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SchildaBrit 8th January 2020 09:44 PM

Bern 1804 Cantonal Ordnance musket
8 Attachment(s)
By popular demand ... (Fernando and Pukka)

When I acquired this musket it was a real puzzler. It is of the generic Charleville style, but with a couple of with very unusual features. The front band is most peculiar. It has a very long tail that tucks under the middle band. This tail is not an add-on. And the barrel fittings are most certainly not the everyday, highly malleable yellow brass, but a much tougher material that seems to be a kind of bronze. It is slightly reddish, more so than "domestic" brass, but you need natural light to see the difference. The whole long front band (upper band) was made from one piece of this material and the joints are brazed. The lower band does not fit the barrel very snugly, so I thought I could improve matters by forming the reverse curve between barrel and shaft to be a bit tighter. Hammer blows on the form piece that would have easily formed yellow brass just bounced of the stuff, and I gave up for fear of starting a stress fracture. But I repeat, the bands are not cast, they are formed from sheets of a hard material that looks and feels like a bronze or naval brass.

Here are some detail photos:
First a general view

The front band. Note the bayonet lug at the top.

The number on the barrel

The number on the butt

The lock area, on the left.

There are two marks on the barrel that I first thought were rust pits/handling marks.

The one in front could be from vice jaws - I am not sure. It certainly has a pattern, and is not a random rust pit.
The one at the back is IMOH not a handling mark, and not a rust pit either. In the horizontal view, it doesn't make much sense. What got me thinking was the area at top left (in this view) that looks like a portcullis. So I rotated the view through 90 degrees...


... and now I think it is a shield mark.

Finally, where typical long guns of this vintage use pins for the trigger suspension and the fixing lug at the front of the trigger guard, this musket has what can only be described as "pin-screws". The photo is better than any description.

Has anyone seen this trick anywhere else?

Following a tip from Fabian23 on the British Militaria Forums, and thanks to the Canton Museum of Morges, near Lausanne, and a Swiss expert, the musket was identified as:

an 1804 Canton of Bern Ordnance Musket, taken over (and thus overstamped) by the Canton of Aargau.

(Work in progress - now I have to find and resize the photos - watch this space)


So far so good ... but how do I get the photos into the right places in th etext, and not just all in a heap at the end????

Pukka Bundook 8th January 2020 10:35 PM


I Have Not seen this one before, so thanks for the photos!
What you have, I would have said I feel for certain, is the Charleville musket, model 1766-68.
But, as the experts say otherwise I defer!
This model I mentioned above has the extended tail to the nosecap that tucks into the middle band.
I do not know if this model had the rather forward looking and novel screws that also acted as pins for trigger and guard, Or if these were a later innovation.
I should look for photos of the off side.
The shield obliterated could mean it passing from service to another area, but I do not know.

Can you post a photo of the lock, mortise, and lock work?

corrado26 9th January 2020 08:58 AM

7 Attachment(s)
Here are fotos of the same gun after the conversion to percussion, infantry gun Bern 1804UM. The long frontring, the side plate and the two screws for the trigger and the trigger guard are clearly to be seen.
corrado26 a

Pukka Bundook 9th January 2020 11:52 AM

Thank you Corrado!

This is a brilliant example and the screws you show are what we needed to see. Thank you for the photos.


fernando 9th January 2020 01:15 PM


Originally Posted by SchildaBrit
... but how do I get the photos into the right places in the text, and not just all in a heap at the end????

You don't Patrick; not with current features.
In a radical situation you might submit a (one) thread per photo with its referring text.

fernando 9th January 2020 02:56 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Surely the Charleville was the muse for this version. The real thing would have a few DNA signs like the stamp on the stock, the model and year on the barrel, the manufacture on the lockplate, inspector marks and all... and certainly not those unusual screws ;).
Some times when i have doubts about French guns i check in HERE and HERE.


SchildaBrit 9th January 2020 05:15 PM

Bern 1804 conversion
"Here are fotos of the same gun after the conversion to percussion, infantry gun Bern 1804UM."

SUPER Corrado! Many, many thanks.

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