Language: Persian
Source: Baden-Powell, 1872

Description

Sher bacha (شير بچا) literally means "tiger cub". It was the name of a small type of blunderbuss that saw popular use in Persia, North India, Afghanistan, and Kashmir.1

-B.H. Baden-Powell; 
Handbook of the manufactures and arts of the Punjab.
Punjab Prining Company, Lahore, 1872. 
Page 285.

sher bachaSher bacha with Persian twist forged barrel.
Mandarin Mansion inventory 2024.

 

In 1760, about ten thousand troops of Ahmad Shah Abdali's army in Kabul were described as being armed with sher bacha.1

Egerton described these units in Ahmad Shah's army as follows:

"The men who composed the royal army were Durránis, Kazalbáshes, and Kábulis, who used the "Sher-bachas," and in company with each Durrani were four "yatím" (pupil or apprentice) horsemen. They were intended solely for harassing and pillaging the enemy; they had no pay, and lived on their depredations." 2

Baden Powell describes two types used in Amritsar in the Punjab: one "short and somewhat wide-mouthed piece" called karabin and the "short and trumpet shape barreled weapon" as sher bacha.3

Two others mentioned by Egerton were made in Kashmir.4

 

 

Notes
1. Robert Elgood; The Maharaja of Jodhpur's Guns. Niyogi Books, New Delhi. 2020. Page 188.
2. Lord Egerton; An illustrated handbook of Indian arms; being a classified and descriptive catalogue of the arms exhibited at the India museum: with an introductory sketch of the military history of India, London, 1880. Page 29.
3. Baden-Powell; Handbook of the manufactures and arts of the Punjab. Lahore, 1872. Page 285.
4.  Lord Egerton; An illustrated handbook of Indian arms; being a classified and descriptive catalogue of the arms exhibited at the India museum: with an introductory sketch of the military history of India, London, 1880 page 144. These are now in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Do you have anything for sale?

I might be interested in buying it.

Contact me

The Persian wootz blade with fine, high-contrast pattern.

€6500,-

Finished with mother-of-pearl and dated 1907.

€2400,-

Finely forged, rifled, and with gold overlay.

€1500,-

Made in Hyderabad, India, for the Arab market.

€5300,-

The iron-plated hilt has a helmet-shaped pommel and forward projecting quillons.

€2600,-

A well-preserved example with the gold overlay almost entirely intact.

€17000,-