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Discussion Starter #1
My father in law gave me this old rifle. It'd been kicking around the house for a long time, and he decided that I'd appreciate it more than he does. I've been looking around but can't figure out what it is. Seems like it might be some sort of Enfield carbine copy, probably Arab-made. I have no idea how it might have ended up in a farm house in Southern Ontario. I've wiped it down with an oiled rag and it looks quite nice. It will have a permanent home on the wall of our den. We had the sidelock off once before while looking for markings, and there are no stamps or markings on the inside.







 

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The lockwork looks very much like an Enfield of 1853 or so, and the fixed rear sight almost speaks of Confederate origin, but the buttplate's and other markings suggest Middle Eastern issue. Sorry I can't be more helpful than that.
 

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p.s. to previous: Just a shot in the dark guess. Possibly an Afghan tribal gunsmith's effort at a British Enfield .577. Is you rifle actually rifled, or is it a smoothbore? I've seen Afghan muskets that very closely resembled their British Army issue couterparts, but were smoothbores.
 

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I just had a look with a light down the barrel. It is fairly rusted, but appears to be smooth bore, so you might be on to something.
 

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There appears to be no checkering on the top of the hammer spur - there would be on an 1853 .577, the hammer screw is definitely not of British manufacture - at least not by a government arsenal, and there appear to be no maker's mark or a date on the lock. The maker's name would be horizontal and forward of the hammer, the date vertical and behind it. If you go to Google Image and tap in 1853 ENFIELD LOCK, you'll see what an original looks like and be able to make comparisons. I do believe you have an Afghan made Enfield, which in itself is pretty darned interesting.
 

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There are definitely no markings anywhere other than what I posted. The thing that really puzzles me is how it ended up in Southern Ontario (Hamilton area).
 

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Have any ancestors who'd served in the British Army on the Nothwest Frontier? If so, it may've come home with him. The other possibility regarding origin and manufacture would be Nepal. I know very little about them, but an astounding group of arms was brought out of Nepal by International Military Antiques. These included everything from Brown Bess flintlock muskets of the late 1700s era to more "modern" Martinis of the late 1800s. I believe many, if not all of these were manufactured in Nepal, possibly using British manufactured parts, for issue to Nepalese Gurkha regiments, amongst others. If you go to www.ima-usa.com/ you'll find photos of these rifles. Whatever you've got there, it's a really neat rifle.
 

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I'm thinking it was probably just acquired some time through the years, as I'm fairly sure it nobody in the family served anywhere in the East. It still cocks and the trigger mechanism works just fine, although a chunk of the wood is cracked off, but held in place by the action. I cleaned it up with a rag and some oil and it looks quite nice now, rust and all. I need to find a classy way to hang it on the wall or something.
 

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The thing that really puzzles me is how it ended up in Southern Ontario (Hamilton area).
Trying to figure how what ended up where can be interesting. I have a Canadian Ross Model 1905 Mk.II .303 rifle that started life in Quebec, was issued to the Winnipeg Militia in 1909, subsequently purchased by the US Government in 1917, eventually found its way to Montana post-WW1, and now resides in Sitka, Alaska. Kinda makes you wish these old warhorses could talk.
 

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No expert I, but I think the markings are Nepalese. The Nepalese copied British guns for issue to their troops, and some have been imported in fairly recent years.

Jim
 

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Apparently it was in the house when they bought it in the 80s, tucked away in the shed. The previous owner was fairly well-off and used the house as a summer home. The neighbour knew them quite well and the family keeps in touch with her, so she may be able to tell us if he ever worked overseas or travelled to India.

I have a great sounding old fiddle that was built in 1850 in Paris, and has a repair label from Nashville in 1969. Somehow it ended up in a violin shop in Ontario, and now I own it. Man I wish old things could talk.
 
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