and sometimes they are welded closed to deactivate them) 
 
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« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2014, 08:22:37 pm »

Sorry for the confusion, I meant dry fire...

But still there should be a feed hole on the inside if it's clogged. You could clean the gun, and see if there is one. But still oxidation and metal in the barrel are the two test I know about.

You could flake some of the lock metal, and some of the wood and decoration metal and have them carbon dated by a lab or historical society that has access to one, they may be interested in putting it on showcase if it is real and unique.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2014, 09:06:45 pm by Steampunk Away » Logged
Keith_Beef
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« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2014, 11:03:51 pm »

Sorry for the confusion, I meant dry fire...

By "dry fire", do you just mean cock and pull the trigger, without flint or powder?

I agree with a previous poster, that you should never, never, NEVER fire a gun unless it has been proofed for powder, and never,  never, NEVER fire a gun with a projectile unless it has been proofed for shot.

But also, I'd be wary about working the action with nothing there… Move the pieces through their normal range of movement, check for binding and see that there is free movement without excessive play, but don't just cock or wind up and pull the trigger; you could make pieces collide that really shouldn't.
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« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2014, 11:08:54 pm »

True, true.

I am looking through my books and notes to see if I can find something similar but so far not luck, except that the design seems to be non-Western, and most likely Ottoman/Middle East.

The short barrel is odd as Jezails normally have longer barrels, for the Jannessaries to use at least, and the taper and small flare at the end suggest tampering. This is why I suggest carbon dating, because if they match up or are at least close it is most likely genuine.
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