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GUNS Magazine December 2010 - Page 34

Pedersoli reproduces a musket seeing service throughout the Napoleonic wars. ragoon regiments trained both as medium cavalry armed with D sabers, and at fighting dismounted using the musket. Being mounted, they were able to deploy on the battlefield rapidly and were a very versatile force. The overall length and construction of the standard musket made it unwieldy for use by cavalry yet the cavalry carbine was too short and light for dismounted use as infantry, so a special musket was designed for the Dragoons. Such an arm for the Dragoons was first created as far back as the mid 1700s and was initially almost as large as the infantry arm but with more robust furniture. These muskets evolved into “Le Fusil de Dragoon Modèle An IX” (An IX translates to Year 9—named using the Republican calendar adopted after the overthrow of Louis XVI spanning Sept. 1800 to Aug. 1801 to us). The An IX has a slightly shorter barrel, overall length and was a little simpler to produce than its predecessors. This was a successful model with more than 450,000 made over its service life, which ended soon after the Restoration. The Dragoon model was also issued to the artillery, and other units needing a handier arm. Like its earlier brethren, to combat corrosion from the salt of horse sweat, the furniture was mostly brass rather than the all-iron furniture of the infantry musket. The center band, where the forward sling swivel is located, is a unique twin band of iron to better take the shock of mounted travel. Davide Pedersoli has an impressive international reputation in the repro gun business and this musket is evidence why. It is very well made and nicely finished with an even polish to the metal parts. The barrel is well turned and as smooth inside as out. The polish on the dRAGOONEd! • JEFF JOHN • pedersoli’srecreationoftheFrench 69-caliberFusildeDragoonModèleAn iXisexcellent.unitflagsflownduring theNapoleonicWarwerehandpainted (reproductionflagcourtesyEvanEmory collection). theDragoonmusketwasashortened infantrymusketwithaheavilyreinforced centerbandtotaketherigorsofmounted travelslung.theslingisforanearlier FrenchCharlevilleandisfromC&D Jarnagin. brass is expertly done and the wood finish attractive. I normally feel I have to give something a little extra polish, but it’s challenge on this one. This musket is a fine arm as is. There are similar muskets for half this price on the market yet this one is four times their quality. Smoothbores can be accurate out to 50 yards with a patched roundball, but because this is a military musket, I chose to load with paper cartridges. With the target at 25 yards, I fired off a bag rest. The front sight is a simple round blade cast integrally with the nose cap. Putting my face into the Dragoonsworeadistinctivecrestedhelmetandhigh-topbootsovertheir otherwisestandarduniform.Dragoonscouldfightaseitherinfantrywith musketorcavalrywithsaberastheneedaroseandwereaversatileforce. thehand-paintedfigurineis2-3/4"tall. 34 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • DECEMBER 2010

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