Moroccan moulhaka snaplock musket featuring a traditional trumpet stock
Moroccan moulhaka snaplock musket featuring a traditional trumpet stock
Algerian Moukhala musket
Manufactured most likely in Kabylie, Algeria c.1760′s. ~.60 caliber, ~140cm long smoothbore steel barrel, Arab miquelet lock, silver fittings with coral inlays. Made for a diplomatic gift from the Bey of Algiers to the future king Georges IV in 1811. The Berber people of Kabylie were known to make these very long muskets, much in the same way the Afghans manufactured their jezails.
Manufactured by Zanetti in Brescia, then part of the Republic of Venice, modern-day Italy c.late 18th century. 15mm smoothbore twin over-under barrels with brass fittings and inlays, flintlock firing mechanisms with matched triggers, neoclassical grooved buttstock. Brescia and the other towns near the Val Trompia’s abundant iron supplies got into making guns about as early as guns started being made, with Beretta as a company being founded there in 1526. It’s essentially the same that had happened earlier to Toledo for swords.
German ‘puffer’ wheellock pistol
Manufactured in the mid 16th century, many pistols from that era still had in-line grips reminiscent of earlier firearms, blurring the line between hand- and long guns.
Ottoman flintlock pistols
Manufactured in the Ottoman empire c.1790, .57″ caliber smoothbore. Your typical gorgeous Eastern Mediterranean pistols, note that despite being a so-called French or true flintlock, the frizzen is striated as seen on Miquelet locks more commonly seen there.
Danish combination weapon made of a Roman miquelet lock pistol fitted with an axe blade
Granberg M.1864 combination knife pistol
Designed and manufactured by C.G. Granberg in Eskilstuna, Sweden for a contract to equip Swedish prison guards - serial number 60. .38 caliber double barrel caplock pistol, broad 36cm long steel blade, ‘mamluk’ style grip, the steel hilt has quillons which double as hammers for the gun. Sweden’s prison system has come a long way from gun-machete-wielding guards to saunas. The blade shape is similar to what can be found on Swedish naval cutlasses of the time.
Matchlock axe-musket hybrid
Manufactured in India c.18th century. .69 caliber smoothbore, matchlock mechanism, 20cm steel dagger with brass elephant pommel stored in the barrel. Dare you shoulder the blade-rifle ? The strangest thing about these hybrid weapons is how common they seem to be.
Mid-17th century Halberd Pistol hybrid
Trial ‘carabine à tige’ rifled musket
Produced by the Manufacture Royale de St-Etienne in France c.mid-1840′s based on the Mle1829 smoothbore percussion carbine. .69 caliber rifled barrel, Tamisier bullet using the Thouvenin stem system, percussion lock, yatagan-style sword bayonet. One of the firearms up for adoption by the French army under king Louis-Philippe, making use of the Thouvenin system of 1844. Before the Minié system became the norm across Europe there was still a problem with issuing military rifles to all troops, the long reloading time that came hand in hand with cramming a tight fitting bullet in a barrel to grip its rifling upon being fired out of it. Lead being a relatively soft material, several solutions were put forward to use smaller bullets that would then be rammed into gripping the rifling only when fully inside the barrel, which would solve the problem. The Thouvenin system achieved this by ramming an ogival bullet with the depressed face of a specially fitted ramming rod onto a steel stem at the very bottom of the barrel.
Although the system worked -through some elbow grease on the soldier’s part- it was passed in favor of the Minié system by almost all parts of the French military due to reliability issues in expanding the bullet uniformly.
German sporting wheellock arquebus
Manufactured in North Africa or the Middle East using a European lock. .58 caliber smoothbore, flintlock mechanism, brass fittings. These carbines were sometimes called camel guns due to their use by mounted warriors, and otherwise followed the same construction patterns as the much longer jezails.
Designed c.~1777 as part of Gribeauval’s standardized small arms system, produced c.1786-1790 at the national arsenals in Charleville, Maubeuge and St-Etienne then c.1810~1815 in Maubeuge. .69 caliber ball, flintlock mechanism, smoothbore. The Mle1786 was a light cavalry carbine designed for use by hussards and chasseurs à cheval with many interchangeable part from the Mle1777 standard infantry musket. Much like its 1767 predecessor, its ramrod is stored partway inside the buttstock, allowing for a shorter forend. Despite being introduced in 1786, its use during the First Republic and Empire made it somewhat unpopular during the Bourbon Restoration. This led to them being discarded rather than soldiering on like the old Charleville Mle1777, which in comparison went so far as to be converted to a percussion mechanism in the 1840′s.
Egg Jäger rifle with ‘Bowie’ knife bayonet
Manufactured by Swiss-born British gunsmith Durs Egg in London c.late-18th century, based on German or German-inspired British military rifles - no serial number. .62 caliber rifled barrel, flintlock mechanism, brass-handled clip point hunting knife bayonet. Jägers were light infantry troops recruited from the German middle class and lower nobility starting in the 17th century, used efficiently as marksmen and scouts due to their hunting background which provided them with very accurate personal weapons and the skill to maintain them, at a time when the average soldier had a smoothbore musket and very little knowledge on how to care for it. The employ of Hesse-Hanau Jägers by the British around and during the American Revolutionary War led to German rifles being directly imitated by the redcoats, leading to the Pattern 1776 rifle and a number of commercial examples made for the civilian market back in Great Britain, like this example above. This rifle is a good example of an English Jäger rifle, as it is clearly based on the Hessian design - notably with its octagonal barrel that tapers after the powder chamber before coming to a very slight flare at the muzzle - but with a simplified stock design, brass trigger-guard/grip and patch box. It also features a bayonet bar which was a newer feature on similar military rifles in the late 18th century, in this case to fit a large Fenton&Shore ‘Bowie’ knife.
Manufactured in Tibet c.19th century based on a century-old style of firearm. 14mm/.55 caliber smoothbore wire-bound barrel, serpentine matchlock mechanism, repoussé/chased silver lockplates and fittings, folding bipod. This beautiful musket is a good example of the style of firearm used c.16th century all the way up to the early 20th century in China and specifically Tibet, where contests of both mounted and unmounted marksmanship have been part of their culture since the 1700′s. These rugged and simple matchlock designs were well adapted to the region, leading to a lot of them being passed down generations of hunters. This may be why they stayed so popular there until the very end of the muzzleloader era, when the rest of the world had switched to more advanced designs. This sort of philosophy can also be witnessed in the Middle East and North Africa.
A Chinese coin used as a fastener on a Tibetan military matchlocks sling.
Qing era Chinese matchlock musket
Made for the Qianlong emperor by the manufacture department of his imperial household c.mid-18th century. Snap matchlock mechanism, cast iron barrel inlaid with gold, silver and copper, elm stock, sandalwood folding bipod with gold-inlaid cast iron tips. The Qianlong emperor -reigned 1733 to 1796- both maintained a strong hunting tradition tied to his Manchu roots and a marked appreciation for Western firearms, describing one of his heirloom musket as “wonderfully efficient and pleasing”. Although most of Europe had developed other ignition mechanisms for their small arms, matchlock guns remained popular in Eastern Asia well into the 19th century.