19th Century Malay Blunderbuss

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One of our readers sent us this photo of a Permuras Aceh (Malay/Aceh Style Blunderbuss) from the 19th century. Looks like those things could be a loaded with a lot of shot (or stones or whatever else was available). I also like the interesting mix of weapons in the photo. There is a revolver, two blunderbusses, a small metal shield and a spear.

Blunderbuss continue to be ceremonial weapons in this part of the world. A short barreled blunderbuss called the Pemuras and its bullet carrier, named the Karga, are part of the royal regalia of Brunei. The Panglima Raja carries the Pemuras on his right shoulder and the Karga is strapped to his left side.

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Matrix_3692

    did those blunderbuss participated in any combat action? well, in makes a certain sense that shotgun-type firearms are more effective in some way in the malaysian rain forests. as a malaysian, i’m also rather curious about firearm used by malays in that era

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      They did use them in conflicts. The origin of these weapons ending up in Malaysia was most likely from ships on port calls in the 18th century.
      They were widely used on ships for ship to ship combat. Once a few were introduced they most likely copied them and found them useful in close jungle combat.

      • Matrix_3692

        well, i’m aware that the malay sultanates in that era had some amount of artillery in their armies, but i can’t find anything about handheld firearms, or maybe i was looking in the wrong direction?
        and what about muskets? did they adopt any other kind of firearms?

        • mechamaster

          It is (very) hard to be found, even in the domestic museum, they are in very bad shape and hard to be identified. And the Indonesian museum tend to neglect their collection. Sorry, but I am from Indonesia..

          • Matrix_3692

            well, i didn’t remember seeing any kind of muzzle-loading firearm in the museums in Kuala Lumpur, but then it’s been a long time since i’ve visited any one of them.

          • Mr Silly

            You’re full of rubbish. Which museum did you allegedly visit?
            The Sultanate of Yogyakarta Own Infantry- carries fully operational Arisaka.
            Most Army (Angkatan Dearah) barracks have WW2 firearms as learning devices.
            The largest cannon collection in South East Asia is of course in Jakarta- where cannon-smithing predates American Springfield Arsenal.
            There are literally thousands of iron and bronze cannon, muskets and pole-guns- too many to display- so only the historically signifcant are.

            Museum Sepuluh Nopember in Surabaya has one of the largest collections of fire-arms on display nearly all in full working order- and many thousands in archives. It is used routinely by film armourers to ensure their Japanese weapons correctly function.

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          They did have muskets but as mechamaster said the examples left are in bad shape. The jungle tends to be hard on firearms especially back then.

  • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

    A beautiful example

  • Julio

    Someone in that part of 19th-century Aceh clearly ran a mean millinery store!

    • Julio

      No.1 and No.3 have got the flares thing down too!

  • greymanprojects

    aceh is indonesian, not malay. the first photo is aceh warrior. you can find more info http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?131923-Aceh-Dutch-War-%28Perang-Sabil%29-1873-1904