French 1766 Charleville Infantry Musket
In 1763, France introduced a new infantry musket which was however replaced by an improved version only 3 years later. The enhanced 1766 model was lighter than its predecessor and was equipped with a smaller lock and a button-head ramrod. The French main arsenal producing this model was located in Charleville, in the North Eastern region Champagne-Ardennes. Tens of thousands of these muskets were manufactured there for the French Royal Army.
After it was superseded by a new model in 1770/71, the 1766 version still did extensive service during the American War of Independence:
In 1776, the ongoing Revolutionary War against Great Britain resulted in a desperate need for muskets on the part of the American colonies. In the spring of said year, Silas Deane, delegate to the Continental Congress, was sent to France to solicit financial and material assistance from the French government who saw this as an opportunity to settle scores with Britain. The French took sides with the colonists and smuggled shiploads of muskets into America. However, as France and Britain would not officially be at war until 1778, the active involvement of the French government had to be disguised and a fake corporation was thereupon established to cover up the contraband. Besides, falsified destinations were recorded in the logbooks of the ships transporting the muskets to America. Due to the strong British presence on the high seas, some French vessels even had to call at West Indies ports to unload their cargo which would then get collected by American ships.
Studies of the numerous subsisting muskets of French manufacture with additional U.S. markings have established that the 1766 model with button style ramrod highly predominated.
As the United States started with their own mass production of muskets for the army in 1795, the 1766 model was still so widespread in the ranks of the American troops that the very first model to come out of the National Armory in Springfield, Massachusetts, was an exact copy of the 1766 Charleville musket.
In France, although the 1777 model was issued to the French regiments without delay, the 1766 model further remained in use and was even carried by some of the French infantrymen all the way into the Napoleonic era.
This reproduction of a French 1766 Charleville infantry musket is very close to its master: Its round barrel is forged out of tempered high carbon steel and features a threaded breech plug. The lock is equipped with robust, long-lasting springs and a case-hardened frizzen (battery) that generates good sparks.
Our muzzle-loader replicas are intended for decoration and re-enactment only. The muzzle has not been drilled, so the weapon is not functional. However, an expert gunsmith is able to drill the muzzle and make it to a functional gun. You should check with your authorities if this is legal in your country.
A beautiful item for every collection and an indispensable accessory for re-enactors.
- Tempered steel flintlock
- Overall length: approx. 152.4 cm
- Barrel length: approx. 113.6 cm
- Weight: approx. 4.6 kg
- Bore: .69 cal.
We do not sell this product to customers under the age of 18. Please provide your birth date when ordering. We'll also need a copy of your ID-card or passport by email, scan, fax or mail.
Shipping weight: 5.30 kg