After decades, and perhaps even a century, the King Milan Obrenović’s rifle is returned to Serbia because Putin donated it to the President of Serbia.
According to publicist and weapons expert Branko Bogdanović, it is an M-1870 rifle, with a single-shot Peabody system, made by Thomas Sederl, the gunsmith from Vienna, and based on a patent purchased from the Providence Tool Company from the USA.
The rifle was donated to Milan Obrenović, probably in the 1869, when he was an heir apparent to the throne.
“The reason was the signing of a contract to equip the Serbian army with this type of rifle. A copy for the ruler was made and decorated in a hunting variant,” Bogdanović explained.
This rifle was kept in the Obrenović dynasty’s weapons collection, and its trail was lost after the May Coup in the 1903, when the family’s ruling period ended.
There is no reliable record of where it has been for all these past decades, but apparently it was in the possession of private collectors until recently, when it was bought in an auction by people close to the President of Russia, who decided to return it to a country whose former ruler, was its first owner.