CIVIL WAR Massachusetts Arms SMITH PATENT Breech Loading CAVALRY SR Carbine
Antique Percussion UNION ARMY Carbine
Here we present an antique Massachusetts Arms Co. Smith’s Patent Carbine, made circa 1863 by Massachusetts Arms Co. of Chicopee Falls, Mass. About 30,000 of these carbines were made with a production run between 1861 and 1865, 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.
The over condition is good. Dark patina. The action is excellent. The barrel hinge screw is a too-short replacement. There is slight movement in the hinge. The bore is patinated and has good rifling. The walnut stock shows lots of use and there is a very old chip on the top of the wrist behind the frame, and a stable crack that runs from the bottom tang, otherwise solid. Numbers match.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 21-5/8 inches.
Caliber: .50 percussion
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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