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Thread: Need help with musket ID

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    71

    Need help with musket ID

    This is a an antique musket given to me as a gift 20 years ago, and I always wondered what it was. The butt looks as if made to hook under the armpit whilst riding a camel. I was told it was used by British troops in the Sudan. Recently I saw pictures of similar objects identified as Afghan jezail. It has a functioning percussion lock stamped with a British crown and "Tower 1870." It has a scrolled hexagon barrel with a detachable ramrod stuck in underneath. There's still some black gunpowder in the barrel. The musket is 141cm long.

    Who used these guns and where? Were they manufactured locally, or in Britain? Were they indeed used on camel back with the butt under the armpit, or how were they used, and why does the butt have that curious shape?

    Many thanks,

    Magnus
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    71

    More pictures

    One thing I noticed is that the barrel is octagonal (i.e. eight sides) and not hexagonal as described on the antique dealer's (whom my gift was presumably purchased from) tag. The curious thing is that the barrel muzzle is heptagon (i.e. seven-sided). So the outside and inside walls of the barrel don't perfectly match each other geometrically.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    West Yorkshire, England.
    Posts
    249
    The lock may or may not be British made, they were often locally produced and stamped to deceive. The barrel is probably rifled, the grooves cut in a spiral to put a spin on the ball or bullet.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    71
    The musket has real patina in my view, and must be old. It has been used, as there are still traces of gunpowder in the barrel and the wood behind the nipple has been burnt away by the mercury used in percussion caps. The ramrod goes all the way down the barrel with a couple of inches left at the top to hold. The nipple is hollow as it should be. I did some reading on Jezails, and as David mentioned above, the lock may or may not be British made. The trigger and trigger guard look like crude replacements, or suggest local production.

    The question remains whether this is likely an Afghan Jezail, or were they also made and used in other areas like India and North Africa? Also I wonder why the butt has that curious shape?

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