Between the 1763/66 and The 1777 Charleville designs, the 1763/66 is technically the better quality pattern, in my opinion based on Erikson’s book. The USA went on the copy it as the base for the 1795 series of muskets which was also copied by US contractors.A lot of people mentioned the 1763 Charville, but it is really the French model 1777, that in my opinion, is the best gun produced in the Eighteenth Century. I believe it is the first musket to be produced with all standardized and exchangeable parts. It and it’s variants, would go on to be produced into the Nineteenth Century and become the most produced gun until the First World War.
mostly politics, the 1763/66 didnt cost much more than a 77, the cost savings was mostly in the stock design of the 77.If the French 1766 was the best model, why didn’t they return to something closer to it after experimenting with the 1777 type? Politics? Cost of production?
Never really understood the purpose of the slanted brass pan. Supposedly it was to short rank and file reloading and point the flash forward, however I’ve fired these reproductions and I can’t say that is much more or an improvement over the regular straight pan with a Fence."If the French 1766 was the best model, why didn’t they return to something closer to it after experimenting with the 1777 type? Politics? Cost of production?"
As I wrote previously, the model 1763 and later models probably were technically superior to all other muskets during the 18th century. America adopted the model 1766 (sometimes called model 1763 light) and the 1768 upgrade as the pattern for our first Springfield because we had many of them in stock after the war ready to be copied. They also likely were less costly to produce than the later French models. The French kept developing the model 1777 and improving such that it was probably the finest musket in the world by the 1780s and was very widely copied throughout Europe.
The 1777 short land pattern bess is perhaps one of my most favorite Brown Bess designs. Got to see One at the Yorktown museum. Really nicely designed Bess.There are reasons and explanations and statistics, and “best” is subjective, but at the end of the day, I will ALWAYS pick a second land pattern Bess over any Continental poodleshooter. Because she’s the best AWI musket *for me*, based on the thousands upon thousands of rounds (live and blank) that I’ve fired from Besses (long, short, India, and sawed-off), Charlevilles, Potsdams, CoS rebuilds and knockoffs, and even the Spanish ‘57. No other musket fits so well, or feels so right.
I’d give the “best musket” title to either the Charleville 1777 or the Austrian 1784 musket. The Prussian 1740 was known for it’s inaccuracy.Is it the Brown Bess, Charleville, Prussian 1740? There’s almost too many to name, many underdogs on the list.
The Prussian 1740 Musket and its German copies really fit into a generation of muskets used before and during the Seven Years War, like the long lands and early Charlevilles. Once the American Revolutionary War began, the Prussian 1740 really was seen as old and obsolete. British officers incharge of Hessian units outfitted with this musket and other German made arms disapproved of it, especially its compromising polished finish on the barrel. Many of the German arms were discarded for older Brown Bess Muskets or contract muskets. By the time the Napoleonic Wars began, the 1740 was just out done by later period Charleville’s and its copies.I’d give the “best musket” title to either the Charleville 1777 or the Austrian 1784 musket. The Prussian 1740 was known for it’s inaccuracy.
“the M1740 was one of the more inaccurate weapons of those listed (though this was exacerbated by the use of an undersized ball, relatively to the military load). This reflected the doctrine of the Prussian army, which emphasized speed of fire over accuracy: the greater windage allowed for rapid reloading, even with a heavily-fowled barrel. This trend would only accelerate over the course of the 18th century, with an increase of bore size to 19 mm late in Frederick II's reign. This, and the emphasis on speed over accuracy, also goes a long way to explain in part, the observation that Prussian soldiers typically took more casualties in a firefight than the Austrians did: the Austrian weapons were simply more accurately-aimed. To drive home this point, a test was conducted in 1755 on a target 10 paces across and 10 feet tall (~7x3 meters), with the participants being Prussian Grenadiers.”
“In comparison, the newer muskets used by Scharnhorst in 1813 scored ~44% accuracy at 300 paces, against a company-sized target (1.8x~30 m). A test conducted by Muller with Napoleonic British soldiers produced a minimum accuracy of 18% at 200 yards, and 15% at 300 yards (300 paces would be around 225 yards). Even allowing for the broader (though shorter) target in Scharnhorst's test, the M1740 musket proves remarkably abysmal in the hands of Frederick's soldiers: the lower accuracy, couple with inadequate training in aiming the weapons, combine to produce the above results.”
Source: Prussian Line Infantry Weapons - Project Seven Years War
That being said, I really like the look, so I’m making one