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Thread: The French Charlleville Musket

  1. #1

    Default The French Charlleville Musket


    the old guard used the same model charleville musket as in the other army ranks, only
    difference was; the three bands around the barrel were made from brass not steel.



    Some information about the known famous French Charleville musket. The charleville musket was very relaible,
    build in enormous numbers, used in a lot of wars, exported to Canada, US etc.


    I have one myself and the weapon is realy made very simple, which means if you take good care of it, it serves
    you the rest of your life

    A lot of reenactors still have the original ones, working fine even sometimes better then the new replicas..
    this says enough i think, about quality.

    The first model Charleville muskets were build in 1717, a .69 caliber, shooting big holes in everything that
    you hit, cant compare it with the small hole of a modern rifle bullet.

    In 1728 a new model appeared, with three steel bands for holding the barrel in place.
    In 1740 the next model appeared, including a standard steel ramrod in 1743. In 1746, 1750's and 1760's more
    minor refinements were done.

    in 1763 a new model was introduced which was stronger then the earlier models. But the model 1763 was too
    heavy and therefore replaced in 1766 for a lighter version.



    original model 1763




    An IX
    In 1777 they released the famous charleville model 1777 an IX, build not only in Charleville, but also in many
    other European weapon manifacturers.


    original model 1777 (build in 1815)







    This model is build in very high numbers, therefore a lot survived into nowdays.
    a good authentic charleville 1777 costs between 1750 to 2500 euros.

    The Charleville had a smaller .69 caliber then a brown bess musket (.75 caliber). The rate of fire depended
    on the skill of a soldier, normally its 2-3 rounds a minute, the effective fire range is 50 to 100 meters, hitting
    anything around/over 200 meters is just a question of simple luck...

    The normal lenght of a charleville 1777 is 60 inch, weight is 10 pounds. (The skirmisher units, which often
    consisted out of smaller men (more difficult to hit).. often cutted the barrel, making it shorter and easier to
    load for them, thats why often of the original musket are shorter then they should be.)


    The Charleville muskets were not only used heavily on European battlefields and European countries,
    but also by Canadian militia between 1700-1800, the French participation in the American revolutionary war.




    constuction of a charleville musket, showing all the parts.

    Last edited by Douanier; February 11, 2010 at 02:10 AM.






  2. #2

    Default Re: The French Charlleville Musket

    Very interesting and nice read +rep

  3. #3

    Default Re: The French Charlleville Musket

    I came to this forum specifically to see if I could find some information about the weaponry of the Napoleonic period and your post was exactly what I was looking for. Thank you! Do you plan to have more educational posts like this? Perhaps something about the types of artillery shot used in the period (hint hint )?

  4. #4

    Default Re: The French Charlleville Musket

    lol, artillery is not my thing,

    i mean, my hobby is napoleonic reenactment and it took me a year of saving to get the money together for a real original musket.. its just great to shoot with, a small cannon, big bang, lots of smoke and big flash, a fantastic weapon in its simplicity.

    i know a lot about it and its one of the most used weapons in napoleonic time, so why not post something about it.

    bye






  5. #5

    Default Re: The French Charlleville Musket

    Quote Originally Posted by Douanier View Post
    lol, artillery is not my thing,

    i mean, my hobby is napoleonic reenactment and it took me a year of saving to get the money together for a real original musket.. its just great to shoot with, a small cannon, big bang, lots of smoke and big flash, a fantastic weapon in its simplicity.

    i know a lot about it and its one of the most used weapons in napoleonic time, so why not post something about it.

    bye
    Why not just buy a reproduction?

  6. #6

    Default Re: The French Charlleville Musket

    could have, byt i wanted the real thing

    but its just great, the idea, on the reenactment battles to shoot with a 200 years old musket,
    knowing that it already was used in napoleonic times by some soldier, gives some sort of kick.






  7. #7

    Default Re: The French Charlleville Musket

    Quote Originally Posted by Douanier View Post
    could have, byt i wanted the real thing

    but its just great, the idea, on the reenactment battles to shoot with a 200 years old musket,
    knowing that it already was used in napoleonic times by some soldier, gives some sort of kick.
    I have to admit, that is a neat idea. I would try the same with a Brown Bess, but originals are few and far between, too expensive, and too priceless to risk destroying in a reenactment.

  8. #8

    Default Re: The French Charlleville Musket

    Quote Originally Posted by Douanier View Post
    The Charleville had a smaller .69 caliber then a brown bess musket (.75 caliber).
    Rather helpfully allowing, in extremis, the British to use captured french ammunition - where they couldn't do the same the other way around. I shudder to think how inaccurate it would have been...

