1863 Springfield Rifle Musket, Type 1

The newest weapon in the Civil War Arsenal is an 1863 Rifle Musket. I purchased this weapon many years ago because it was so clean and straight. This weapon looks as though it was just removed from the crate it was shipped in. The stock is smooth and clean with hardly a scratch on it, the metal looks as good today as it did 154 years ago and the lock plate and hammer still have its rainbow of casehardening colors.

Manufactured in Springfield Massachusetts at the Springfield Armory the 1863 Rifle Musket is a .58 caliber single shot muzzleloader with a 40” round barrel and three barrel bands. A total of 273,265 were produced making it the most common of all Union weapons.

Iron mountings. All metal parts finished bright except for the lock-plate and hammer the rear sight is sometimes blued, as are the barrels bands. The ramrod is either tulip type or straight type shank and the front sight doubles as a bayonet stud.

If you have any questions about this weapon or any of the other weapon in my arsenal feel free to contact me at civilwararsenal@yahoo.com attn: Gene West. Thanks for stopping by.

Dahlgren Camp 98, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

Formed in the late 1870’s Son Of Veterans was an organization started to preserve the memory of the Union Veterans who served in the “Great War of the Rebellion”. The SUVCW, originally named the Son of Veterans was founded by Major Augustus P. Davis to ensure the preservation and principles of the Grand Army of the Republic or GAR and to provide assistance to Veterans. It was based on the principles of Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty.

Davis’s vision for the SV was as follows:

The Sons of Veterans is destined to become the great military organization of the country, that glory of its supremacy, that healing of the sense when its national hymn are that none other not thus reared can know or feel. Through this organization the declining days of the Union Veterans will be made pleasant, his record of service to his country preserved, his memory honored, patriotism promoted. While if the dire necessity of the nation should dictate, the Sons of Veterans, uniformed, drilled and equipped would come at once to her defense with the glory of there fathers surrounding them, each heart pulsating in unison. With the rising and falling of the Nations emblem. And who would be powerful enough to prevail against such a host?
The Sons of Veterans, “Dahlgren Camp 98” was from the South Boston area which would have made the Grandfathers, Fathers, Uncles, neighbors and friends who served in the “War of Rebellion” pretty tough war veterans…..after all 150 + years later it’s still a pretty tough neighborhood.

My research leads me to believe the Dahlgren Camp were the Sons of Veterans who served in the South Boston Heavy/Light Artillery, it’s a little confusing but I think there designation changed more than once during the war.
So all this brings me to this Model 1863 Springfield Rifle Musket, Type 1. It’s not in very good condition but it definitely saw war service and it has the Dahlgren Camp medallion. My best guess is that it was displayed in a “Sons Of Veterans Hall” in South Boston at one time.

If you happen to stumble on this article and you have any history to offer on the Sons of Veterans, Dahlgren Camp give me a shout…..you can contact me at civilwararsenal@yahoo.com Attn: Gene West…thanks for stopping by.

Joslyn Carbine, Model 1864

The Northern Industrial machine was ramping up in 1862. With one loss after another the Union Army was in need of not just better foot soldiers but better weapons to arm them. Procurements were being made with dozens of Northern businessmen to make as many carbines and rifles regardless of the weapons performance. Much of this changed as the war went on but in the early days of the war it was a Mecca of opportunity for anyone who had the know how and ability to make guns.

The inventor of the Joslyn was Benjamin F. Joslyn of Worcester, Massachusetts but in late 1859 William C. Freeman acquired the rights to the weapon and with the help of Senator J.L. Williams received his first Government contract. The early Joslyn carbines were percussion rifles but by October 1861 Benjamin received a patent for a rim fire design that he would implement with the Joslyn 1862 Model.

As the war raced on and there being a urgent need for as many Calvary weapons as the Union Army could purchase, Benjamin received many contracts from the U.S. Government, Ordinance Department, but he could never fill the orders as quickly as promised but it didn’t stop the Government from making contractual commitments with him.

