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The French "Charleville" smoothbore musket, which most resembles an Imperial rifle-musket.

The Type 4219 Long Land Pattern Rifled Infantry Musket is a muzzle-loading rifle (or 'rifle-musket' in common short-hand) employed in large numbers by the Imperial military. Taking into account its derivatives (which are essentially identical but for differing barrel lengths), it is easily the most common firearm in service to the Empire. The basic and most numerous Long Land Pattern is the primary weapon of the Army's ubiquitous Line Infantry, among whom it is prized for its reliability, durability, stopping power and accuracy as well as its considerable length (making it an effective polearm when bayonets are fixed). A version with a cut-down barrel called the Type 4219 Short Land Pattern Rifled Infantry Musket equips the Light Infantry, Grenadiers and the Light Horse - although for the Light Horse, it is used almost exclusively when dismounted and operating as foot soldiers, being a secondary weapon to the less accurate but faster-firing break-action carbines they also carry.

HistoryEdit

As the numbers in its designation suggest, the current Long Land Pattern was adopted for service-scale production in Year 4219 of the Imperial Calendar (i.e. the 4,219th year of the Empire's existence), and thus has seen action for a little over a millenium.

[It should be noted, however, that the Imperials reckon time in months of twelve weeks containing 6 days each without leap days, making their year 864 days rather than 365].

The Type 4219 differs significantly from previous rifle-muskets and has seen a much longer service life. It is rather sophisticated in its design, fully employing the Empire's unparalleled knowledge of precision manufacturing, mechanized production, metallurgy, science and mathematics. Unlike other firearms - and, indeed, unlike most all those available to Imperial civilians - this rifle-musket is made from steel, not iron. It also uses an advanced rifling system that makes it much more deadly and accurate. (The details of its construction will be discussed later in the entry). In the hands of a fully-trained Imperial Line Infantryman, the Long Land Pattern musket is a weapon of tremendous advantage. It has - like the Roman gladius, the Mongol composite bow or the American M16 of our world - become a symbol of Imprial dominance in their popular culture: an embodiment of its people's conquering power and military greatness. The Empire has created deadlier and more advanced instruments of killing, but few can claim to have had such enormous impact or to have remained in use so long.

Since its debute, it has found its way not only into the hands of the Imperial Legions (for whom its use is famous), but also the provincial militias. Such vast quantities of Type 4219 rifle-muskets - of one derivative or another - have been manufactured that, by now, the Imperial government has essentially given them away, such that the local troops of even its poorest Prefectures and States are equipped with them. Pribältikan rebels were also initially armed with large supplies of the weapons, showing a particular preference for the Short Land Pattern variant. However, nearly a half-century of constant bloody conflict with the Empire's vastly superior Army - not to mention the secessionists' lack of industry or resources - forced the adoption of various inferior firearms to supplement existing stocks, making these rifle-muskets highly prized among the rebel army.

DesignEdit

Basic Characteristics

The Type 4219 Long Land Pattern consists of four basic parts: the stock (the single-piece wooden "frame" that interfaces with the shooter's body and hand), the barrel, the operating mechanism (hammer, pan, trigger) and the furniture (the external or acessory fittings not essential to its operation - i.e. trigger-guard & barrel rings).

The stock is 60", or 152.4 cm, long from buttplate to tip, while the end of the barrel protrudes by an additonal 4" / 10.16 cm (not including a fixed bayonet). Its total weight is a little bit less than 12 pounds / 5.44 kg (again, without bayonet). Barrel length is 48" / 122 cm. 

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