Original U.S. Civil War Smith's Patent 1857 Saddle Ring Carbine with Excellent Bore - Serial Number 11036

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. It was unique in that it broke apart in the middle for loading, and that it used rubber cartridges which sealed the gases in the breech. The downside was that these cartridges were difficult to remove. It was one of the many "capping breech loader" firearms that bridged the gap between percussion and cartridge firearms.

The carbines were built by three companies: 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 very good condition with signs of age and light use. The distributor information is marked on the left upper receiver:


Below this, under the saddle ring bar, is the manufacture's abbreviated address marking:


There is also the correct SMITH'S PATENT / JUNE. 23. 1857 marking to the left of this vertically under the saddle ring bar. The carbine carries a five digit serial number of 11036 stamped on the underside of the barrel hinge on both the receiver and barrel side. Mechanically, this carbine is sound with a tight action, strong springs, and all original components (in our opinion). The lock functions correctly, holding at half cock and firing at full.

The bore on this example is definitely in excellent condition, and is the best we have ever seen. There is just a touch of oxidation near the chamber, with the rest of the bore bright and shiny, with crisp lands and grooves. The stock wood is in very good condition, with a lovely worn look. There is a bit of wear around the trigger guard tang, and the lower screw is loose in the screw hole, so it is probably stripped. The saddle ring is still intact, retained by the saddle bar on the right hand side. The metalwork is quite good, showing just a bit of powder burn around the cap bolster. The rest is a lovely faded plum patina. The front sight does look to have been replaced at some point.

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 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 "very good" for the age and for the Civil War period of its birth.

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.1863
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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