Finally in November 1863, Benjamin after many alterations and patent changes to the Joslyn carbine received his biggest contract from the U.S. Ordnance Department. He was to furnish 15,000 Carbines at a price of $23.50 each. The order stated that the first 1000 would be delivered within 60 days and then 3000 a month until the contract was filled, however patent changes to the breech block delayed this fulfillment. Not until July of 1864 were the first carbines delivered.

The Joslyn Carbine, Model 1864 was a flawed weapon by most officers standards. It had gone through a bunch of improvements since the start of the war but still didn’t meet most evaluators expectations. Nine Officers reported test firing the Joslyn during the 1863-64 Ordnance Department survey. Only one considered it good while the others considered it either poor or worthless. The complaints on the carbine were the breechblock had a tendency to blow open while firing the weapon and there was a problem chambering the Spencer Ammunition. It seems as though the ammunition problem was faulty ammo and improper chamber tolerances for some of the Spencer ammunition.

During the coarse of the war a total of 11,261 Joslyn carbines were purchased by the U.S. Ordinance Department as well as 515,416 cartridges at a cost of $12,935. As the war came to a close there wasn’t much need for carbines, especially carbines that weren’t very good so the Joslyn Firearms Company closed its doors in 1866 and disposed of its equipment at a Sheriffs sale in June 1868.

Calvary regiments which were issued Joslyn carbines were: 4th and 8th Indiana, 1st New York Dragoons, 19th New York, 13th Tennessee, 9th Pennsylvania, 3rd West Virginia, 1st Wisconsin, 1st Nebraska, 1st Nevada and the 11th Ohio.

So that brings me to the next example in the Civil War Arsenal. This 1864 Model Joslyn has a Serial # 6620 and is in relatively good condition. With a crisp trigger mechanism and a clean stock this Josyln probably never saw much service. It has two cartouches on the left side of the stock suggesting that it was issued and likely stored in an armory after the war.

I’d like to thank John D. McAulay for his historical research and devotion. His book “Carbines of the Civil War” is a must for anyone collecting Union Carbines. This book is an easy read and great reference for Civil War weapons collectors, if you don’t own it, buy it now.

If you have any questions about this carbine or any of the other weapons in the Civil War Arsenal feel free to contact me at civilwararsenal@yahoo.com attn: Eugene West

Civil War Guns

Sitting around the house today not knowing what to do, outside the snow is coming down and there calling this the storm of the century with up to 2 feet of snow and 50 MPH winds expected, sounds cold to me….

Anyway I decided to take some photos of my history room, a.k.a. the “Civil War Arsenal”. As you can see many of my antique weapons are displayed throughout the room. I recently had a carpenter build the racks that the rifles are mounted on, all in all I think the racks came out pretty nice and compliment the rifles and corresponding bayonets.

You’ll also notice some D-Handle, Side Knives, Pikes and Artillery Swords displayed as well. Its my opinion that these weapons should be displayed so friends and family can see and handle them. I don’t quite get the fun in collecting antique guns and swords then putting them in the safe or some out of the way place where no one can appreciate them. But thats just my opinion and you know what they say about opinions.

Also scattered throughout the room are a number of paintings, historical photos, bronze castings and dozens of other historical items. You’ll notice that I am a big “John Paul Strain” fan he is perhaps one of the best artist in his field I have a bunch of his paintings. I also have some of “Karl Anderson’s” sculptures, he’s a less know artist then John however just as good and I believe the best in his field, especially when it comes to historical accuracy.

Well there you have it, another story that no one will read. Just Kidding…. If you have any questions about this post or any of the weapons in the “Civil War Arsenal” feel free to contact me at civilwararsenal@yahoo.com attn: Gene West

1865 Spencer Repeating Carbine

The Civil War Arsenal has been focusing mostly on Confederate Weapons, the author has been crazed by these Southern beauties. But the Arsenal is full of other war time weapons that have been praised by the men of their time. The one we’ll showcase in this article is the 1865 Spencer Carbine.

The Spencer is considered the first successful repeating carbine to fire a metallic cartridge. Men from both the North and South agreed that the Spencer had a hand in turning the tides of the War in favor of the North. The inventor of the weapon was Christopher Miner Spencer. Born in Manchester Connecticut at the age of 19 was issued U.S Patent # 27,393 for a tubular magazine cartridge firearm in both carbine and rifle design.

