The Cossack warrior class is centuries old, but it was the 19th Century that most scholars agree to be the "golden age" of the Cossack fighter. It was during this time, while fighting under the Russian Czarist empire, that the Cossacks helped conquer much of Eurasia and even captured Paris in 1814. Napoleon himself noted the Cossacks skill on horseback and admired the low saddle bow of Cossack riders.
Cossack warriors began military training at a young age. Cossack tradition included the gifting of a horse, spear, sabre, rifle, dagger, two handguns and two sets of winter and summer uniforms as part of a young man's military training. As a semi-nomadic and militarized people, the Cossack people relied heavily on tradition; taking cultural influences from the neighboring Caucasus and Ottoman Empire. These cultural influences are also reflected in the Cossack's choice of military equipment - traditional Cossack firearms are heavily based on Caucasus guns; which in turn were based on weapons from Ottoman-owned Turkey and India.
This particular rifle was built to reflect a typical Cossack rifle from the "Golden Age" of the Cossacks in the 19th Century. It is based on original 19th Century Cossack guns found in Author R. Elgood's series of books on Eastern weaponry. Just like the original Cossack guns, this rifle shows heavy Caucus influences with a stock style similar to the Turkish "Tufenk" musket. But, unlike the Turkish guns, the rifle features an 1802 Tula-marked flintlock by R.E. Davis instead of a crude miquelet. It also features 3 groove .577 rifling, a feature found on original guns that were updated for use during the Crimean War.
It is stocked in lightly figured walnut and has had some artificial striping added - a feature found on many original guns. The butt plate is made from decorative rose wood and ebony, and the barrel is held in place with four lightly decorated brass bands. Unlike Ottoman guns, Cossack weapons tend to have minimal engraving or embellishments as these weapons were designed for a life of long, hard use.
The barrel was custom made and features match grade rifling cut by Bob Hoyt.
This rifle is new and has been test fired for accuracy and function. We found it to be very accurate and recommend a load of 40 grains of FFg under a .575 minie ball. The Davis lock is extremely reliable and we experienced no misfires during our test firing.
To our knowledge this is the first time a Cossack weapon has ever been reproduced. This custom flintlock is sure to turn heads at the range and would be ideal for living history use.