1863 MAYNARD MASSACHUSETTS ARMS CAVALRY CARBINE CIVIL WAR UNION IN Antique
.50 Caliber Percussion Saddle Ring Carbine
Here we present an antique U.S. Maynard Cavalry Carbine, made by Massachusetts Arms Co. in Chicopee, Massachusetts, circa 1863. The Maynard carbine is widely regarded as one of the best performing and most accurate of all the cavalry arms used during the Civil War. The well favored, metallic cartridge breech loading carbine was the invention of New Jersey doctor Edward Maynard, who patented his 1st model carbine in 1851. Between 1863 and 1865, the U.S. Ordnance Department contracted for over 20,000 2nd model carbines. Issued mostly to the Federal cavalry, the Maynard proved a lightweight, dependable carbine that saw extensive service in the field.
This Civil War carbine was a streamlined and simplified version of the first model, which was equipped with the Maynard Tape Priming System. Some of the first models were purchased in the South prior to the war. An interesting story regarding the Maynard is recorded in Benjamin Botkin’s “A Civil War Treasury of Tales, Legends & Folklore”, said to be the quote of Private Toby of the 1st Regiment of the Mississippi Army. The tall tale comes from The Intelligencer of Oxford, Mississippi, and at the end, Toby tells his mates “It’s a right big story, boys, but it’s true, sure as shooting. Nothing to do with a Maynard rifle but to load her up, turn her North, and pull the trigger. If twenty of them don’t clean out all Yankeedom, then I’m a liar, that’s all.”
This second model was used by various Union cavalry units. Known significant issue and use occurred in the 9th & 11th Indiana, as well as the 11th Tennessee. It was generally well-liked, owing to its light weight, handling and simplicity. The lever simply tips the barrel down so that the breech is exposed for loading and unloading. Compared to a percussion muzzle-loader, it was much faster to put fire down range. The left side of the frame is marked “EDWARD MAYNARD/PATENTEE/MAY 27, 1851/DEC. 6, 1859”. The right side is marked “MANUFACTURED BY/MASS. ARMS CO./CHICOPEE FALLS”.
The overall condition is near fine. Original finish/patina. The stock has two clear cartouches. The action is excellent. The bore is bright with sharp rifling. The stock is solid. A fantastic piece of Civil War history!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 20 inches.
Caliber: .50 Percussion
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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