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FlinterNick

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I’ve seen New England fowling pieces with what appear to be 1728 parts; basically a restock.
The earlier Charleville Locks and Barrels are often found on American and Canadian Guns. I often see the 1728 lock on American Guns, the key charactertic Is the slash step on a lock that is around 6 1/2 long.
 

FlinterNick

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1763 early model lock with a flintcock replacement or a 1754 lock with the slash step filed off
 

Artificer

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Hi Gus

I've been doing a lot of research on French Muskets.

The 1717 model musket according to Didler Bianchi and Jean Boudroit was not in service for a very long period because of its design flaws. Only 48,000 were made during wartime with England, Spain and Holland. The 1717 was in service for a short period, less than 10 years before the subsequent model 1728 and its derivatives were introduced. However the 1717 pattern was sold off for trade in North America which is why so many of the 1717 locks are found on American and Canadian Militia muskets.
Overall the 1717 was a poor quality musket. Its lock was not reliable and overly complicated. The barrel was pinned with a center barrel band and a holm oak ramrod. The ramrod was later replaced with a wrought iron rod that unfortunately needed to be larger due to the thimbles being around 5/16 - 7/16 in diameter. The stock was also very delicate at the wrist, many are found restocked or broken. Its very unlikely that an intact 1717 would be found in North America by the French and Indian War.

The most common musket of the French in North America was the 1728 model and its various other patterns. the musket was a major improvement from the 1717 model but still had its flaws. The lock of better design was still not as reliable as a Brown Bess Lock and the barrel bands were delicate, almost paper thin and are found today in very poor condition from rust and damage. The barrels were long and very light, for a barrel almost 47 inches long, it only weighed around 4 lbs. From excessive ramming and cleaning the muzzles would often cut the troops.

The 1746 model was introduced during the French and Indian War but few made it over the colonies, these muskets were armed to the Navy which was the sole supplier of the North American colonies, most of the guns brought over for commercial use were Tulle designs later copied in North America. The 1746 was pretty much the same as the 1728 with some regression, the bridle was removed from the lock because of steel being of limited supply to France and the barrel bands were increased in size and reinforced with springs. The loading rod was made stronger.

The 1754 was really the final variation of the 1717 with some pretty decent uprades and was considered a pretty good quality muskets. Around 250,000 of these were produced, they were sturdy but yet too long and heavy for the average French soldier. Most of these muskets didn't come to North America until the American Revolution but many did find their way into the Caribbean colonies. The 1754 was used by Colonial troops in America around 1776, most of them were received in the North with the earlier heavy model 1763's.
I found that very interesting. Thank you.

Gus
 

Spence10

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About 25 years ago I knew a French-Canadian enthusiast named Jan Hamier who seriously studied and collected French muskets. He posted the following chronology of changes in the muskets, and I've had it in my file since. They aren't in my area of interest, but maybe someone here will find his posting helpful.
***********
Evolution of the French military flintlocks by Jan Hamier

1717 the first year of strict regulation and standardization
of the muskets to be used for service. The 1717 lock is a direct
offspring of the commonly encountered late 1600's locks with it's
flat lock plate and diamond-shaped iron flashpan but with a few major
modification: The Gooseneck cock takes a flat outer profile as
opposed to the rounded profile commonly encountered in civilian
production, and for the first time, a tumbler bridle is added. The
battery spring also received a bridle.

1728 The usefulness of the battery bridle being rather doubtful, it
was suppressed and replaced by a flashpan bridle that reinforced the
rigidity of assembly.

1746 In order to cut down on cost, the flashpan bridle is suppressed.
It was permanently re-introduced in 1754.

1763 This year marked the introduction of a feature that was
permanently retained until the disappearance of the flintlock from
service: A lower cock jaw reinforcing bridge called "espalet" in
French. This feature drastically reduced the risks of cock neck
breakage. Another useful feature was the addition of a hole through
the upper cock jaw screw, in addition to the traditional slot,
allowing the use of any rod or nail for tightening in the absence of
a screwdriver. This feature was also permanently retained.

