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Old 8th February 2021, 01:41 PM   #1
Mefidk
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Default Origins of this French? flintlock musket

Hi folks
I wonder if anyone can identify the origins of this flintlock? Its been in my collection for a few years but without me getting closer to its origin.

To me it looks like a shortened M1777 French musket. Bore is 17.8mm which may be a worn 17.6mm or 0.69. Frizzen with forward leaning upper lip, seen sometimes (I think) on Italian locks of this time. Barrel octagonal for the first 3cm from breach. Lock marked with M and two dots inside, outside with crown over BL (possibly). Markings to side brass. Butt marked RR one one side and XVI stamped on the other.
To me it looks like all the marks on all the various parts match (even though they are minimalist compared to British stamps with which I'm more familiar). However, I have not been able to find the origin of the marks online. Can anyone decode them?

I bought the piece in Italy, so that may or may not help with the origins.
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Old 8th February 2021, 01:42 PM   #2
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and lock and barrel marks
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Old 9th February 2021, 05:21 PM   #3
Raf
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I dont know whether this is helpful . Although it all looks French the stock and furniture appears identical to one I have fitted with a tower lock marked VR over crown. This was bought back from Africa in the 1960s The implication was that these were made for service in far flung corners of the world where a supply of percussion caps could not be guaranteed. This pattern could have been made in countries such as Belgium using obsolete locks , in this case a late pattern French flintlock. This might account for the absence of the expected French markings.

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Old 10th February 2021, 05:58 AM   #4
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Thanks Raf. That would make some sense. The piece is old and neglected so I could be wrong but it does not have a quality feel to it. So made for export to colonies on the cheap could be right on.
I also wondered about Belgium, since a lot of 'French' guns were made there as well as Italy, but I could not find the stamps listed as being Belgium either. As I understand it these continental weapons were not usually so profusely stamped as British ones, so it perhaps is less that it is missing stamps than I can't identify them (since all the main parts are marked with something).
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