FRENCH/AMERICAN Model 1766 Charleville Type FLINTLOCK CARBINE Militia 1700s
Revolutionary War Period Military Musket
Here we present an antique French Model 1766 Charleville Pattern Carbine, made circa the mid-to-late-18th Century in North America. This example is patterned after the French Charleville smoothbore musket, garnering its name from the main armory in Charleville, France. This one was formerly of the George Moller collection and is presented and described on pages 188-189 of American Military Shoulder Arms, Vol. 1. He identifies this piece as an “American-Assembled French-Style Carbine”. His description: “This brass-mounted carbine was made using some components that appear to have been of French manufacture, which were altered before use in this carbine. Other components are of American manufacture in the French style. It was common during the Revolutionary War for parts to be continually recycled as long as they were usable so that non-regulation arms abounded on the side of the Patriots.
The “Charleville” was the standard issue flintlock musket for the French Empire throughout the mid-18th and early-19th centuries. The original musket was first delivered in 1717, and over the next several decades, saw many revisions and improvements, making them a lighter, better fighting musket. With training, a single soldier could fire off between two and three rounds per minute. It was originally chambered for a .69 lead musket ball, as compared to the British “Brown Bess”, which chambered a .75 ball. Its effective range was really quite short by modern standards. The Charleville musket served in many conflicts, including the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, the American Revolution, and the War of 1812. In the United States, the Charleville is perhaps most famous for its use against the British colonists during the French and Indian War—part of the Seven Years War—and then in the colonists’ hands against Britain during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783). France began its secretive support of the Rebels in 1776 before declaring war on Britain in 1778. In fact, over 100,000 Charleville muskets were provided to the Colonists, making this one of the primary weapons in the conflict. French soldiers used them as well. The Charleville was highly desired and said to have out-performed the British Brown Bess. The musket had such an impact on the Americans that their first several domestically made muskets were heavily patterned on the Charleville.
The overall condition is good. Original patina. The action will hold half-cock but not full-cock. The bore is in good shape for its age: smooth and patinated. Solid stock with a few cracks on the left side around the lock screws. The front lock screw is a replacement and is too short so that the threads do not meet. Good leather sling. The ramrod is a replacement. A rare piece from a notable collection that is also described in a book!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 34 1/8 inches.
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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