BURNSIDE FIFTH MODEL CARBINE FROM FIRST SHIPMENT OF THE “MODEL OF 1864,” FEBRUARY 1864

$1,295.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 506-18

Burnside carbines are a key cavalry weapon, widely issued and used throughout the war in numbers only exceeded by the Spencer and Sharps. This one rates very good for condition and is complete and all original. Front and rear sight are present. The rear sight is complete. The barrel has generally smooth metal with a thin brown surface showing just a little freckling on either side of the barrel band. The receiver shows a mix of muted silver and gray. The breechblock shows a thin brown on top. The face of the block, etc., is a nice smooth metal. Some of the screw heads show a thin blue, including the guide screw on the right receiver, The sides of the loading assembly, when lowered, show some thin traces of color in places. The hammer is a mottled brown and gray. The side bar and ring are present. The tang strap shows a thin brown with some thin blue on the lower two screws. Buttplate is smooth metal.

Markings on the metal are visible: the range numbers on the sight leaf, barrel inspector initial between rear sight base and receiver, Burnside patent and New Model of 1864 designation (a little light in the middle, but visible,) and matching serial number 1162 on the forward receiver and top of breechblock. Lockplate markings are legible.

The wood is very good with a deep brown color, good surface, tight fit to the metal. There are some dark spots, but only light handling marks and the outline of a cartouche is visible at left wrist. The only significant spot of marring is on left rear of the forestock adjacent to the receiver where the sling ring seems to pushed forward and left a series of shallow gouges in a semicircle, likely from shifting in storage.

The carbine is serial numbered 1162 and is the “Model of 1864” sub-type of the “Fifth Model” Burnside carbine. Several models of the Burnside were produced, sometimes with changes introduced while production for army contracts was in progress, but the general principle was the same: a tapered metallic cartridge with a small hole its base was loaded end first into a lowered breechblock and fired with a percussion cap. The so-called Fourth Model introduced a hinge to the breech block that kept the opening near the top of the frame for easier loading and removal of a spent shell; the Fifth Model introduced a screw in the side of the frame to better guide the breechblock. The “Model of 1864” added a longer trigger plate, screws and slightly different rear sight using a smaller aperture. The company contracted for 12,000 carbines on Sept. 30, 1863, and give the carbines a new serial number series. Carbine 1162 falls well within the first delivery of 1,860 carbines paid for on Feb. 29, 1864.

Many regiments carried Burnsides, too many to list here, but they included the 1st Michigan; 4,6 and 7th Ohio; 1st NJ; 3rd, 14th and 16th PA; 12, 14, and 16th Illinois. Given the production date of this carbine, it could well have seen service in some of the major cavalry expeditions and campaigns of the war. It would make a great addition to a cavalry collection.  [sr] [ph:L]

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