Friday, January 11, 2013

The Persian 98/29 Musketoon Mauser.... how little I know

(Please note:  If you have any information or thoughts as to the history of this rifle, please don't hesitate to share!)
Right before the German army overran Czechoslovakia in 1939, the Czech arms industry shipped their last orders of weapons to nations around the world.  Amongst these, the Mauser rifles for Persia.   Rare even in that rare company, the 98/29 Musketoon..... a 17 inch barreled battle rifle designed for mounted troops.

Compared to typical bolt action military rifles of the era, the Musketoon almost seems a toy meant for children.   It's short, light, amazingly handy..... and a blast to shoot.

By 'blast to shoot', I mean exactly that..... the severely short barrel means there is a LOT of unburned powder reaching the muzzle.  Ammunition designed for a 24" or 28" barrel simply doesn't have enough room to burn in a 17" tube.  As a result, the Musketoon blows a LARGE ball of flame every time it's fired, along with a stunning muzzle blast.

Look.... to be perfectly honest... shooting this thing (HOLY %$#@) is interesting.  Touching it off (OHMYGAWD) has a way of getting one's attention. The unique configuration leaves one somewhat (WHATTHE ^%$# WASTHAT?) surprised when it fires.  I can only imagine the poor camel..... or the sad soldier who upset his camel with this flame thrower.

Bringing this amazing piece of history home, Carteach hits the books.... and searched.... and searched..... and found almost nothing.  Only a short blurb in Robert Ball's tremendous work, 'Mauser Military Rifles of the World', where I found the flattened and knurled bolt knob showed this 'Camel Carbine' to be the Musketoon it is, as compared to the Czech model 30 carbine it closely resembles.

The search continues regarding the history of this remarkable find, although pickings are scarce indeed.  Till more is ready to report... here are a few photos to whet the appetite...

The Sun lion crest of the Persian Empire

 Farsi script on the left side action rail

 The only non-Arabic notation, a serial number.

 The bottom notation points
towards the Arabic date of 1317, equal
to 1939 I believe.

The unique saddle ring incorporated into the barrel band.
The rear sling mount swivels, also unusual.

The Persian (On top) rear sight as compared
to the same on a Mdl38 Turkish Mauser.

The Persian (Lower rifle) front sight is heavily
shrouded, unlike the Turkish above it.
The front band and bayonet mount 
appear taken directly from a KAR98.

Despite a rather badly corroded bore due to 
poor care at some point in it's grand life, the
elderly Persian war horse can still 
give battle viable accuracy.  Shot at 
100 yards, the short barrel blaster can
still keep it's bullets in a usable group.

Update:  After firing the rifle, I thought another good effort at the bore was called for.  Towards that end, and thinking I couldn't make it much worse, I plugged the muzzle and filled the bore with Hoppe's Bench Rest Copper Solvent.  The rifle was then set aside for half an hour while firewood was moved in a very manly manner by yours truly.

Unplugging and draining the bore, it's next treatment was with a brand new .338 brush, and some armstrong power.  To my surprise... CHUNKS came out, and my honest first thought was "Aw Hell..... I DID make it worse!"

But.... the brushing got easier.... and a few patches run through came out horribly black and disgusting.  Perhaps twenty patches later, I was shocked to find.... RIFLING!

No... still a rough bore, but so much better now that I'm very impressed indeed.  The chunks seem to be jacket material smeared down the bore who-knows-when, and never cleaned out.  

I'm looking forward to the next range session with this 'Lil Beastie, and seeing how it shoots now. 


freddyboomboom said...

That is so very very cool.

Thank you very much for sharing.

I really like the color of the wood.

drjim said...

Pretty neat!
The Farsi numbers by the western numbers translate to "2583".

Carteach said...


Thank you! Perhaps that is the real serial number of the rifle, at least to the Arab officer who signed off when it was delivered.


The color of the wood is a mystery, although I am sure it's Walnut under there someplace. At some point in it's history, it got a rather sloppy coat of shellac on the wood. Given the obviously poor care with which it was applied, and that the rifle was clearly stripped before said shellacing but reassembled too quickly afterwards, I'm guessing perhaps the work was done by a soldier assigned to the task.... likely generations ago. Just a guess, mind you.

drjim said...

You're welcome!

The only "old rifle" I've ever fired is a Mosin-Nagant that one of my nephews has. My son and I have met up with him at the rifle range we go to, and it's a lot of fun.

Seems like any time you bring out one of these old guys you draw a crowd!

I can just imagine firing that little guy with the SHORT barrel and full-power ammo!


Roger said...

Your results cleaning the bore are similar to mine when I cleaned up a Mosin and my US Rifle of 1917. The 1917 came pretty durned clean and shoots very well. The Mosin, not so much.
When you reload for the Persian, try yourself some faster powders like N133, H 322 etc. You might find a lot better performance a lot less fireworks. (but them fireworks is fun!)

Hartley said...

In my book, anything called a "musketoon" has GOT to be interesting! Time to load some 100gr lead bullets over 14 grains of Unique to make it less of an earthquake to shoot..

That Guy said...

Oh, that is gorgeous! Congrats!

GreyLocke said...

I look forward to reading about your next range trip. That is a beautiful rifle.

Abbas said...

A little titbit:

The Farsi Script in the closeup shot says From Left to Right:

"Tafang Kotah Namoonah 1317 Karkhanah Asleha Saazi Burno"

Which means (word for word translation)

Gun Short-length Model 1317 (Islamic Calendar Year)Factory Weapon-Making BURNO"

So it's a Model 1899 Carbine made in BURNO Arms Factory...

Firehand said...

Yeah, sometimes it's amazing how much crap you can get out of a bore that looks nasty.

I seem to remember reading that some military ammo was loaded with cupro-nickel jacketed bullets, and the jacket material caused flat NASTY fouling.