French Arms

In 1515, St. Etienne was established as the first of the Royal Manufactories, Charleville was opened in 1620 and became a royal manufactory in 1688, then Maubeuge. Most all firearms for the kings’ infantry were made in these manufactory’s. The Tulle factory was started in 1691, but did not attain Royal Manufactory status until 1777. Tulle was a large gunmaking center in the early 1600’s and Michael Pauphille brought it all together as, the Tulle Arsenal in 1691. Tulle drew its work force from Leige Belguim and St. Etienne, in fact in the pay rate books and cemetery around Tulle the majority of the people working and dying there were from Leige. The “La Peid” stock shape is believed by most to have originated at Tulle. There is a 1695 in Parks Canada Collection thŘ is smped Michille Pauphille (who started the Tulle Arsenal) on the left flat of the barrel breech and is most certainly in European Walnut with the “La Peid” stock design. John Bosh had one which we carefully measured and copied .

St. Etienne soon followed because they made guns at times for Tulle to help fulfill their contracts. The term “La Peid” for the stock design which means cows foot does not just mean the outline but also the way these early muskets swell out a little larger on the sides than the butt plate just before the butt plate. If you look through Neumans book you will find many American Muskets that were built using old furniture and locks from the 1695’s, so there were quite a few of these early guns and parts still in the colonies during the Revolutionary War.

The flintlock was gradually phased into the French Army in the mid 1600’s. The Carrignan-Salieres Regiment was the first to be completely armed with them in 1665, and was immediately sent into Canada to defend Quebec from the Iroqous. These were the first regular troops sent to Canada until 1755. In 1669, all of France’s Colonies were put under the responsibility of the Department of Navy and Ministry of Marines, which was completely separate from the army in all matters including their contracts for weapons. This is the reason the early Marine Muskets look almost like the regulation army models, but vary in minor details. Most Marine weapons contracts were awarded to St. Etienne till the establishment of Tulle. The Ministry of Marines also established the “Compagnies Franches De La Marines” (independent companies of marine) for protection of the French colonies. The 1680’s and 1690’s muskets were also contracted for slight variances in furniture (plain or fancy) depending on the “Pride of the Regiment” they were going to. There is one absolutely beautiful example in the French Naval Museum in Paris.

We highly recommend the following books for French Arms:
“Fusil De Tulle” by Russel Bouchard
“American Military Shoulder Arms” by George Moller
“Battle Weapons of the American Revolution” by George Neuman


1660's - 1670's French Fusil Ordinaire (640)

1695 Le Fusil De Grenadier or Grenadier Musket (794)

1696 French Marine Musket Fusil Ordinaire (680)

1716 Marine Fusil Ordinaire (633)

1716 Marine Fusil Grenadier (633 B)

1729 & 1734 Marine Fusil Ordinaire (795)

1743 Marine Infantry Musket (796)

Les Fusil Boucanier (557)

Early French Naval Musket (595)

Early French Musket (837)

1716 & 1734 Contract Fusil de Chasse (591)

Early French Marine Officers Fusil (590)

1717 French Infantry Musket (575)

1728 & 1746 French Infantry Musket (576)

1754 French Infantry Musket (741)

1754 French Dragoon (716)

1763 French Infantry Musket (765)

1763-66 French Infantry Musket (702)

1763 Dragoon Muskets

French 1767 Artillery Fusil (918)

1770-76 French Infantry Musket (706)

1777 French Infantry Musket (742)

1816 French Musket

1822 French Musket