Antique French Fusil,
.60 caliber smoothbore, 39" octagon-to-round barrel,
walnut, iron trim, percussion conversion lock signed J. Valet A. Liege
Part Number: AAP-904
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This antique smoothbore is assembled from what appear to "mixed" French style Trade Gun parts with a lock signed J. Valet A. Liege. The lock has a mid 18th century French military influence, and is larger than the sideplate was designed to accept, as noted by the lock bolt placement. The iron buttplate and triggerguard are mounted with both screws and small iron nails. The stock has a well worn appearance with many handling marks. The brown varnish has worn to the lighter color wood below. The right hand side of the muzzle side of the stock has a 1-1/4" chip missing.

A maker J. Vallet is noted in working in Liege circa 1762 to 1780 in the book Colonial American Shoulder Arms Volume 1 by George D. Moller. The lock has a 1754 French musket style and locks of this design are noted as "being in the possession of the French Navy Ministries "free companies" and being used on a Revolutionary War era militia musket, as well as French style Liege trade guns." The same reference also notes that some documented Revolutionary War era antique muskets are fitted with similar locks. The book "Soldiers of the American Revolution" by Don Troaini shows a similar U.S. surcharged Cavalry carbine with an identical J. Valet A. Liege marked lock with the notation that it has the appearance of being "cobbled together" from earlier muskets.

The buttstock does not have the typical French "La Peid" buttstock architecture of a trade gun, and has a more military musket appearance. The iron buttplate is flat iron mounted with two screws and a nail on the pointed comb. The buttplate does have an eleven digit serial number engraved into the buttplate from the heel to toe, which was done in modern times. The stock has many scrapes, marks, dents, and dings. The triggerguard bow and the slender trigger are typical of French trade guns.

The buttplate has a spade point final secured with a square nail. The breech plug tang has a rounded end and is secured with a single tang bolt. The tang bolt head is tipped forward and does not seat into the countersink on the tang.

The 39" octagon-to-round barrel has a 10" octagon breech with 1-1/2" sixteen flat transition to a wedding band. A small iron sight is mounted behind the muzzle. The .60 caliber smoothbore is dark and rough. We could find no proof marks on the breech of the barrel.

The rounded toe has many dents and dings from 200+ years of handling. The triggerguard has a distinctive French trade gun appearance, although the sides appear to have been filed straight to remove the typical bulbous appearance. The front finial is mounted with three small nails and a larger nail through the countersunk screw hole. The grip rail is secured with a screw, and a large nail through the rear most countersunk screw hole. The tip of the grip rail has been filed to a point.

The ramrod pipes are a typical French style with very delicate rings on the ends and a long pointed skirt on the ramrod entry pipe. All the ramrod pipes show wear on the ends from ramrod abrasion. The current ramrod is not long enough to serve the barrel.

The lock has a 1754 French musket style with a downward pointed tail with filed molding and is signed J. Valet A. Liege. When this lock was converted to percussion it appears that the head of the hammer was forged onto the original flint cock. The pan, frizzen, and frizzen spring wear all removed and not attempt was made to fill the holes during conversion to percussion. The lock does function and engage both the half cock and full cock position, but has a gummy feel from long storage. The drum and nipple are antique and appear to be well rusted in place.

The trigger is a very slender French style, typical of many trade guns. The trigger shoe has been bent out toward the lock and is not centered in the triggerguard.

The side panel is fitted with a typical French style sideplate. Note the position of the forward lock bolt, which is properly positioned for the lock, but barely touches the sideplate. The sideplate has an existing forward lock bolt hole, and the stock does not, another clue that this musket was assembled from mixed parts long ago.

An interesting antique for your collection of early black powder firearms. Assembled from parts that predate the American Revolution this smoothbore would have been at least 80+ years old when it was converted to percussion. We do not recommend firing this smoothbore due to the dark pitted bore. Order it for a ten day visual inspection. You will be delighted. Else if it does not fit you, return it in unfired condition for same-day refund. Postage is your only risk, when you order any one-of-a-kind gun from Track, whether new, used, or antique.

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Ten day inspection begins at delivery. Send your approval. Else return it for same day refund, if not delighted. Postage is your only risk.

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