1863 Maynard Carbine

Let’s talk Civil War Carbines, in particular the Second Model Maynard Carbine, a.k.a. Model 1863 Maynard Carbine. Manufactured c. 1863-65; total about 20,202 (I’ll talk about this number later), 50 Caliber, no patchbox, and has a thinner butt plate then the First Model. Manufactured by Mass. Arms Co. / Chicopee Falls. Unlike the First Models this Model is without the tape primer and tang sight. Thiers a sling ring and cartouche on the left side of the stock.

Many of these Carbines were issued to Union Calvary from the 9th and 11th Indiana and the 11th Tennessee. Many of these Carbines are seen in very good condition since most were issued late in the war and many saw little or no service. Many laid in arsenals until the government sold them off in the late 1860’s.

The Maynard Carbine’s are considered one of the best performing and most accurate carbines of the Civil War era. In John D. McAulay,s book “Carbines of the Civil War” he writes in October of 1859 the Navy conducted test firing on the Maynard Carbine at the Washington Navy Yard. Dr. Maynard personally fired a .50 caliber Maynard for the test. A 3×6 foot target was placed at 200 yards, and 237 rounds were fired without a miss. The rate of firing was at 12 rounds per minute. One Maynard was fired 562 times before cleaning. Two of the metallic cartridges were reloaded and fired 200 times and found to still be serviceable.

I would say that’s a Five Star Review of this weapon. With the exception of the Sharps and Spencer it’s my opinion this may have been the best and most reliable Carbine issued during the Civil War. I would have no objections to using this as my primary weapon, back in the day. How about you? The First Model Maynard carbines were manufactured in .35 and .50 Caliber and many of those weapons were purchased by Southern States at the outbreak of the war. So many were purchased that in the Confederate Arms Guide the Maynard was shown as a weapon.

So that brings us to yet another Weapon in my Civil War Arsenal. This 1863 Maynard has 2 government cartouches on the left side of the stock. Most of the bluing is worn off the barrel but no rust or cracks in the stock. This was the first CW weapon I purchased and even though I’ve made some bad purchases over the years, this was a good one considering it was my first, anyone collecting CW stuff knows what I mean.

I guess the most unusual thing about this Carbine is the serial no. is in the 22,000 range, it has government cartouches. Like I said earlier in John D. McAulay’s book “Carbines of the Civil War” 20,002 carbines were procured by the government and Norm Flayderman , documents 20,202 carbines manufactured in his book “Guide to Antique American Firearms” so that makes me question the facts or the lack of. Either way the US Government paid $24.20 for each Carbine and 2,157,000 Maynard Cartridges were bought at a cost of $72,207.50.
If you have any questions contact Eugene West at civilwararsenal@yahoo.com

10 thoughts on “1863 Maynard Carbine

  1. I shoot an original Maynard .50 calibre 2nd Model, serial no. 3720.

    It is very accurate, provided I clean the barrel after every 12 shots or so. My Maynard shoots a little low and a little left, but this is easily compensated by adjusting my aim.

    It is light, short and easy to load and shoot compared to a typical muzzle loaded long rifle of the day. The offset hammer is only just off centre, so that it partially obscures your field of view, you actually look down the side of the hammer to take aim. Perhaps this was intended to enable rapid sighting at close range.

    A very accurate easy to use firearm, that was very popular with confederate troops.

    • John, Thanks for the info. on your Maynard. It is indeed a nice weapon, especially for it’s time. How did you come by this carbine in the UK?
      Does your carbine have U.S. government Cartouches on it? sorry about the questions, It helps me understand the history of American Civil War weapons.


  2. I have a Maynard carbine Patent dates May 27 1851 Dec 6 1859. On the lower tang is the number 17802 and I presume it to be the serial #.
    The bore is very rough but the rifling still shows and it shoots into 12 in. at 50 yards. I have one round of original ammo which I used to take measurements from but have made 4 rounds of brass using 50/70 Govt. ,cutting it back and turning to the correct diameter.
    I have been cutting off half of a cast 500 grain bullet (for my 50/70 Springfield trap door) to come up with a 300 grain slug. I can not get 50 grains of FFF in the case so I shoot 40 grains. I think the original must have use a hollow based bullet.
    My single example of a 50/50 round is very strange—a very large diameter rim and a cylindrical case wall that is soldered to the base–a very tiny hole for ignition. I am told when loading for the round a piece of silk was used in the bottom of the case to keep the powder from spilling out but I can’t imagine any powder coming out of that little hole.
    Standard musket caps set off the charge. I had a heck of a time cleaning the passage way from the nipple to the breach to got it to fire the first time but it was worth it. What a hoot to shoot!!!!

    • Johnny, Dixie Gun Works offers after market brass cartridges for the 50 caliber Maynard. I’ve bought a half dozen and they work well, I think their about 7 dollars each.

  3. As a young boy growing up in Easton, PA. I had occasion to find a Maynard Carbine in a field next to my house. I played with the rifle for years being told it was
    just single barreled shotgun of some type. Eventually my dad took custody of the
    weapon and sold it to feed the family. Wish I still had it and had took better care of it. No computers to get info from in the early 50’s. Too bad. Stock had initials
    “THP” well carved into it. Sold the weapon to a guy on Morgan’s Hill in Easton, PA.

  4. Gene….are you still answering questions about the Maynard Carbine? I have one with 4 barrels with matching serial numbers …thanks

  5. Good Afternoon,
    I have a Maynard Rifle and I’m looking for some info on it. On one side it sad 1873 and on the other it says 1882. The serial number is 22146. Anything helps, thank you!

  6. Good Afternoon Sir,

    My name is Chris Elliott and I have a Maynard Carbine I’d like to learn about. I haven’t been able to find much info on it and that’s mostly due to not knowing really where to look. I’m a weapons instructor with the Marine Corps and this weapon pre dates my knowledge and skill. One one side of the rifle it says 1882 and on the other it reads 1873. The serial number is 22146. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you!
    -Sgt. Elliott, USMC

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