In July of 1861 the U.S Government (Navy) placed there first order for 700 Spencer rifles with sword bayonets and 70,000 metallic cartridges, which were issued to Mississippi flotilla gunboats. At the battle of Gettysburg a portion of General Custer’s Michigan Brigade were armed with Spencer rifles which they used against Jeb Stuart’s Calvary with tremendous success.

Two versions of the Spencer were manufactured by both the Burnside Rifle Company (30,496) and the Boston Rifle Factory that was owned and operated by Christopher Spencer (64,685) for a total of 95,181 weapons and 58,238,924 cartridges. The 56-52 and 56-50 rim fire metallic cartridges were used in the Spencer Carbines. The 56 stands for the Spencer cartridge and the 52/50 stand for the bore diameter. The Burnside shot 50 caliber while the Spencer shot 52 caliber.

The Spencer carbine manufactured in Boston Mass. has an overall length of 39 inches and weights 8 pounds 4 ounces, case hardened lock, two piece black walnut stock with the butt stock being 15 inches. The barrels are blued and 22 inches long (however this M-1865 Spencer has a 20″ barrel) a brass blade front sight and a single leaf rear V notched rear sight graduated to 800 yards.

A tubular magazine located in the butt stock to feed the rim fire cartridge, capable of holding 7 copper cartridges were pushed forward to the receiver by a coil spring. To fire the Spencer carbine the operating lever is lowered ejecting the previously fired cartridge bringing the next cartridge into position, the hammer is then cocked and the carbine is ready for firing. Seven cartridges could be fired in about 10 seconds.

In the latter part of the war Edward M. Stabler of Maryland invented the Stabler Cut-Off Device. It prevented the cartridge from feeding the magazine to the receiver by limiting the lowering of the breech block. The carbine could then be used as a single shot weapon. A few of the carbines manufactured by the Spencer factory, plus 19,000 of the 30,496 of the Burnside Spencers were equipped with the Stabler Cut-Off Device.

The Blakeslee cartridge box received U.S. Patent # 45,469 on December 20, 1864, invented by Colonel Eratus Blakeslee of the 1st Connecticut Voluntary Calvary. The cartridge box was capable of carrying 10 to 13 tinned tubes containing seven Spencer cartridges each, giving Union Calvary men an additional 70 to 91 cartridges at there finger tips.

At the 1865-66 carbine test trials, the Spencer was rated the best arm of its kind offered for use. The Spencer carbine was carried by Custer’s 7th Calvary at the Battle of Little Bighorn and was used until it was replaced by adoption of the 45-70 trapdoor Springfield in 1873.

After the war demand for the Spencer declined and the Company went out of business in September 12, 1869. Its assets were purchased at auction by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company in 1870.

Which brings us to this fine example of an 1865 Spencer Repeating Carbine which has the Stabler Cut-Off Device. The stock is in excellent condition, the receiver still has signs of bluing and the barrel and all hardware having a nice brown patina. I don’t normally shot any of my antique weapons but I purchased preloaded cartridges from Dixie Gun Works and had a blast shooting this weapon at targets of 25 yards, the weapon shot flawlessly hitting the target most of the times. Ironically I am not a good shot but the Spencer Carbine made me a Marksmen.

I must offer credit and thanks to author John D. McAulay for his book Carbines of the Civil War 1861-1865 for many of the facts written in this article are a result of his hard work and research.

How Much Is My Civil War Gun Worth?

Great question, I’ve been purchasing Civil War weapons for some time now and I’m always asked “how much is my civil war gun, knife, sword worth?” Well it seems these days many of us have an unrealistic impression as to what our CW items are worth.

Let me explain. First we need to differentiate between Union and Confederate pieces. Confederate pieces will always seek higher value then Union pieces unless the Union piece has provenance or was carried by someone of historical significance. Many newbie Civil War collectors want to buy a long rifle, carbine or maybe a sword to start their collection. So they go on the internet or to the next antique gun show and they buy the first gun or sword they see not understanding its true value.

