Original U.S. Civil War Joslyn Firearms Co. M1864 Saddle Ring Carbine Serial 5664 - dated 1864

Item Description

Original Item: One Only. This is a real find, and is the first example of Joslyn System firearm that we have had! Benjamin Franklin Joslyn was known as one of the most interesting gun designers during the U.S. Civil War, and he developed a series of breech-loading firearms, which were incremental improvements over each previous design. One of the last of these was the Model 1864 Carbine, which had all of the improvements developed over the years.

The example we have is in fine condition, with all parts intact and in good shape, bearing serial number 5664 on the breech block and receiver tang. The wood finish is excellent, an there are still two inspectors cartouches right above the saddle ring. There is some damage to the wood around the breech, and there is a repaired crack running straight through the stock where the tang screw is.

The metal components still show some of the original finish, with the rest faded to a worn blued patina. The bore is in very good condition, with clear lands and grooves, and a partly bright finish. There is only a few spots of corrosion and light wear.

Marked on the Lock Plate:


The rear of the swiveling breech block is marked:

JUNE 24th 1862 

This is a great example of a rare and historical civil war carbine, and would be a great addition to any collection.

History of the Joslyn Rifle:

In 1855, Joslyn designed the first of his breech-loading carbines, which had an elongated breech block that reached down to the wrist of the rifle. After successful tests, the U.S. Army ordered 50 of these rifles in 1857 in .54 caliber. The Army quickly lost interest in the rifle, but in 1858 the U.S. Navy ordered 500 of these in .58 caliber. Production problems resulted in only 150 to 200 of these rifles being delivered in 1861.

Subsequently Joslyn designed a modified version in 1861 using a metal rimfire cartridge, as opposed to the paper combustible cartridges used before. More importantly, the model 1961 introduced a laterally hinged block called the "cap" which enveloped the standing breech and could be swung open to the left when the locking catch was released. This was a vast improvement over the previous breech design.

This design was further refined in 1862 with the addition of cam surfaces which improved the cartridge seating and extraction. The Model 1861 was chambered for the Spencer .56-56 rimfire cartridge, and the improved Model 1862 used the Spencer .56-52 rimfire cartridge. 

The Federal Ordnance Department ordered 860 of these carbines, which were delivered in 1862. Most went to units from Ohio. In 1862, Joslyn received an order for 20,000 carbines. Delivery on these weapons started in 1863, but by the time the Civil War came to an end only about half of these had been delivered.

The Model 1864 Carbine featured many small improvements and refinements to the Model 1862 design, and could fire either the Spencer .56-52 cartridge or a .54 caliber cartridge made by Joslyn.

In 1865, Joslyn submitted two carbine designs for trial, both based on the Model 1864 carbine. Despite the difficulties between Joslyn and the U.S. Government, an order was placed for 5,000 of these weapons. Springfield Armory produced approximately 3,000 Joslyn rifles before hostilities ended.

After the war ended, the U.S. Government canceled all remaining contracts, claiming that the rifles failed to meet specifications. Litigation related to these contracts persisted for many years after the war ended. Sadly this has resulted in the Joslyn firearms company being known more for their litigation than for the actual firearms they produced.


Years of Manufacture: mid 1864
Caliber:  .54
Ammunition Type: Rimfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 22 inches
Overall Length: 39 inches
Action: Rotating Breech with Manual Hammer
Feed System: Single Shot

NOTE: International orders of antique firearms MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services (courier). USPS Priority Mail international will not accept these.

  • This product is not available for shipping in US state(s)
    New Jersey

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