FIREARMS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION - MUSKETS OF THE FRENCH
While England and Germany relied for arms upon the output of their various gun makers, and used antique or new arms indifferently, France on the contrary had royal armories established since 1718 at St. Etienne, Charleville, Maubeuge, and Tulle, the combined output of which was sufficient to permit similar troops to be similarly armed. The arsenal at Tulle specialized on sea-service and colonial firearms. The best information obtainable indicates that the French grenadiers who assisted in the American Revolution were armed with the musket of model of 1763—see picture No. 11, /—while the light infantry, cavalry, marines, and navy had musketoons of model 1763. There is a bare chance that they had also some of the other models of muskets and musketoons designed between 1763 and 1777, but it is more probable that if any of these latter arms went to America during the war they were arms purchased and used by the Americans. (See, under Muskets of the Americans, Foreign Muskets.) The French muskets were superior to all others in strength, range, and accuracy. When fired with regulation charge from a horizontal position five feet above the ground the average flight of the ball before striking the earth was about 200 yards, or more than half as far again as that of the Brown Bess. This was due to the lighter ball, its closer fitting to the bore, and the more exact bore of the barrel. The accuracy of fire was, however, only slightly in excess of that of the Brown Bess, as precision of fire from a smoothbore was impossible. The superior strength of the French musket was due mainly to securing the barrel to the forestock by bands instead of pins, and to the strengthening of the cock by a connection between the fore part of the under jaw and the neck or weak place.
Used by the Americans also. This one is the model of 1763, made at Charleville. St. Etienne and Maubeuge muskets of the same model were similar in generalities. This one weighs o| lbs. Length 4 ft. 1 1f in.; barrel length 44! in.; bayonet length 17J in., including socket; caliber about TVo-of an inch, using 18 balls to the pound. Marks on lock—Manufacture de Charleville—engraved in script. Mountings of iron. The bayonet shown fits the gun and is correctly stamped, but according to Bottet is model 1746 instead of 1763. See also under Muskets Used By The Americans. Musket Model 1763.
Old muskets are liable to vary a little from the measures set by rule. It is inevitable, being made by hand, that slight variations in size and weights existed when new; many scourings have exaggerated them. In the St. Etienne and Maubeuge muskets the edge of a band which has two straps going over the barrel is curved between the straps, while that part is straight on a musket made at Charleville.
Sawyer, Charles. Firearms in American History. Boston: The Author,
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