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Original 19th/20th Century Vietnamese Snaphaunce-style Long Gun from the "Montagnard" Degar Ethnic Group

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is definitely a very interesting, almost BIZZARE item. Originating from the "Hill People" or MONTAGNARD in central Vietnam, right around the DMZ, these people were found during the "U.S. POLICE ACTION" in the 1960's and 1970's to be living virtually in the Stone Age. Their principal weapon was a rudimentary Cross Bow. They carried on their existence largely ignoring the terrible conflict going on around them. These most unusual "firearms" of truly ancient design were as far as they had ever got into "modern technology" at that time. Based on the 17th Century French ignition system, the Montagnard system is even MORE primitive.

Most likely a bring back from the Vietnam War this example could be 200 years old or even 20th Century. Either way due to the antiquated design, it is considered an Antique by Federal Law.

Our example has a 40" barrel in approximately .45" smooth bore which is muzzle loaded. It has a very light wood stock culminating in almost a walking stick handle butt end. The barrel is attached to the very light fore stock with bands that look to be copper at the rear, and four silver bands along the barrel. The lock is really primitive but does bear some line engraving. There does not appear to be a "PAN" as such, but we understand some sort of flammable fuse was plugged into the touch hole, and the frizzen was lowered on top of it. Once the trigger was pulled the frizzen was knocked out of the way and the fuse ignited, just as in the 17th. Century.

A totally unique design and extremely unusual. Ready to display.

History of the Snaphaunce Lock:

A snaphance or snaphaunce is a type of lock for firing a gun or is a gun using that mechanism. The name is Dutch in origin but the mechanism can not be attributed to the Netherlands with certainty. It is the mechanical progression of the wheellock firing mechanism, and along with the miquelet lock and doglock are predecessors of the flintlock mechanism. It fires from a flint struck against a striker plate above a steel pan to ignite the priming powder which fires the gun.  Examples of this firearm can be found through Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

More on the Degar "Montagnard" Group:

The Degar, also known as Montagnard, are the indigenous peoples of the Central Highlands of Vietnam. The term Montagnard means "people of the mountain" in French and is a carryover from the French colonial period in Vietnam. In Vietnamese, they are known by the term người Thượng (Highlanders)—this term now can also be applied to other minority ethnic groups in Vietnam or Người dân tộc thiểu số (literally, "minority people"). Earlier they were referred to pejoratively as the mọi.

The term "Degar" is generally used only by people connected with Kok Ksor and the Degar Foundation. Most of those living in America refer to themselves as Montagnards, while those living in Vietnam refer to themselves by their individual tribe.


Years of Manufacture: Circa 19th-20th Century
Caliber: approx .45 inches
Ammunition Type: Lead Ball & Powder
Barrel Length: 39 inches
Overall Length: 46 inches
Action: Snaphaunce Lock
Feed System: Muzzle-Loaded

NOTE: International orders of antique firearms MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services (courier). USPS Priority Mail international will not accept these.

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