CIVIL WAR Mass. Arms Co. SMITH CAVALRY Carbine
Extensively Used by Many Cavalry Units During War
Here we present an antique Smith’s Patent Carbine, made circa 1863 by Massachusetts Arms Co. of Chicopee Falls, Mass. About 30,000 of these carbines were made and almost all of them were used in the Union cavalry of the American Civil War. The designer was Dr. Gilbert Smith of New York. His design featured a simple break open action, providing a single shot, utilizing a cartridge made of rubber. While many different cartridges were in use simultaneously during the war—which must have been a logistical nightmare—the rubber cartridge was both a nuisance to the shooter who had to get the hot gummy thing out of the chamber once fired, as well as to the ammunition manufacturer, who had to acquire rubber from distant places. In place of rubber, many other materials were also tried.
According to Flayderman, the Smith Carbine was known to have been utilized in number by the 3rd West Virginia, 7th and 11th Illinois, 1st Connecticut, 7th and 17th Pennsylvania, 6th and 9th Ohio, and 1st Massachusetts Cavalries.
This specimen is marked “SMITH PATENT/JUNE 23, 1857”, “MANUFACTURED BY/MASS ARMS CO./CHICOPEE FALLS”, and “ADDRESS/POULTNEY & TRIMBLE/BALTIMORE U.S.A.” Poultney & Trimble were Smith’s agents employed to facilitate military contract sales.
The over condition is very good plus. The blue finish on the barrel is 75% with a little mottling. The markings are clear. The walnut stock is a bit oil stained but solid with clear “JM” inspector cartouches. The bore is clean and bright with sharp rifling. The action is excellent.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 21-1/2 inches in length.
Caliber: .50 percussion
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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