Then you have the owner of Civil War weapons who may have inherited Civil War items from a relative or purchased a couple pieces a few years back, they over paid for the gun or sword and now they not only want to get their money back but they want to make 50% premium, sorry but it doesn’t work like that.

It’s my opinion that the best way of understanding value of Civil War weapons is to do your research. There are many reference books that have been published over the past 10 years that are an absolute must for all CW collectors. These books are written by the experts in the industry and many have 100’s of high quality photos that always come in handy, I will mention a few of these books at the end of this post.

So back to value, there are many unscrupulous people out there that will take advantage of buyers of CW items if you don’t do your homework. When I first started collecting CW guns and swords I would buy the first item that came along only to see the same item at the next gun show for a fraction of the price and in better condition. This happened a few times before the light went off in my head. I started becoming more disciplined, I purchased all the research books I could to make me a better consumer.

I would recommend to all reading this post “DO NOT BUY CIVIL WAR GUNS OR SWORDS FROM ONLINE AUCTIONS” you have no recourse if the item doesn’t meet your expectations. It’s tricky when you purchase a gun/sword from an auction because of the percentage the auction house adds on after the auction is closed, and that amount is usually 15 to 20% on top of the winning bid.

You’re better off buying your CW items from the major dealers in the industry. I found that you can generally negoicate price with the prominate CW dealers and they usually have a 3 to 7 day buy back if you’re not happy with the piece. They want you to keep coming back so they’re going to treat you like a client rather than someone they won’t see again.

Many of the dealers have large inventories, since there always buying large collections of weapons and they need to turn over there inventory, so there willing to sell items at fair market value (sometimes even below) especially Union pieces. Let’s face it the Union made millions of weapons during the CW and there’s no shortage of those pieces. On the other hand the Confederate weapons that are a horse of another color. All Confederate weapons are considered rare, some more than others but never the less all Southern weapons are rare.

I’ve gotten to know some of the major Civil War dealers over the past few years and I can generally buy items well below market value because I pay my bills and I keep coming back time after time. Most of the weapons I buy these days are Confederate. I’ve purchased a number of Bowie Knives, Pikes, Carbines, Long Rifles and just about anything else that whistles Dixie. I have a nice collection of Richmond Virginia Long Rifles, short rifles and carbines and I didn’t pay more than $6500.00 for any of them, well below market value and yes I bought them from dealers, one of the big mistakes I made is I bought an 1863 Richmond Carbine from an online auction for $4600.00 only to receive it and find the barrel had been cut down. I had no recourse in returning the Richmond to the online auction so I ate the loss. That was a big loss to eat. DO NOT BUY FROM ONLINE AUCTIONS!!!!!!

So again I ask what is my Civil War weapon worth? I guess what someone is willing to pay for it.

If you have a Civil War weapon that you want to sell or just want to understand its value I can help. Email me at genx1969@yahoo.com and I will get back to you ASAP. If I can’t help you I may know someone who can.

If you have any Confederate weapons that you want to sell, I am always interested.

Gene West
civilwararsenal@yahoo.com

Reference books;
1.Confederate Bowie Knifes, By Jack Melton, Josh Phillips, John Sexton
2.Collecting the Confederacy, By Shannon Pritchard
3.Civil War Collectibles, By Russell E. Lewis
4.Civil War Firearms, By John F. Graf
5.Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms, By Norm Flayderman
6.The Civil War Collector’s Price Guide, By Stephen Sylvia

I Buy Civil War Guns, Carbines, Swords, Revolvers

The Civil War Arsenal is looking to buy, muskets, carbines, revolvers, swords, knifes and other items associated with the Civil War. I’ve been purchasing weapons of all types from major Civil War dealers for some time now, but I’m hoping to establish a niche with this web site that allows me and others to buy, sell and trade CW weapons.

I would be willing to pay top dollar for quality Union and Southern Weapons. My weapons of interest are Southern/Confederate provenance but I’m not opposed to buying Union pieces, after all the Union made some pretty COOL pieces.

No collection is too big or too small; I’d love to have first crack (opportunity) at buying your Civil War weapons/collections. If only I could buy Civil War weapons at what the Dealers buy weapons for, my collection would be GRAND.

