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1777 Charleville Musket

The 1777 Charleville Musket is a French flintlock musket, a design so deadly it was copied across the world. It was the Mid-Range weapon of Napoleon Bonaparte.


  • Weight: 10 lbs
  • Length: 62 inches
    • Barrel Length 45 inches
  • Caliber: .66-.69 inch ball
  • Action: Flintlock
  • Rate of Fire: 2-3 rounds/min (user dependent) (28 seconds per round: according to DW)
  • Effective Range: 50-75 yards;
    • Maximum Range: 100 to 200 yards
  • Feed System: Muzzle-loaded


4 hits, 4/5 killed in 1:43


The Model 1777 was one of the latest versions of the Charleville musket. It was used in mass formations, and was fired in volleys until the opposing army was close enough for a bayonet charge. The Charleville musket was widely used in the American Revolution (due to French military aid), French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars and remained in service until 1840, when percussion cap systems made the flintlock obsolete.

The idea of using fast reloading muskets in war is called 'Napoleonic Warfare' as Napoleon was able to master this tactic. The idea is that the enemy army is too dense to avoid inaccurate muskets, making reloading more important than accuracy. One of the simplest ways to increase a musket's rate of fire was to make the musketball smaller so it can be loaded into the barrel faster: but this caused the ball to bounce more inside of the musket and thus worsened the precision of the musketball as it left the barrel moving slightly towards the direction it was bouncing towards. [1]

One of the reasons muskets had a reputation for poor accuracy was due to mass conscription. Since muskets were easy to learn how to use, it was quick and cheap to give these muskets to conscripts after the most basic simplistic training. Conscripts also lacked experience and so could be easily stressed out or intimidated by combat: further diminishing their performance and accuracy in battle. Napoleon's Grande Arme was relatively more professional and experienced than conscript armies, meaning that his musketeers were relatively more precise. Despite this; the average musket volley during the Napoleonic Wars hit only 5-7% of their shots. Napoleon's Grande Arme was also forced to resort to conscripts as Napoleon needed to replenish his army throughout his wars, including Napoleon's Retreat from Russia.

This tactic was vulnerable to cannon fire, however it was expected that cannoneers would attempt to knock each other out if possible. This tactic lost popularity after the American Civil War, as those who used this tactic to march in thick lines made them easy targets for repeater rifles, and Gatling Gun fire.