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French 1728 Model Infantry Musket 


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The early 18th century brought a flurry of developments in French musketry.  A standardized model was finally established in 1717.  However the abundance of  Marine models, and Contract Fusil de Chasse in North America relegated the 1717 musket to a life in France's forces stationed in Europe.  The 1717 was replaced eleven years in 1728 with a model using three barrel bands to hold its 46 3/4 inch barrel in place.

The 1728 musket, with its changes in 1746, was the musket carried by the majority of French troops during the French and Indian War.  Changes in the 1740s included the standardized use of a steel ramrod in 1743 and, after 1746, newly manufactured muskets had the pan/frizzen bridle removed.   There were three arsenals making the 1728/1746 models:  Charleville, Maubeuge, and St. Etienne. St. Etienne was the largest producer and because of this the 1728 is often called the St. Etienne musket.  It was St. Etienne that provided the bulk of the arms to the Navy for the Compagnies Franche de la Marine in the late 1740s.

After 1754 some more changes were done however it is unlikely many of the 1754 muskets made it to the fighting in North America because of the vast quantities of 1728 muskets in the armouries of New France.  In 1763, the 46 3/4-inch barrelled 1728 musket was abandoned for a shorter new model known commonly as the Charleville Musket.

However this did not end the use of the 1728 model in North America.  A new army had immerged in the 1770s with a dire need for arms.  The Continental Army of the United States was more than happy to purchase the old arms of France to assist them in their struggle against Great Britain.  As well it is possible captured stores in New France were re-issued to Quebec's militia to defend themselves from the invading Americans in 1775-1776, or fell into American hands after the fall of Montreal.

Barrel Length: 46 3/4"
Overall Length: 63"
Weight: 11 pounds
Caliber: .69
 

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