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.I’ve seen New England fowling pieces with what appear to be 1728 parts; basically a restock.
I found that very interesting. Thank you.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.
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.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.
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.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.
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 castI 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.
Hi GusDr. De Witt Bailey also mentioned that after the British Regulars, and British American Forces took the French Fortress Louisbourg in 1758, they discovered a mind boggling cache of around 15,000 French Arms in storage there. That was about the same number (or more) of Arms that Britain had sent to the Colonies for the British Regulars, Rangers and the British American Militia in the entire FIW !!
Now, I have never been able to figure out exactly what Models of French Long Arms were found there in 1758. I don’t know if anyone knows for sure. However, the British and British American forces had previously captured Louisbourg in 1745 and they surely emptied out and/or destroyed the French Arms they found there the first time. The French got Louisbourg back in 1748 and that meant they had to have restocked the Fort with more Arms after that date.
I don’t know if the French still had Model 1717 Muskets to send there after 1748, though it was possible. Though this is complete conjecture on my part, I would bet the oldest Model Muskets the French had and could send to Louisbourg after 1748 would have been Model 1728 Muskets. The newest Model French Musket available at Louisbourg in 1758 was most likely the M 1746 Musket.
This link shows different Models of 18th French Muskets, including some that came after Louisbourg fell the last time in 1758. http://www.jaegerkorps.org/NRA/The Revolutionary Charleville.htm
This link shows an original French M 1746 Musket. http://www.nramuseum.org/guns/the-galleries/road-to-american-liberty-1700-to-1780/case-6-the-french-and-indian-war/french-model-1746-flintlock-musket.aspx
The reason I went on about the French Muskets captured at Louisbourg in 1758 is that Bailey and other sources state both the British Light Infantry and Rangers were very happy to get the French Muskets from Louisbourg in 1758. (The British Light Infantry had found the then new Pattern Light Infantry Carbines to be not robust enough for their liking and some turned in their Light Infantry Carbines for Muskets, even though the Highlander Units seemed to have preferred the Carbines.) Bailey mentions that both the British Light Infantry and the Rangers liked the lighter weight of the French Muskets compared to British Issued Long Land Muskets, though Bailey did not specify which Ranger Unit/s had mentioned that. Of course the Rangers and British American Militia who had not been issued Arms supplied with bayonets, would have been very happy that the French Arms came with bayonets fitted to the French Muskets.
I’m sorry I took a rather long way around to get to it, but I do think this is an important part of the Ranger story and what they were armed with during the FIW.