Caucasian Miquelet "Cossack" Pistol & Locks

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cyten

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Very interesting and rare percussion conversion pistols with leather covered stocks
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Another example of leather handguard on Circassian pistol
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The very similar Persian designed gun dated 1821 with a replaced percussion lock
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Some belt decorations
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That's a very interesting conversion utilizing the original flint hammers. Judging by the koftgari work on the conversion pieces, it looks like the conversion was carried out by the same gunsmith who built the pistols originally. First ones I've ever seen.

Once in a while you see one with it's leather hand guard still intact. Probably a good addition since the grip and profile of these pistols were so slender.

Note how close the design of the Caucasian/Circassion guns are to the Persian profile. Even with the ramrod.

Rick
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Here is another pic of the original ramrod I took during restoration. It's iron wrapped around the wood rod for the first 18 inches or so.
All the Caucasian rifles I've seen that still maintain the original rods were all made in the same manner. Even the style of the button head.
Note the same button shape button head on the Persian rifle above.

For sure, the first double-rifle I've ever seen from that Region. WOW!! I can only try to imagine what that one sold for. LOL

Rick
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cyten

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After a couple weeks in Turkey, we spent a day in Georgia before heading home. Luckily it was the day of the local flea market and there were some interesting things. Two ivory or bone (im not well versed enough to tell the difference) balls from the caucasian pistols.
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A nice leather cartridge pouch for carrying Gaziri, of which there were quite a few. Some local kindjal blades (real and reproduction).
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Came across the baby brother of Rick's pistol, also stocked in horn!
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Met the owner of a small private museum who had some guns, barrels, blades, armor and balls on display
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Just as a point of interest, after absorbing the Caucasus, the Russian military catered to the new legion of soldiers from this region by producing long guns in particular patterns for them all the way up until the breechloading era.

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Is the model 1844 as chonky as it looks, or is that just the photo perspective? It looks out of place compared to the rest.
 

cyten

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Cyten....thanks for posting these! Cool thread about cool ML's from an area with some fascinating history.
I'm glad these have garnered interest!


Here is another well documented gun from the region and the earliest example I've seen so far. This gun was made for King Bakari of Kartli (modern day Georgia) The 55.5 inch barrel is 70 caliber, made in Crimea and has an inscription that date this gun from 1716-1719. It has an additional inscription that shows it was then gifted to King Constantine of Kakheti (eastern Georgia) in 1723-1724. The third inscription is on the silver barrel bands and shows it came into possession of Edisher Bagrationi, the father of Nico Burr in 1851, when he had it restored.

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Here is another royal gun from Georgia. The personal rifle of King Heraclius II. What is so interesting about this example is that the 39 inch, 62 caliber barrel is marked "SEGLAS LONDON". Israel Seglas was a Huguenot who came to England from France in the early 1700's to escape religious persecution and became a well respected English gun maker. The gun is believed to be made around 1762, as that is when Heraclius took the throne.

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HERE is a video showing some original pieces and an original barrel rifling machine from Georgia (@ 3:43) unfortunately the video is in Georgian, but still visually stimulating
 
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cyten

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Cyten

What do you think of this one?


IMA offerings are usually priced at a premium, but they take great photos. This is a nice plain example! Circassian lock with a clear makers mark, walrus ivory butt, and you can see the remains of the original leather sling in the rear sling slot! I think the description is odd, saying they were surprised it was rifled, smoothbores are very rare. Thanks for bringing this example up! Post pics if you buy it!
 
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A lot of their new stuff, particularly helmets and headgear, seem ridiculously overpriced, but I have not looked at the wider market recently. Bizarrely, they also have a nice looking Shmidt-Rubin 1889 for only around $1000.

I got a comparable version of this helmet, but for civil defense medics, for less than a quarter of its cost 6 years ago. Inflation is high, but its not THAT high.
 
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IMA offerings are usually priced at a premium, but they take great photos. This is a nice plain example! Circassian lock with a clear makers mark, walrus ivory butt, and you can see the remains of the original leather sling in the rear sling slot! I think the description is odd, saying they were surprised it was rifled, smoothbores are very rare. Thanks for bringing this example up! Post pics if you buy it!
Thanks for the info. I figured the price was high....IMA usually is. I doubt I'm a buyer anytime soon. I'm in the learning stage about the region and the guns.

They also had a couple of handguns from that region.
 

cyten

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An interesting example housed in the National History Museum in Georgia with a bipod similar to those found in Afghanistan
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A man proudly displaying a rifle that has been passed down in the family in the Machakhela Gorge. Guns were very famous from this region to the point that all guns from the state of Adjara were referred to as "Machakhela".
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Here is a photo from the Battle of Nasakiral, where in 1905 a band 150 villagers with only these muzzleloaders took down a Russian cavalry who were equipped with modern Mosin Nagant rifles.
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Here is a drawing done by a 19th century researcher and hiker who traveled throughout the region and made note of what the locals were equipped with.
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Were the museums in the Caucasus soviet states around during the soviet union, or were their collections all assembled after the country broke up?
 

cyten

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Were the museums in the Caucasus soviet states around during the soviet union, or were their collections all assembled after the country broke up?

Most of them were created during the Russian Empire, pre-1917. Museums here were a big thing during Soviet times, as tourists (from other regions of the USSR) were interested in the different ethnographic studies. Churches on the other hand were shut down and turned into museums. The clergy/patrons did their best to take the icons and hide them from being confiscated and destroyed until they loosened up on this.
 
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