Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! The British called the big ol’ rampart guns used in India and China from the 1700s up through World War II “Jingals.” These things were massive – we’re talking 60-inch barrels or more! The early ones were muzzleloaders, but they also made single-shot bolt action versions like this .60 caliber Jingal. Dating back to maybe the late 1800s, it’s got adjustable rear sights and a Mauser-style bolt. The super long barrels allowed great accuracy at long range when firing from defensive walls. Jingals launched big tapered lead bullets using black powder charges. While they made smaller-sized .75 caliber Jingals, these .60s were more common. Moving those monsters around couldn’t have been fun. But the Jingal’s extended range put some serious firepower in fortified positions before modern artillery made them obsolete.
“Measuring about seven feet in length and weighing over 30 pounds, these rifles were designed to be used as defensive weapons in fortifications, providing range and striking power above and beyond the average infantry rifle, while being more maneuverable than artillery, filling the niche between the two. After China’s defeat by England in two Opium Wars, the Chinese Qing Imperial Court began to appreciate modern gun power. This massive weapon embodies their ambition to win future wars. Dubbed the “jingal” by British forces, it’s hard not to compare these antique rampart guns to the early anti-tank rifles of World War I and World War II, as well as to the modern anti-material rifles. The barrel is fitted with an empty dovetail for a front sight and a folding ladder rear sight, and has 10 Chinese characters that indicate manufacture in 1896 at the Southern Arsenal in the vicinity of Tianjin, which was a Boxer stronghold and a major battle site during the Boxer Rebellion. The receiver is of simple construction, with a set of interrupted threads at the rear to engage the bolt, which is fitted with a smooth round cocking piece and a heavy octagonal bolt handle, and a rotating dust cover. The stock is fitted with three barrel bands, a straight wrist, an octagonal cutout in the right side, possibly for bolt disassembly, a brass slot in the underside, possibly to accommodate a pintle mount, and a smooth buttplate.”
Lot 1671: Massive Chinese “Jingal” Bolt Action Wall Rifle – Very Scarce/Massive Chinese “Jingal” Bolt Action Wall Rifle. (n.d.-l). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved September 5, 2023, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/77/1671/massive-chinese-jingal-bolt-action-wall-rifle.