CIVIL WAR Antique SMITH Cavalry Carbine
Widely Issued Carbine Made C. 1862
Here we present an antique Civil War American Machine Works Smith Breech Loading Percussion Carbine, made circa 1862 by American Machine Works of Springfield, Massachusetts. About 30,000 of these carbines were made and virtually 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. These carbines will be found with the names of three different makers, including American Machine Works, American Arms Co., and Massachusetts Arms Co.
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’S PATENT/JUNE 23, 1857”, “MANUFACTURED BY/AM°N. M°CH°N. WKS./SPRINGFIELD MASS.”, and “ADDRESS/POULTNEY & TRIMBLE/BALTIMORE U.S.A.” The left side of the barrel is marked “LFR”. The wrist of the stock still bears a government inspector cartouche by John Hannis.
The overall condition is very good. The iron surfaces bear a smooth patina. The markings are clear. The walnut stock shows use but is in near fine condition. The bore could hardly be improved upon and remains shiny bright with sharp rifling. The action is excellent. Here is a great example of one of the many unique Civil War Cavalry Carbines!
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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