EXCELLENT LOW SERIAL NUMBER SECOND MODEL SMITH CARBINE

$2,950.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 2022-215

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This is a very nice-looking Smith with lots of original barrel blue, 90 percent or better, visible case colors on the receiver, vibrant blue on the spring bar, triggerguard and tang, with the barrel and buttplate shifting to a caramel and brown, and lots of blue on the screws, which show no signs of turning. There is very little rubbing to the blue of the rear collar of the receiver, usually the first place to show wear and very good edges to the wrist of the buttstock The wood fits tightly and has good color with a nice surface showing only a few small handling dings. Both metal and wood have crisp markings, including the "L.F.R." inspector's initials of Lafayette F. Rogers, an Ordnance Department inspector of contract arms on the left barrel breech and the J.H. in an oval stamp on the left wrist of Joseph Hannis, who was sent from Springfield Armory to inspect Smith Carbines beginning in 1862. The bore is bright and clean with light rifling; mechanics are crisp and strong.

Invented by Gilbert Smith of Buttermilk Falls, New York in late 1855, the carbine is a single-shot .50 caliber breech loader that opens much like a shotgun, using a button forward of the trigger to raise a spring bar on the top of the receiver, permitting the barrel to drop open at the hinge for insertion of a cartridge, either a rubber cased round pierced with a hole at the bottom for ignition by the percussion cap or a Poultney foil and paper cartridge. The carbine was widely used and generally well regarded though ammunition supply was a problem early on and there were some complaints about the spring bar breaking.

Three makers manufactured the carbine. This one is crisply marked on the left receiver "MANUFACTURED BY / AM'N M'CH'N WKS / SPRINGFIELD MASS." along with the Smith agent marking at rear, "ADDRESS / POULTNEY & TRIMBLE / BALTIMORE, U.S.A." Some 30,000 Smiths were made during the war with early deliveries being supplied by the Mass. Arms Company. In Fall 1863 the American Machine Works began supplying the guns, having already been approached by Mass. Arms to make the receivers. This one is serial numbered 863, which places it early in their production run, the serial numbers of all three manufacturers running independently from #1 on up.

Smiths were initially made with sling swivels to take a conventional gun sling. By August 1863, however, this had been judged impractical and the design changed to this second model using a conventional side bar and ring for carriage by a carbine sling. Cavalry units carrying them included the 1st Connecticut, 1st Massachusetts, 6th and 9th Ohio, 7th and 17th PA, 7th and 11th Illinois and the 3rd West Virginia Regiments.

This is a very nice example of a key Civil War cavalry carbine that shows very well and would enhance cavalry display.   [sr] [ph:L]

DISCLAIMER: All firearms are sold as collector's items only - we do not accept responsibility as to the shooting safety or reliability of any antique firearm. All firearms are described as accurately as possible, given the restraints of a catalog listing length. We want satisfied customers & often "under" describe the weapons. Any city or state regulations regarding owning antique firearms are the responsibility of the purchaser. All firearms are "mechanically perfect" unless noted, but again, are NOT warranted as safe to fire.

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