Original U.S. Civil War Smith Patent Saddle Ring Cavalry Carbine in .50 Caliber - Serial No 21335

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The Smith Carbine was a 0.50 caliber breech-loading rifle patented by Gilbert Smith on June 23, 1857 and successfully completed the Military Trials of the late 1850s. It was used by various cavalry units during the American Civil War.

The Smith Carbine was unique in that it broke apart in the middle for loading and it used rubber cartridges which sealed the gases in the breech. The downside was that these cartridges were difficult to remove.

The carbines were built by Massachusetts Arms Company of Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts; the American Machine Works in Springfield, Massachusetts; or the American Arms Company in Chicopee Falls. The name of the distributor for the manufacturer, Poultney & Trimble of Baltimore, Maryland, is often stamped on the carbine's receivers, as is the case with this example.

This is a rare Civil War era example a complete and original Smith's Patent Carbine in nice solid condition with signs of age and use. This Smith's Patent Carbine carries a five digit serial 21335 number, and also bears the SMITH'S PATENT /  JUNE. 23. 1857 marking under the saddle ring bar.

The bore still clearly shows the original three groove rifling, but there has been some rust damage throughout. This has been cleaned off, but pits remain in areas. The stock wood is in very good condition, with traces of the original inspection cartouche on the left side. The saddle ring is still intact, retained by the saddle bar on the right hand side.

The Smith's Patent Carbine, a single shot, breech loading, percussion .50 caliber, was one of the most important Federal Cavalry carbines of the Civil War. Production of these carbines was almost entirely consumed by government contracts. A total of approximately 30,362 Smith Carbines were purchased by the United States during the Civil War.

The serial number 21335 is marked on the bottom of the frame on either side of the barrel hinge, and is also marked directly beneath the chamber when the breach is opened.

The part octagonal and part round barrel is 21 5/8 inches long, with blued finish. The barrel is fitted with a blade front sight and a folding ladder rear sight. The "octagonal" portion of the barrel is 6 1/8 inches long and consists of 5 flats over the top 180 degrees of the barrel and a round surface for the lower 180 degrees (the portion under the hand guard). The front 14 inch section of the barrel is round.

The butt stock has a steel two-screw curved carbine butt plate. This beautiful and rare Smith's Patent Carbine is chambered in caliber .50. The condition is "good" for the age and for the Civil War period of its birth.

Mechanically, this carbine is sound with a tight action, strong springs, and all original components (in our opinion). Here is an important piece of American firearm history from the time of the American Civil War, and it is available to one person only; the collector enthusiast who appreciates rare and hard to find!


Year of Manufacture: c.1864
Caliber: .50"
Cartridge Type: Rubber Cartridge with Percussion Cap
Barrel Length: 21 1/2 Inches

Overall Length: 39 Inches
Action type: Side Action Percussion Lock
Feed System: Single Shot Breech Loading

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