1770 In order to reduce sharp edges that wore off clothing and to make
manufacture easier, all sharp edges were rounded off: The cock takes
a rounded profile, and so does the flashpan and the rear end of the
lockplate.

1774 The battery's foot curvature gets suppressed in order to reduce
the costs. This feature was permanently retained.

1777 First attempt to obtain part interchangeability. The flash guard
of the flashpan is suppressed, the pan is tilted forward to
facilitate priming on three rows and in order to reduce corrosion
problems, the flashpan is made out of brass. That last feature was
permanently retained. Another neat feature was the introduction of
a back-curvature in the upper part of the battery's face, called
"retroussis de batterie" that allowed a better attack of a worn out
flint as well as clearing off the cock's top jaw / top jaw screw when
the flint was excessively short.

1777/An IX The "retroussis de batterie" is suppressed for ease of production
/ costs reasons.

1816 The geometry of the battery resulting from the angled flashpan
proved to mess-up the dynamics of the lock by reducing the leverage
with respect to the battery's axis, leading to rapid flint wear and
high sensitivity to the flint adjustment. The 1816 lock therefore
went back to the classical horizontal flashpan with a flash guard but
retained the brass construction. In order to improve ignition speed,
the flashpan was lowered so that the center of the flashole came
flush with the battery table, and the table had a cut milled in it to
clear the flashole.

1822 The last French service flintlock. It basically takes the 1816
disposition but deepened the flashpan and adjusted it's upper surface
to cover the flashole to avoid shooting a jet of hot gasses directly
on the RHS guy. The battery table retained it's milled groove but a
small, barely discernible "retroussis" was added. As production
proceeded, steel parts were first introduced: tumbler bridle,
sear, tumbler and eventually the screws. The 1822 lock was
eventually modified to percussion from 1841 onwards, but that's an
other story...

...And here it is:

The first tinkering with the percussion lock took place in the
late 1820's Very quickly the back action lock was favored over the
classical design and neglecting the Poncharra locks that were
introduced on the Fusil de Rempart Mle 1831, on the Pistolet
d'officier Mle 1831 and on the Carabine Mle 1837, the first
percussion musket lock was introduced in 1840.

1840 This back action lock was the first put in service for the short-
lived Mle 1840 musket. It featured a single spring that acted as a
main spring via a link held in a claw on it's upper branch and as a
sear spring by it's lower branch. Due to the absence of any
lock plate forward of the cock, the only device that would stop it's
forward motion, besides the nipple, was the bridle screws. In 1843,
the spring claw diminished slightly in size to ease reassembly. The
hammer's head was quite crooked to the left to strike the nipple that
was installed on the top right part of the barrel as to provide a
straight ignition path to the main charge. The hammer axis is made
hexagonal instead of square.

1847 In order to reinforce it's robustness, the two bridle screws
were moved further apart, for a better repartition of the impact
shall the lock be accidentally "fired" disassembled from the musket.

1853 Same internals, the hammer head's is simply twisted back a little
more to the right due to the fact that the nipple has been moved
slightly to the right, at the expense of a somewhat angled channel,
in order to clear the visual path on the center of the barrel if a
ladder sight was to be added. Locks for the 1857 rifle are
absolutely identical but are written Mle 1857 on the internal face
of the lock plate.

General comment: The hammers are quite heavy, which is not the
best solution for a fast lock time, but this drawback is partially
compensated by a really, and I mean REALLY powerful mainspring. The
nipples has to be tempered real hard not to get too badly battered,
and the caps get cut through upon firing. Ignition is absolutely
flawless due to straight, or virtually straight ignition path.

Some of the 1816 and virtually all of the 1822 muskets were
converted to percussion by removing all the flashpan/battery related
stuff, plugging the flashpan cut with a piece of steel, riveting
shut all the useless crew holes and replacing the cock with a hammer,
similar to those used on the 1840 locks but with a square hole.
************
I also have a long glossary of French names for parts of the muskets, if there is any interest.

