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Original Rare U.S. Civil War Gwyn & Campbell Type I Saddle-Ring "Union Carbine" - Serial Number 4504

Regular price $3,495.00

Item Description

Original Item: One Only. This is a lovely example of the rare Type I Gwyn & Campbell Saddle-Ring carbine, also known as the "Grapevine Carbine" due to the snake like curves in the trigger guard lever and long hammer. We have had several of the "Type II" carbines, but this is the first "Type I" that we have had. One about 700 of these rare carbines were produced, compared to 4,200 of the more common "Type II".

This .52 caliber, percussion breech-loading carbine was developed for the Ohio State Cavalry in 1862 by businessmen Edward Gwyn and partner Abner C. Campbell, both of Hamilton, Ohio. The design was essentially an updated version of their earlier "Cosmopolitan Carbine" The Type I carbine is encountered far less than the more common Type II, and features a more "serpentine" shape to the loading lever, and has a rear lock screw that attaches from the right side of the lock plate to an escutcheon on the left. The U.S. Ordnance Dept. granted over a dozen contracts to Gwyn & Campbell for a total of 8,202 carbines of both types. A number of Federal cavalry units were armed with the G & C carbine and included the 3rd Wisconsin; 2nd and 3rd Iowa; 2nd & 3rd Arkansas; 5th and 8th Ohio; 5th, 6th and 16th Illinois along with other Civil War units.

The carbine is a single shot, falling-block action "capping breechloader" piece mated to a 20" round barrel that has a 3 1/2" long octagonal section at the breech. This specimen exhibits all iron mountings and has had the original case hardening on the receiver faded to a mottled patina. The hammer has a flat back with a beveled edge and a lever that is long and serpentine in shape, with an end loop that curves all the way around to the Type I latch, which must be pushed forward to unlock the loading lever. The lever is a bit off center, so it may need to be pulled a bit to the right to unlock the breech.

The metal finish is in very good condition with a worn gray patina overall, with some light peppering and oxidation in areas. The receiver, originally case hardened, now has a mottled gray patina. The cap nipple cone is intact, and appears to be original. Fully matching serial number 4504 is stamped on underside of barrel, receiver, breech plug and loading lever, with a letter T next to most of the markings. The carbine is stamped with maker's mark on the lock plate, which are still clear:


The carbine is also stamped stamped UNION / RIFLE on the side of the frame beneath the nipple area. The other side of the action has an intact ring bar with saddle ring, for use with cavalry troops. The Wood butt stock is in very good condition, with moderate wear and dings, and shows wear near the ring and across the left side of the butt stock consistent with rubbing on a horses tack while in service. The two lines on the left side are unmistakable to collectors of Civil War cavalry carbines. The bore is in very good condition, showing strong lands and grooves with a mostly bright finish overall. There are a few traces of past oxidation and a bit of wear, but overall this is a fantastic bore for a Civil War black powder arm, and may be the best we have seen on a Gwyn & Campbell.

Overall this rare Gwyn & Campbell Type I Carbine used by the Union Army in the Civil War is in splendid condition and is fully ready to display. A rare Civil War Carbine, most unusual to find today.


Year of Manufacture: c.1862-3
Caliber: .52"
Cartridge Type: Percussion Cap and Paper Cartridge
Barrel Length: 20 Inches

Overall Length: 39 Inches
Action type: Falling-Block with Side-Action Lock
Feed System: Single Shot

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