Featured Book Reviewer
- Feb 23, 2013
- East Texas
Since French flintlocks have been brought up, how about the Mle. 1763-Mle. 1768 family of guns. I don't know about them in their flint form, but some percussion conversions, including Confederate jobs have been noted.
Unfortunately I only have a couple of examples to offer - and one's a repro! The bottom musket is a Japanese reproduction of the Mlle. 1763 I acquired in trade with another reenactor. The one at top, however, is an original but no particular model: it's what author Edward Hicks (and probably others) called a fusil deparielle or simply a parts gun. During the French Revolution there was a shortage of serviceable arms and the arsenals were scoured for salvageable parts to be built into new weapons. Unlike earlier guns manufactured during the Monarchy, or later ones made during the Empire, this one's lock is stamped simply St. Etienne instead of engraved with Mfture Royale or Mfture Imple. According to Hicks, these are typically made up from pieces from various earlier models with no other concern than serviceability; I've identified several earlier models represented in this one.
As an aside, I'll mention that this musket illustrates why I don't care for God's Gift to arms collecting, Norm Flayderman: I bought this from his catalog now many years ago and at the time it was described as being a typical Revolutionary example - without bothering to specify French Revolutionary instead of American! There's a BIG difference in value - at least, here in America - between the two, and what was left unsaid speaks volumes about Normie Baby (as a friend of mine sarcastically called him) and his evident cavalier attitude towards his customers. At least I knew the difference and was neither surprised nor disappointed when I received this poor old thing; but the experience is just another example of the importance of Caveat Emptor!