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.