  9. #9

    Default Re: The French Charlleville Musket

    Quote Originally Posted by Vade101 View Post
    Rather helpfully allowing, in extremis, the British to use captured french ammunition - where they couldn't do the same the other way around. I shudder to think how inaccurate it would have been...
    Brown Bess armed troops commonly threw their muskets away and picked up a Charlleville whenever they had the chance. So there's no problem.

  10. #10

    Default Re: The French Charlleville Musket

    Quote Originally Posted by Randall Turner View Post
    Brown Bess armed troops commonly threw their muskets away and picked up a Charlleville whenever they had the chance. So there's no problem.
    Indeed, the India Pattern Bess was very much the AK47 of its day - produced in fearsome numbers for a very small cost, but if you could get something better I'm sure you would - That being said, if you ever get the chance to shoot a New Land Pattern one, i recommend you take it, they are beautiful pieces of work.

  11. #11

    Default Re: The French Charlleville Musket

    I guarantee you that a British soldier who threw away his Brown Bess for a Charleville would have had his back flogged into hamburger. That may have happened during the American Revolution, but only on the Continental side, and for reasons not related to quality.

  12. #12

    Default Re: The French Charlleville Musket

    <shrug> It was common practice at Waterloo, as documented by Barbero. The Charlleville was simply a better weapon. And yes, US troops did use it - after evaluating it and the Brown Bess, the US settled on a design for domestic production that was essentially a copy of the French design.

  13. #13

    Default Re: The French Charlleville Musket

    So they'd have made all their ammunition useless because the ball wouldn't fit down the barrel. Heh.

  14. #14

    Default Re: The French Charlleville Musket

    Again, <shrug>. It was likely the Nassau troops, who were familiar with the French weapon, it's not clear. But there's little ambivalence regarding the quality of the Charleville itself.

    pp. 81 - The French tirailleurs all used the ordinary 17mm caliber musket, which was decidedly more accurate and manageable than the standard-issue British musket, the 18mm caliber musket familiarly known as "Brown Bess", to say nothing of the heavy 19mm caliber musket carried by the Prussians. Speaking of the French, a British officer observed that "..their fine, long, light firelocks, with a small bore are more efficient for skirmishing than our abominably clumsy machine." And he added, that the Brown Bess too often displayed defects of manufacture.

    From Napoleonistyka:

    "The 1777 Charleville was considered by most Europeans as the best musket in the world. These smoothbore muskets were named after the armory in Ardenne, France. It was also distributed to the Americans, and later became the basis for the pattern of the Springfield Musket 1795. They are 60 1/2 inches, with a 45 inch barrel, and have "U.S." stamped on the butt stock."

    Not ragging on the Brown Bess here, the point is the Charlleville was an exceptional weapon.
    Last edited by Randall Turner; February 19, 2010 at 09:33 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: The French Charlleville Musket

    Quote Originally Posted by Randall Turner View Post
    <shrug> It was common practice at Waterloo, as documented by Barbero. The Charlleville was simply a better weapon. And yes, US troops did use it - after evaluating it and the Brown Bess, the US settled on a design for domestic production that was essentially a copy of the French design.
    They settled on the French design because they had already adopted it as the standard arm following the mass shipments they received from the French. It had very little to do with the Charleville being a better weapon and everything to do with common sense.


    Quite frankly, I have used and held both; the Charleville isn't really any better. It's a little lighter, but it only manages that by making the forward stock extremely thin.

  16. #16
    EmperorBatman999's Avatar I say, what, what?
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    Default Re: The French Charlleville Musket

    I've always wondered how they were able to make that many muskets before the invention of the assembly line.

  17. #17

    Default Re: The French Charlleville Musket

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyspolir View Post
    Very interesting and nice read +rep
    Indeed!

    Napoléon1er

  18. #18

    Default Re: The French Charlleville Musket

    Quote Originally Posted by ♔EmperorBatman999♔ View Post
    I've always wondered how they were able to make that many muskets before the invention of the assembly line.
    Epic bump, I know.

    As an answer to your question; I thought it was well-known that they used Leprechauns captured on Ireland.

    Anyone know any reliable place to find out information about the Baker Rifles, except Wikipedia?

  19. #19
    Lt_Col_Sharpe's Avatar Laetus
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    Default Re: The French Charlleville Musket

    It is Beautiful. I would like one myself. Where could I get hold of one of them. Preferebly a working model.

  20. #20
    Prince of Essling's Avatar Napoleonic Enthusiast
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    Default Re: The French Charlleville Musket

    Quote Originally Posted by Aklis View Post
    .

    Anyone know any reliable place to find out information about the Baker Rifles, except Wikipedia?
    See http://www.historyofwar.org/articles...ker_rifle.html which has other links attached.

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