I have written nothing for the past two months. A trip and research. Today I have been verifying and expanding on my research into the potential of the Mamluk, Alfi Bey, gaining possession of accurate firing rifles in the late 1700’s, when such weapons would be an extreme oddity if any existed. I believe that such an event could occur and in much the same manner described in the novel, Stonechild and Mamluk Treasure. German gunsmiths were masters of the trade with English and French gunsmiths producing excellent components. The web site http://www.ctmuzzleloaders.com/antique_guns/jaeger/jaeger.html discusses a rifled firearm commissioned by a German prince in the late 1700’s, possibly as early as 1780. That date fits with my time frame where a fugitive gunmaker reaches Egypt and gains the attention of Alfi Bey, an overly ambitious Mamluk of Egypt’s military ruling class.
The most interesting part of this research involved the discovery of mechanisms for developing a gun barrel from iron bars with little else than a charcoal-fired forge, iron bars, hammers, files and anvils. At this point in history such actions were a common occurrence.