In 1717, the French infantry standardized their first flintlock musket to be issued to all troops. While it is more correctly called a French infantry musket or a French pattern musket, these muskets later became known as "Charleville muskets", after the armory in Charleville-Mézières, Ardennes, France. The standard French infantry musket was also produced at Tulle, St. Etienne, Maubeuge Arsenal, and other sites.
While technically not the correct name for these muskets, the use of the name Charleville dates back to the U.S. Revolutionary War, when Americans tended to refer to all of the musket models as Charlevilles.
The French began delivering sizeable caches of arms to the American rebels in 1777 and increased the supply further when they officially entered to conflict in 1778.
These Model 1766 muskets are sometimes referred to as "light Model 1763s" in period sources because they were a revised version of the heavier 1763 pattern.
Marquis de Lafayette is said to have personally delivered 25,000 Charleville muskets to General George Washington.
The 1766 Charleville was so influential that the first several patterns of muskets produced by American armories after the war were basically copies of the French pattern.
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