African Jezail .75 Caliber Rifle

  • Firearms Thru History
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Seen in the late 17th/18th Century, The Jezail Rifle was a Flintlock-class of weapon (with some early Matchlock versions), used commonly among Native populaces of British Indian, Central Asia and The Middle East. Similar to The Kabyle Musket of Northern Africa in it's simplicity, they too featured often elaborate and highly decorated barrels and stocks. Most were Smoothbored weapons (but a few were made rifled during the weapons evolution). The Jezail was heavy, weighing between 12 and 15-pounds. Although heavier, the weight made for better handling of the weapon (especially with larger powder loads). Jezail Rifles commonly used .50 to .75 caliber lead shot (much powerful than the standard European rifles of The Era). Many Historians put The Jezail akin to The Brown Bess Musket in terms of popularity. The weapon had a maximum effective range of 150 yards (but was deadly at 50 yards). During The Anglo-Afghan Wars (1839-42), The Jezail was devastating to the British infantry that encountered them. The weapon's renown even was included in several of famed English Poet Rudyard Kipling's poems and stories. The stock of the weapon (around 50 inches long), featured an unusual downward curve (designed to allow the shooter a better level of firing control).Although long since replaced by more modern weapons, The Jezail Rifle (even in it's Flintlock version), was used by Afghan Fighters against The Soviet Army during their Invasion Afghanistan in the 1980s.