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French Rampart gun

Overall length
169 cm

Barrel length
119 cm

steel, wood

10 kg


France, 1833

This impressive rampart gun is the first percussion weapon adopted by the French army; the Charleville Model 1831 breech loading rampart rifle. It replaced the earlier 1828 model and was mainly used from ramparts as a defence weapon against besiegers. It was a cross-over between a musket and a canon and was deployed as a light artillery weapon. Ironically the development of these rampart guns took place a time when most European cities were demolishing their city walls. They were designed for military campaigns abroad and used against the Arabs in North Algeria who had been sniping from beyond the ranch of the standard French infantry weapon. The Greeks acquired these and examples are still in Greek museums. (Read Elgood) Receiver tang marked "M 1831". Side plate marked "Mre Rle de Charleville", side of receiver marked "1833”. 

The rampart rifle 1828 model had been used in 1830 during the Algerian campaign particularly against Fort l’Empereur. The 1828 modified 1831 model was used in 1832 against the citadel of Antwerp, and in 1837 during the siege of Constantine. The guns’ range is 600 m. At a range of 100 m, the bullet could penetrate 10 pinetree wood boards and two boards at distance of 600m.

Overall good. Moderate wear throughout with pitting to the side plate, butt plate and barrel. The bore is in good condition, with strong rifling. The wooden stock was affected by woodworm but has been professionally restored. Mechanically good. Nice patina. 

Length of the rifle : 1,69 m.

Calibre : 21,8 m/m.

Total weight : 10kg.


‘Le fusil de rempart’ by Bernard Bruel, Gazette des Armes nr. 27 May 1975

Cours d'Artillerie - développement des conférences faites à la réunion des officiers, aux officiers de toutes armes, de la réserve et de l'armée territoriale : Armes Portatives, Librairie Ch. Delagrave, Léon Labiche, 1879, p. 54

'The Arms of Greece and Her Balkan Neighbors in the Ottoman Period’ by Robert Elgood, Thames & Hudson, 2009, p 291 fig 391


- Museo O'Higginiano y de Bellas Artes de Talca, inventory number 5.16.4, fusil de parapeto.

- In the Arms of the Nation Museum (Buenos Aires, Argentina) there is a similar rifle, Model 1831, and also another similar one in the Regional Historical Museum of Tacna (Chile).

- similar example in the Royal Armouries, Leeds (inv. no. XII-575 and XII.563, from the Old Tower Collection), see Howard L. Blackmore, Guns and Rifles of the World, 1965, p. 64, fig. 432

- Karl Frey Collection- National Museum of American History, Washington DC., accession number 319944

- Musée de L’Emperi, Salon de Provence, France

- Musée des Canonniers, Lille, France

- Royal Armouries Collections, object number: XII.563

- Nationaal Militair Museum, Netherlands

- Koninklijk Legermuseum Brussel, Belgium

- The Royal Danish Arsenal Museum




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Interested in this item? Contact me.