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Old 02-26-2009, 11:27 AM   #1
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Default Old flintlock, mystery feature on stock

Me again.

Thanks to all those who've posted such helpful replies to my previous posts.

This is a pretty old gun - muzzle-loading snaphaunce carbine - but rifled. The snaphaunce was in use in Europe c.1550 -1700 until replaced by flintlock but persisted in many places till much later (e.g. in North Africa) so, since all we know is that this gun was collected in Turkey in the 1930s, it's manufacture date is uncertain.

Anyway, it's a beautiful gun as you can see, with a damascus steel barrel and heavy, brass-inlaid stock. What's puzzling me is the strange, circular, perforated ivory disc in the underside of the stock. Does anyone know what this may be? You can see on the right hand side of the disc is a tiny brass catch so it obviously was meant to open (although I haven't tried yet!). I know that sometimes things were kept in the hollow of the stock so could it have been powder or something? Or just air holes?!

Any ideas or suggestions, as ever, most welcome and appreciated.

Helen



1930.78.1a.jpg   1930.78.1-close-up.jpg  
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Old 02-26-2009, 01:51 PM   #2
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Is it large enough to hold a spare flint? Generally such compartments were installed to house some sort of spare part of accessory. My best guess is a flint.



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Old 02-26-2009, 02:48 PM   #3
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Looks like a miqullet (sp) lock from here. The snaphaunce had an entirely separate frizzen that moved out of the way, while the miquelette lock was similar to the flintlock but had the springs on the outside.

I have no idea what the feature you mentioned is. Could it be the rifle was converted from a match lock and the feature was to hold a match? I saw an a matchlock Turkish musket once and the match fit underneath the stock, couldn't see where it came from, but it had a tunnel on the bottom of the stock to feed the match upward and keep it out of the way.

Grasping at straws here.

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Old 02-26-2009, 05:04 PM   #4
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I suggest you open it and see if there's anything inside.

Could hold a cleaning kit of some type too.

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Old 02-26-2009, 07:46 PM   #5
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Well, it's venilated. That's the interesting part, but I don't know if the ventilation is for decoration or for a purpose. Could hold a pick for the lock, certainly. Or jags for the ramrod.

It would be very interesting to see the inside!

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Old 02-26-2009, 09:08 PM   #6
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yes Gene you're right it is a miquelet (sp?) mechanism, not snaphaunce, sorry - I wasn't clear on the distinction between the two. The gun's over on a different site at moment so will try to get hold of it in next few weeks and get the disc open, see if that reveals anything and let you all know! Thanks for all the suggestions, especially the one about it possibly holding a match if it's a conversion weapon.

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Old 02-26-2009, 11:03 PM   #7
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I don't know guys, this Helen knows a ton about firearms and a ton about military history, she undoubtably has that hot British accent, I might be getting an Avatar Crush.

JD

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Old 02-26-2009, 11:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
I don't know guys, this Helen knows a ton about firearms and a ton about military history, she undoubtably has that hot British accent, I might be getting an Avatar Crush.

JD
I think that it is the whole package. Knowledge, intelligence, beauty mark.
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Old 02-27-2009, 08:12 AM   #9
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ha! well, the 'beauty mark' is a big freckle but what the hell. As for the accent, yes, I spent at year at West Virginia University and must admit, there weren't many other British folk there and it let me get away with murder on a few occasions! When it comes to the weapons/military knowledge, I'm afraid it's mostly books and no action...I've never fired a gun! Had a go at fencing and archery but that's it. I would love to though. I'm going to Florida with my family in April and am thinking it would be a great opportunity to have a go...if anyone knows of a good public range around Orlando or Kissimmee, please let me know! Hope there aren't any rules about foreigners not being allowed to hire/use firearms in the US?

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Old 02-27-2009, 12:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helbeluk View Post
ha! well, the 'beauty mark' is a big freckle but what the hell. As for the accent, yes, I spent at year at West Virginia University and must admit, there weren't many other British folk there and it let me get away with murder on a few occasions! When it comes to the weapons/military knowledge, I'm afraid it's mostly books and no action...I've never fired a gun! Had a go at fencing and archery but that's it. I would love to though. I'm going to Florida with my family in April and am thinking it would be a great opportunity to have a go...if anyone knows of a good public range around Orlando or Kissimmee, please let me know! Hope there aren't any rules about foreigners not being allowed to hire/use firearms in the US?
You should get in contact with canebrake. He resides in FL, don't know what part though.


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