Object Title

Flintlock breech-loading magazine musket

Flintlock breech-loading magazine musket

Date

1800

Object Number

XII.4547

Provenance

Purchased from E.Fairclough (dealer), 2nd October 1978.

Physical Description

European style flintlock with swan-neck cock and roller to the frizzle springs. The priming pan is connected by a brass tube to a powder channel running inside the fore-end.
The gun is assembled on a brass frame that encloses the lock and extends almost to the muzzle. At the rear is a separate butt well curved and with a chequered wrist and containing a large cavity accessed through a sprung trap in the buttplate. The barrel is octagonal at the breech becoming round and still retains some original browning. On its underside, just above the breechplug, is a large lump drilled through from below and tapped with a multi-start thread. Screwing into this is a plug that operates through a guide sliding against the rear of the lump and between the cheeks of the brass frame. The plug is rotated by a lever that extends along the forend when the plug is closed. As the guide frame moves away from the barrel and the plug unscrews to reveal an access to the breech, it operates levers lying in a channel in the forend that in turn operate gates to control the flow of powder and ball from a brass magazine near the muzzle and a ball magazine in the forend. The gun is fitted with a folding trigger fitted with an interlocking mechanism to prevent it being folded with the gun cocked. There has been an oval plaque on the stock.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Overall length: 4ft 5.75 in. (136.5 cm) Barrel length: 3ft 1.25 in. (94.6 cm)

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number none visible

Calibre

.52 in

Inscriptions and Marks

Inside the lock is a letter in Gujerati.

Associations

Places India

Notes

Parts of the mechanism are missing but apart from pulling back the cock and the frizzle the whole loading procedure appears to be done by turning the plug lever through one turn and back. With the gun held upright this turn causes the breech plug to lower allowing a ball and then a charge of powder to enter the breech. Part of the charge is diverted to the priming pan. Operating the lever causes two pivoted levers in a slot in the fore-end to lift. These in turn lift gates that control the flow of powder and ball. the whole operation, and the gun itself, is described in the Year Book for 1999, Vol IV, p. 135. The gun was sold at Wallis and Wallis, Lewes, Sussex in a sale commencing on 19th Feb 1973, lot 1671. The sale catalogue refers to an article about the gun in Gun Report, July 1965 where it is illustrated on the front cover. The article is brief and written by the then owner of the gun, a Mr. H. H. Thomas of Lexington, Kentucky who thought the gun was French.