Circa 1776-1778 Possible Virginia Markings

This is a American cherry stocked militia musket utilizing a variety of French Charleville iron parts salvaged from a captured French & Indian War muskets. The historic old stock surface is mostly very dark, but where the grain shows due to wear, the wood has a reddish cast and flecking typical of American cherry. The musket measures 58 1/4 inches overall and sports a lock ( 6 1/2" bridled flat beveled-all markings scrubbed except for deep inspection stamp) and barrel (43 3/8" octagon 8 1/2" to round .69 cal.)as well as triggerguard (11 3/4" with no rear sling loop stud), sideplate (4 1/8"), and buttplate (long 4 3/4" tang) from a model 1728 Charleville.  The barrel bands are from a 1766 Charleville with the two upper bands showing evidence of outboard spring attachments (but no evidence of having had springs). the lower (entry) band is long missing. The barrel has a top bayonet stud and the forward barrel band has a brass sight with a sloping tail.*    The top flat of the barrel is stamped: FC-C5 and the outboard side flat has a deeply stamped cartouche reading either "H*L" or possibly "H*D" and behind this is faintly stamped "1VA?".

The barrel markings could represent:  The 1VA? stamp could represent the First Virginia Regiment while the "H*L" cartouche could represent (David) Hunter and (Peter) Light who were contracted on Sept. 28, 1776 to provide "two hundred Stand of Arms" to the Virginia Council which were to be "properly proved" and "to be delivered at Williamsburg at 6 pounds each Virginia Currency". **.  The Regiments were divided into Companies organized by county and therefore, the "FC-C5" stamped on the top flat could represent Frederick (or Fairfax, Fauquier, or Fincastle) County, Company 5.

References:  * For various Charleville characteristics and measurements see:  "Battle Weapons of the American Revolution" by George C. Neuman, Pgs 89-93 and "History of Weapons of the American Revolution" by George C. Neuman,  Pgs. 70-75.    **For a discussion of Virginia Council's Hunter and Light contract, see "Firearms in Colonial America" by M.L. Brown,  Pg.  311.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           


Condition: Very good for its usage and age. In original flintlock condition, the barrel was shortened 1" when repurposed. The stock has an old historic surface with one wedge shaped well done modern sliver replaced forward of the lock. There is some ancient ragged chipping to the stock above the rear of the lock tail (see pics). The ramrod is a shorter replacement but the patina matches the rest of the ironwork.