British Flintlock Cavalry Carbine with Saddle Ring: Crown G.R. Marked

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very rare British Flintlock Cavalry Carbine with Saddle Bar and Ring c.1770-1790 with multiple markings including a Crown over G.R., regimental and maker’s markings.

Early in the 18th century the term "Carbine" meant a full sized musket but of Pistol bore size; .65" as opposed to .75". However, by the close of the century it meant something completely different. The concept of efficient shorter barreled weapons was not really considered by the British Military until 1769 when Major General John La Fausille started experiments with shorter barreled weapons; "even as short as 20 inches" without effecting their range (See British Military Firearms" by Blackmore page 61). In fact, the standard length thereafter adopted, especially for Cavalry use, was a 26" barrel, the best known being the "Elliot Carbine". There were additional trials after 1770 but different barrel lengths were only adopted experimentally until the introduction of the Flintlock "Paget Carbine" understood to have been introduced in 1806 which utilized a 16" barrel.

Here we have an earlier British Flintlock Cavalry Carbine complete with Saddle Bar and Ring with only a 20" barrel. The lock is marked with a "Crown over G.R." and the well-known London maker "REYNOLDS" appears across the tail of the Lock Plate. The Carbine has early model brass trigger guard and Butt Plate, Side plate, and two ramrod pipes. The weapon is fitted with a trapped Swivel Ram Rod, possibly a later addition, as the butt stock has the very distinctive "rail" or "comb" of the earlier weapons.

Clearly a very limited "transitional" production, possibly of the 1770s but also maybe as late as the 1790s, this is an extremely rare Cavalry Carbine of the period. Complete with Regimental Markings to the Brass Butt Plate tang this would be an excellent candidate for further research.

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