CONFEDERATE CAPTURE Massachusetts Arms SMITH CAVALRY Carbine CIVIL WAR Rare
CSA Battlefield Pickup Collected & Reissued
Here we present an antique Confederate Capture Massachusetts Arms Co. Smith’s Patent Carbine, made circa 1863 by Massachusetts Arms Co. of Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts. This one has a “Z” marking behind the trigger guard tang, which is one of the single-letter inspection markings from the CSA’s program to field captured Union arms against the Union. As described in “Captured & Collected”Confederate Reissued Firearms by Knott. This is a fantastic example of a U.S. gun that was essentially a battlefield pick-up by the Confederate States Ordnance teams (or civilians) and placed into the Confederate cleaning and repair (“C&R”) system for reissue to Confederate troops. Between 200,000 and 250,000 firearms were turned in for refurbishing at either Danville, Staunton, Lynchburg, or Richmond. The identity of the individual inspector is unknown. Theories state the letter may be a real initial or possibly an assigned letter. In any case, the number and variety of guns bearing this mark point to someone working at the Richmond Arsenal/Artillery Workshop.
A total of 30,362 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. Many were used after the war throughout the U.S. including by the Indians during their raids into Canada.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 very good. Original patina. The action is excellent. The bore is bright with great rifling. The stock shows use and remains solid. Numbers match.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 22 inches.
Caliber: .50 Percussion
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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