Brown Bess Musket
Introduced in 1722, the Land Pattern muskets became the longest-used firearms in British history. Evolving over its service life, the Land Pattern was the primary weapon used by British troops during the Seven Years' War, American Revolution, and the Napoleonic Wars. In addition, it saw extensive service with the Royal Navy and Marines, as well as with auxiliary forces such as the British East India Company. Its principal contemporaries were the French .69 caliber Charleville musket and the American 1795 Springfield.
The length of the Land Pattern muskets changed as the design evolved. As time passed, the weapons became increasingly shorter with the Long Land Pattern (1722) measuring 62 inches long, while the Marine/Militia Pattern (1756) and Short Land Pattern (1768) variations were 42 inches. The most popular version of the weapon, the East India Pattern stood 39 inches. Firing a .75 caliber ball, the Brown Bess' barrel and lockwork were made of iron, while the butt plate, trigger guard, and ramrod pipe were constructed of brass. The weapon weighed approximately 10 pounds and was fitted for a 17-inch bayonet.
The effective range of the Land Pattern muskets tended to be around 100 yards, though combat tended to occur with masses of troops firing at 50 yards. Due to its lack of sights, smoothbore, and usually undersized ammunition, the weapon was not particularly accurate. Land Pattern muskets were expected to be able to fire four rounds per minute, though two to three was more typical.
Most male citizens of the American Colonies were required by law to own arms and ammunition for militia duty. The Long Land Pattern was a common firearm in use by both sides in the American Revolutionary War.
The Charleville musket was a .69 caliber French musket used in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Charleville musket was named after the armory in Charleville-Mézières, Ardennes,
In 1763 a new model was produced which was stronger than the previous version. The Model 1763 proved to be too heavy, and was replaced by a lighter version in 1766. Minor refinements continued until 1777.
The Charleville musket had a .69 caliber barrel, which was smaller than the .75 caliber Brown Bess produced by the British. The rate of fire depended on the skill of the soldier, which was typically about 2-3 shots per minute. Smooth bore muskets in general have an accuracy of only about 50 to 100 meters, and hitting anything beyond 200 meters is mostly a matter of luck. Because of this, combat tended to be at fairly close range, and bayonet fighting often determined the outcome of battles. In general, bayonets accounted for 30 to 40 percent of casualties during battles with smooth bore muskets like the Charleville.
During the American War of Independence the French Government supplied large
quantities of muskets to the Continental Army. Several arsenals in