Spence
 

griffiga

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The Northwest Passage movie that starred Spencer Tracy, used converted .45-70 Springfield Trapdoor Rifles made to look like flintlock muskets. There is one scene that after the gun is fired, the trapdoor flies forward. These converted Trapdoors were used in more films of that era as well, when no one was making large numbers of reproduction flintlock muskets and originals were not available in that quantity.

Gus
Yes, it just kills me to watch those old movies with dubbed over guns. Victor Mature also starred in one where they used "flintlock Trapdoors." I cringe when they throw those originals in the dirt or down a flight of stairs after being shot knowing full well they were original pieces that command huge sums of money today. The historical unit I belong to used to help out as extras in a few movies portraying Civil and Revolutionary war, On a few occasions, when the movie company purchased specialized goods (clothing or in some cases reproduction guns) they gave us the chance to purchase them afterwards for about 1/2 price. I picked up a nice 1804 Harpers Ferry made by Navy Arms off one set.
 
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Artificer

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Yes, it just kills me to watch those old movies with dubbed over guns. Victor Mature also starred in one where they used "flintlock Trapdoors." I cringe when they throw those originals in the dirt or down a flight of stairs after being shot knowing full well they were original pieces that command huge sums of money today. The historical unit I belong to used to help out as extras in a few movies portraying Civil and Revolutionary war, On a few occasions, when the movie company purchased specialized goods (clothing or in some cases reproduction guns) they gave us the chance to purchase them afterwards for about 1/2 price. I picked up a nice 1804 Harpers Ferry made by Navy Arms off one set.
I was offered the chance to command a Confederate Regiment for the 1993 movie Gettysburg, even though I had to move to CA shortly before the filming began. I was going to fly back to do it. Originally, they wanted us for 45 days and even though I had that much leave on the books, I could not take that much all together. I was very disappointed when I later learned they only used the Re-Enactors for a week's filming, which I could have done, especially as the original soldiers from my Unit had been in Pickett's Charge.

In the movie when the camera pans across the faces of the Confederate Soldiers in the woods before Pickett's Charge, for a long time I could name almost every Soldier. So at least I got a chance to see many old compatriots in the movie.

I thought about going to a casting call for reenactors here in Richmond in the late 90's or early 2,000's, I don't remember which, but for an AWI period film. I was going to show up in full gear as a Private Soldier in the Black Watch, even though "the Watch" would not be in the film, but it would show I knew what I was doing. However, a couple of days before the casting call, my annual bout against whatever disease I picked up in Somalia decided to visit, so that put the kibosh on being an extra for me.

Gus
 

griffiga

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I was offered the chance to command a Confederate Regiment for the 1993 movie Gettysburg, even though I had to move to CA shortly before the filming began. I was going to fly back to do it. Originally, they wanted us for 45 days and even though I had that much leave on the books, I could not take that much all together. I was very disappointed when I later learned they only used the Re-Enactors for a week's filming, which I could have done, especially as the original soldiers from my Unit had been in Pickett's Charge.

In the movie when the camera pans across the faces of the Confederate Soldiers in the woods before Pickett's Charge, for a long time I could name almost every Soldier. So at least I got a chance to see many old compatriots in the movie.

I thought about going to a casting call for reenactors here in Richmond in the late 90's or early 2,000's, I don't remember which, but for an AWI period film. I was going to show up in full gear as a Private Soldier in the Black Watch, even though "the Watch" would not be in the film, but it would show I knew what I was doing. However, a couple of days before the casting call, my annual bout against whatever disease I picked up in Somalia decided to visit, so that put the kibosh on being an extra for me.

Gus
That’s so cool Gus, several of the guys in our unit went back to help film Gettysburg as well, I wasn’t able to make it. My biggest role was a cast member of the Touched by an Angel series. I played the banjo in the episode with Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth. It was neat as I got to eat and rub shoulders with the main cast
 
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