1750s French Officer's Musket, possibly a French Charleville officer's musket from the 1750's -1770's (model 1763 or 1766). The barrel measures approximately 45", is .69 caliber, and made from iron. Three copper alloy decorative bands that line the length of the barrel and hold the ramrod in place. One of the strap rings is attached to the middle band. The flintlock section of the gun is made of steel and is clamped around a flint and piece of leather. On the lock plate, there is a series of 3 half-moon or "U" shaped punchmarks that may indicate a maker's mark. The forend cap and tube (holding the ramrod under the barrel) are also made of copper alloy and exhibit decorative qualities. The plate on the proper left side of the gun is copper alloy as well. The trigger, trigger guard, buttplate, and both metal rings are made of copper alloy. On the underside of the gun, there are 2 copper alloy decorative elements on either side of the trigger guard (indicating its French origin). The steel ramrod is intact and present, and displays a slight flaring at the end.
The exhibit label for Tools of War (2011) reads: The 18th century brought many developments in French musketry. A standardized model was established in 1717. In 1728, the Model 1717 was replaced with the improvement of three-barrel bands to hold it's 46-¾" barrel in place. The Model 1728, with modifications made in the 1740's, was the musket carried by French troops during the French and Indian War. The only changes between the two models were that in 1746 they removed the pan to bridle completely and that in 1743 the metal ramrod became standard. This famous weapon was a contemporary with the "Brown Bess" used by the British. In 1754 the French made a change in the earlier muskets by putting the sling swivels on the bottom and adding a band spring to the middle to keep it in place. This was the last of the Model 1717 muskets until the completely new Model 1763 came out. The Continental Army of the United States emerged in the 1770's and was more than happy to purchase the old arms of France to assist them in their struggle against Great Britain. The French Model 1777 musket was the last of modifications to the Model 1728. As the United States established its own arsenals at Harper's Ferry and Springfield in the early 1800's, the French design was evident as the ancestor of all American designs throughout the percussion era.
|Dimensions||H-2 W-4.5 L-61.5 inches|