I agree Dave, the French designs were from 1763 and on were very good, especially when considering the weight of the gun and ability to repair it.Hi,
It would be hard to argue against the French models of 1763 and later as the most technically superior muskets of the 18th century. The Brown Bess, all patterns, wins the beauty contest by a long shot.
one thing about the Brown Bess that I think is an advantage on the field is production time. The British were masters at producing this gun in large quantities. With the HUD and EIC and Tower the British had a great system of providing for arms.Its really kind of a toss up. While I have a bit of prejudice for the King's Pattern, I can see advantages inherent to the French Model of 1763. Ultimately, the fledgling United States chose the French 1763 for the US 1795 musket over the various King's Pattern muskets used in the War for Independence. As @FlinterNick has stated, the French 1763 is lighter, uses a lighter ball, is easy to repair and functionally sound. So one a comparison the Bess might have a edge on the battlefield with the larger ball and slight ease in reloading due to its larger size, on a musket to musket comparison, being lighter would make the 1763 the soldier's choice.
The heaviest Charleville weighed just about 11 lbs and that was the initial 1763 rollout pattern, I had the opportunity to view on of those next to the 1766, the difference in weight is around 1.5 - 3 lbs, very notice difference in the barrel weight and stock While the 8-9lb 1766 seemed somewhat too light to be truly considered a better gun. The initial 1763 also had more drop about 1/4 than the 1766, if I were to choose between the two I’d use the heavier 1763, lift a few sacks of flour and eat more protein !Its really kind of a toss up. While I have a bit of prejudice for the King's Pattern, I can see advantages inherent to the French Model of 1763. Ultimately, the fledgling United States chose the French 1763 for the US 1795 musket over the various King's Pattern muskets used in the War for Independence. As @FlinterNick has stated, the French 1763 is lighter, uses a lighter ball, is easy to repair and functionally sound. So one a comparison the Bess might have a edge on the battlefield with the larger ball and slight ease in reloading due to its larger size, on a musket to musket comparison, being lighter would make the 1763 the soldier's choice.
Remember, professionals talk logistics....,Is it the Brown Bess, Charleville, Prussian 1740? There’s almost too many to name, many underdogs on the list.
Yeap, most Brown Besses were always considered oversized to start with. So tailoring the gun the field to make it more functional can be seen on many originals with shortened muzzles, reshaped stocks to compensate for damages, small springs added to the thimbles, added bands along the forearm Etc. The biggest blow of the Bess in my opinion was the forearms, the forearms were really only intended to hold the thimbles while the rear pin lug was the most critical.
At one time I had both a Navy Arms 1763 Charleville and a Navy Arms BBess. I preferred shooting the Charleville, but I do like the looks of the Bess. I haven't fired a Springfield 95, but I think the stock is a little better (longer) than the Charleville. I'm 6'4".
I think that’s in reference to the model 1777 Charleville, which was copied in Belgium, Russia, Austria and the Prussians own potsdam musket was modified to resemble it.I once heard the charley called the AK 47 of its time, as many nations copied it. Under Napoleon the French did very well in the far flung fields of the war. So nations wanted to copy it, and the rest of french military in general.
Training, espirt de corps,leadership counted more then the gun.
Great write up !Remember, professionals talk logistics....,
The BEST designed musket for the AWI period, was...., wait for it...., The Spanish 1757.
View attachment 59763
The reasons are several:
-69 Caliber like the Charleville so better for ammunition per pound of lead, and higher muzzle velocity than the .75 caliber muskets of it's day.
-Barrel bands like the Charleville for easier cleaning BUT..., the hardware is cast in Brass, not forged from steel, reducing the cost and manufacturing time. Also make replacement of the hardware much simpler in remote locations in a far flung empire.
-Unlike the Charleville, the bayonet lug was soldered onto the barrel, so the aiming point did not move about as it did with the barrel band having the front sight as the Charleville.
-The lock was flat faced, like the Charleville, which also reduced production time from the round faced lock of the Bess, AND..., there was a large ring over the jaws of the lock, allowing finger tightening or the use of a small stick to tighten the jaws. No special tool needed.
-The forward edge of the lock jaws were wider than the back of the jaws, aka a "duckbill", unlike the other muskets of it's day..., reenforcing support for the flint.
-The frizzen was grooved, not flat. This allowed the impact speed of the flint to have less friction and thus not to lose speed as fast as a flint that hit a flat frizzen, AND as the frizzen wore down over time, the grooved surface kept exposing unstruck, fresh areas of the frizzen to be struck by the flint.
(All of the design advantages of the Charleville, plus additional improvements)
View attachment 59764
Thus the musket with less cost, quicker manufacture time, easiest flint replacement, and most reliable ignition for the life of the frizzen, was the 1757 Spanish musket.
Here Endeth the Lesson.
In profile, the Italian rendition of the 1795 Springfield looks awfully fat around the breech area from top to bottom, lacking the grace of slimmer horizontal lines. Moreso than the few originals I have examined. Looks like the barrel breech area does not sit low enough th the stock.The 95 Springfield is a very slightly modified version of the 1763 Charleville.