American arms manufacturers were not able to produce enough weapons to meet the demand of the large numbers of regiments forming in the early phases of the Civil War. Because of this, both Northern and Southern arms procurers had to look to Europe to meet the massive demand. The "Rifled Muskets, Belgian or French, brass or bright-mounted. Caliber.69" was a phrase used by ordinance officers to lump together several different models of rifled muskets produced by both French and Belgian gunsmiths. While all models were similar in appearance, they varied wildly in quality. These weapons ranged in caliber from .69 to .71 (although some .577 caliber French weapons found their way to the American Continent). The larger caliber weapons were considered almost worthless by the soldiers who carried them (the .577 caliber French model 1859 was considered one of the best weapons produced at the time however). Most troops who were issued these weapons tried to replace them at the earliest possible opportunity.
|U.S. Rifle Musket m/1855-1863||Colt Revolving Rifle (5-shot)||Belgian or French R.M. brass or bright mounted|
|Enfield Rifled Musket||U.S. Rifled Musket m/1816 altered to percussion||U.S. Rifled Musket m/1842|