Original Scarce Double U.S. Surcharged Revolutionary War French M-1766/68 Charleville Flintlock Musket with Removed "U.STATES" Brand

Item Description

Original Item: One of a Kind. Straight out of the attic, this is a fantastic U.S. Revolutionary War linked French "Charleville" Musket, untouched for years except for some light cleaning and oiling to put it in its best light. It has a fantastic brown patina of age on the metalwork, with well-preserved woodwork, giving it a look that is simply impossible to duplicate. It has clear U.S. surcharge markings on the lock and barrel, and evidence of further markings that were removed on the bottom of the butt stock. it is very rare that we get a chance to offer such a great U.S. Revolutionary War flintlock musket!

For the most part, it is a regular French Modèle 1766/68 Line Flintlock Musket, with all parts correct and for the most part complete. This model saw use along with the Modèle 1763 in the American Revolution. Once as numerous as Brown Bess Muskets the French equivalent was referred to as the CHARLEVILLE Musket, and there were a multitude of versions over the years. However, Charleville was only one of the manufacturing Arsenals, the predominant one being Saint-Étienne.

This example however is actually marked faintly under the angular flash pan with Charleville, indicating production at the famed ARSENAL at CHARLEVILLE. This Arms Manufacturing installation was located in Charleville-Mézières, Ardennes, France, to the far north east of Paris, and was responsible for developing the famous "Charleville" muskets of the line and many other firearms. It was later closed, as it was realized that having an arsenal that close to the eastern border of France was not strategically viable.

It is also marked on the lock with a STAR / D proof mark, and the breech has the same marking on it as well. The other markings have worn away, however there are still the clear U.S. surcharges on the tang of the barrel, and on the tail of the lock plate. The bottom of the butt stock has had an area carved out, which is exactly where the "U. STATES" brand would be for a musket issued to the Continental Army. By removing this, it made it easier for the soldier to take it home, and claim that it was not government property.

Differing from the Brown Bess not only using all steel mounts the barrel is secured by three-barrel bands, and not pins. Condition overall is lovely, with the expected wear and damage from service and age. There is a marking "AW WA" scratched into the right butt stock, but it does not have any significance that we can decipher. Both sling swivels are still present, and there is a ramrod, though it looks to be a more recent replacement. We checked and the lock does function, but due to a worn tumbler it will fire at both full and half cock.

This is a fantastic collector's opportunity to get a very well-marked French Flintlock musket with a definitive U.S. Revolutionary War history. Ready to research and display!

Year of Manufacture: circa 1770
Bore Diameter: .71"
Cartridge Type: Ball and Powder
Barrel Length: 44 1/2 Inches
Overall Length: 60 Inches
Action type: Side Action Lock
Feed System: Muzzle Loaded

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