CIVIL WAR Antique MASS. ARMS CO. MAYNARD 1863 Saddle Ring Cavalry Carbine
Union Breechloader in .50 Caliber Percussion!
Here we present an antique Maynard Second Model 1863 Cavalry percussion carbine, made by Massachusetts Arms Co. in Chicopee, Massachusetts, circa 1863. The 2nd Model 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 US 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 model was 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 Maynard rifle but to load her up, turn her North, and pull trigger. If twenty of them don’t clean out all Yankeedom, then I’m a liar, that’s all.”
This example represents a fairly early production of the second model and used by various Union cavalry. 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 fine. Original finish and patina including blue on the barrel and case colors on the frame. Strong, tight action. Mirror-bright bore with sharp rifling. Solid stock with legible cartouches on the left wrist. A superior example of the venerable Maynard carbine!
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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