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 MH Rifle or Musket

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John

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PostSubject: MH Rifle or Musket   Tue May 20, 2014 7:29 pm

Is this chap holding a MH or Musket

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PostSubject: Re: MH Rifle or Musket   Tue May 20, 2014 7:49 pm

from Cetshwayo's coronation 1873, tower musket, flintlock.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: MH Rifle or Musket   Tue May 20, 2014 8:50 pm

Is it? looks like a MH. Isn't that a leaver just behind the trigger.
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PostSubject: Re: MH Rifle or Musket   Tue May 20, 2014 9:12 pm

issued in june 1871, mark 1. M-H, not sure how that guy got
a state of the art weapon of mass destruction. and it looks
like an old brass trigger guard to me.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: MH Rifle or Musket   Tue May 20, 2014 9:18 pm

xhosa2000 wrote:
from Cetshwayo's coronation 1873, tower musket, flintlock.

Les. Do we know where that photo originated from, and how the date of the photo was authenticated.
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PostSubject: Re: MH Rifle or Musket   Tue May 20, 2014 9:28 pm

Littlehand,

No that is a muzzleloader, rather than a breech-loader.  What you perceive to be a lever is a plate.

Here's the full photograph:

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Prince Dabulamanzi kaMpande and the retainers, 1873.
John Young Collection

John Y.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: MH Rifle or Musket   Tue May 20, 2014 9:28 pm

Thanks John was that taken at Cetshwayo's coronation ?
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PostSubject: Re: MH Rifle or Musket   Tue May 20, 2014 9:30 pm

Littlehand,

At the British version - yes.

John Y.
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PostSubject: Re: MH Rifle or Musket   Tue May 20, 2014 9:37 pm

Hiya LH, without cracking the books, i was recalling
from memory, Prince Dablumanzi and his attendants
taken at the coronation of Cetshwayo sept ist 1873.
there are more knowledgeable people on here than me,
so your and Johns question will be definitively answered.
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PostSubject: Re: MH Rifle or Musket   Tue May 20, 2014 9:38 pm

Thanks JY, british version indeed.
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PostSubject: Re: MH Rifle or Musket   Tue May 20, 2014 10:24 pm

just thinking the prince'd firearm looks
interesting!.
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barry

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PostSubject: Prince dabulamanziand his entourage   Wed May 21, 2014 6:18 am

Hi JohnY,
Thanks for a nice picture.
The weapons I see in the hand of the prince and his guards appearing  either side of him are 12gg db  shotguns each.  All  three with external hammers and  forward barrel studs for sling swivels but not used, maker as yet unidentified , but probably Brit.
The other three  in the pic have quite antiquated ball and powder muzzle loading weapons (muskets), probably of .44 cal, and  of very dubious efficiency over anything other than 10's of meters.
It is not generally known that in the latter part of the 1800's Zululand was  a  thriving target market for  European arms dealers  smuggling in and selling dated weapons to the Zulus, many of  which were used at Isandlwana and RD.
This trade was one way of getting rid of  burgeoning European arsenals needing to make space for new technology . It was recorded too that some of the  anti-British missionaries in Zululand were acting as a conduit in this illegal trade.
This contrabrand was shipped in and brought ashore  covertly in longboats  through the tidal estuary at St Lucia, where , in the earlier years, there were no controls.

regards

barry
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: MH Rifle or Musket   Wed May 21, 2014 9:13 pm

Barry,

You are 50% correct: one barrel is 12 bore, the other is .450" rifled Henry barrel.  In my opinion if that barrel goes bang one might be hard-pushed to tell it apart from a Martini-Henry.  Which might account for the conclusion of some of the defenders that the Zulu had Martini-Henrys.

It is what was known as a "Cape Gun" here's an advert' for one from 1877:

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Bland's Cape Gun.
John Young Collection.

The lad seated in the European jacket is holding a Royal Navy Pattern Brunswick rifle, the giveaway on that is the loop on the trigger-guard.  The calibre was .79" sighted up to 300 yards (274 metres).

The other two appear to be armed with the 1838 rifled musket which was .753" in calibre.  Fixed sights - aim and hope!

John Y.
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: MH Rifle or Musket   Wed May 21, 2014 11:03 pm

barry wrote:

It is not generally known that in the latter part of the 1800's Zululand was  a  thriving target market for  European arms dealers  smuggling in and selling dated weapons to the Zulus, many of  which were used at Isandlwana and RD.

I think this is generally known by anybody who has ever heard of John Dunn (not that he was the only gunrunner but he's certainly not an obscure person during this period.)

One of the most frequent comments I see on this topic is that many muskets bore the Tower mark.
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barry

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PostSubject: Dabulamanzi and his weapons   Thu May 22, 2014 4:02 am

Hi JohnY,
Thanks for the add on the Cape Gun.
Indeed, if the weapons x 3 were side-by-side combos, one barrel with a 557/ .450 inch barrel , firing the Government .450  boxer cartridge, and the other, the right barrel a 12gg tube ,  I too doubt whether one could tell the difference between the ..450 being fired, or an Mh.  However, if may be that those weapons were not the run-of-the-mill, in Zulu hands.
I still feel that the chances are high that a number of Mh's were in being used by the enemy at RD.
Out of interest I have saved the picture for further analysis as I believe one of the musket calibres could be  smaller than quoted.

regards

barry


Last edited by barry on Fri May 23, 2014 3:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: MH Rifle or Musket   Thu May 22, 2014 8:45 am

Its unlikely that any of these would chamber Government boxer cartridges in 1873 as the 577/450 had not been issued officially to the troops yet, and that ammunition which would have been would be early Mk1 cartridge, which was extensively trialled but discontinued in favour of the MKII, the MkIII cartridge was not issued until October 1873.

Even in the early-mid 1870's the Martini was still a rare animal, official issue under general order to the army was October 1874, and even as late as October 1875, troops embarking for India were exchanging rifles as they embarked to the continent. (I have a copy of the official document). So was the calibre in large scale supply, even before tensions began to rise?, unlikely.

I posted a link to Brian Knapps excellent article on the issue of the Swinburn rifle and Carbine a while back to the Natal irregulars, but even still by late 1878 the Snider, the Calisher and the Monkey tail were outnumbering service calibre weapons 5:1.

As Barry mentioned the "Cape Guns" were very popular, but likely to be in .450 boxer Henry long cartridge pic on my webpage [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] for the trials MH, or .577 snider

John not sure about the Navy Brunswick, the barrel is exposed and the rod is held in rod tubes, need my magnifying glass, only 100 were made at Enfield, if so a rare animal.

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barry

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PostSubject: The Cape Gun   Fri May 23, 2014 3:24 pm

Hi Neil,
Some checking reveals that the l/h rifled barrel of this weapon was indeed chambered for  577/.450 and seemed to have been available in 1879. It was intended as a sporting gun for use in Africa, so not too many of them would have been around.
However ,there were European manufactures  making their own almost identical versions of this English gun made by Thomas Bland, who had his works in London.
Looking  at some detailed pictures of the leaf sighting arrangements I would go so far as to say that achieving sub caliber groupings at 100m, so as to achieve accurate tight  body  shots at 300m, as at Rd, would not have been possible as this was a big game weapon for use at very short ranges  and  ideal for shooting elephants in the head at 50m.

regards

barry
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: MH Rifle or Musket   Sat May 24, 2014 8:40 pm

Neil,

I got the identification of the Brunswick decades ago for a protégé of Fred Myatt, I wasn't going to question someone who had studied under him.

John Y.
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