Made at the Manufacture de Tulle in France, this musket may be one of 600 "Common muskets" made under a November 7, 1696 contract for King Louis XIV. The Tulle Common musket was typical of a type of flintlock musket that helped supplant the matchlock musket in France by 1700. It had a forty-five inch barrel with "18 balls to the pound" caliber, that is, eighteen identical round balls, cast from a single pound of lead, small enough to fit the approximately 5/8 inch bore of the musket. The lock was round in accordance with the military style of the time. The stock was walnut with a thick butt and a thin forestock. The barrel was designed to accept a plug bayonet, a sort of knife that could be affixed in the muzzle when needed. Many of the muskets made for the 1696 contract were destined for Canada to be used by French soldiers known as Marines in the department of the Navy. French authorities often armed their Native allies with current flintlocks, so it is likely that a gun like this one was used on raids against the English.
Date: circa 1696