So please if you have any Southern or Union Weapons, D handle Bowie knifes, Carbines, Muskets (Imports or Domestic), Revolvers, Artillery Swords. Email me at genx1969@yahoo.com .
I’m especially interested in any Richmond VA. Muskets, Rifles and Carbines any year any condition.

Gene West
civilwararsenal@yahoo.com

1864 Gywn & Campbell Carbine, Type II

I’ve been tardy in posting photo’s of weapons I’ve written about, but I’ve been so busy at work and home that it’s not allowing me to write, photo and document as much as I’d like to so I apologize for that. The next weapon in the Civil War Arsenal that I’ll be writing about is the 1864 Type II Gwyn and Campbell Carbine. One of the more interesting looking weapons of the Civil War. There were actually 3 versions of this carbine. The first was the 1862 Cosmopolitan of which 1140 carbines were manufactured, next was the 1863 Gwyn and Campbell Type I, 4200 of these carbines were manufactured and finally the 1864 Type II Gwyn and Campbell of which 4002 carbines were manufactured. A total of 9342 carbines were purchase by the Ordnance Dept. for the sum of $197,320.00 as well as 6,300,000 linen cartridges for $132,007.27. The Cosmopolitan (Gwyn and Campbell) gets its name from the manufacturer, Cosmopolitan Arms Company of Hamilton, Ohio. It is also known as the ‘’Gwyn and Campbell” for the owners of the Cosmopolitan Arms Co. “Grapevine” because of the snake like curves in the trigger guard lever and long hammer; “Union Rifle” for the markings on the frame; “Ohio” for the state in which it was manufactured; and “Gross” for the inventor. The inventor, Henry Gross received U.S. Patent #25,259 on August 30, 1859 for the Cosmopolitan carbine. In 1860 the carbine was tested by Erskine Allin, the Master Armourer at the Springfield Armory, and again on June 9, 1860 by the Navy at the Naval Yard Washington with overall success. The actual manufacturing of the carbine was in Hamilton, Butler County, Ohio at the Cosmopolitan Arms Company which had been established in 1860. The firm’s owners were Edward Gwyn and Abner C. Campbell. The first wartime order for the Cosmopolitan carbine was requested by Illinois Governor Richard Yates through his State Quartermaster General’s headquarters at Springfield, Ill. Quartermaster General John Wood in a letter to Major Hagner dated December 12, 1861, requisitioned the Cosmopolitan Carbines for the Governor’s Legion. This letter introduced Edward Gwyn to Major Hagner so that Gwyn could obtain the order to furnish the Cosmopolitan for the Governors troops. Major Hagner in turn contacted General Ripley asking approval to give the order to Mr. Gwyn for 1,140 carbines plus appendages at $27.00 each with delivery in 60 days. The linen cartridge used a .52 caliber bullet weighting 390 grains and using 40 grains of powder, the overall length of the cartridge was 1.63 inches. The overall length of the carbine was 39 inches and it weighed 6 pounds 9 ounces. It does not have a fore stock and all carbines are marked UNION/RIFLE on the right side of the frame. The 19 inch blue barrel has a 3 ½ inch octagon section at the breech; with an iron blade front sight and a folding leaf rear sight graduated to 900 yards (type II versions have a 600 yard graduated rear sight). All major parts are serial numbered and also have an assembly number. The delivery on December 31, 1864 closed out the Gwyn and Campbell contracts during the Civil War. Many Calvary Regiments were issued the Gwyn and Campbell with a few being the 2nd and 3rd Arkansas; 5th, 6th and 16th Illinois; 3rd and 4th Indiana’s; 4th and 8th Iowa; 2nd, 6th and 14th Kansas; 10th, 12th, 14th and 40th Kentucky; 4th and 8th Missouri; 5th and 8th Ohio; 7th Tennessee; and the 3rd Wisconsin. In response to the 1863-1864 Ordnance Dept. survey of officers in the field using the various carbines, 37 officers commented on the Cosmopolitan with 23 considering it fully satisfactory and 14 considering it worthless. The major problem was found to be in the action of the breech mechanism. So that brings me to my 1864 Gwyn and Campbell Type II, which is in good condition. It does have a repair to the stock which is hardly noticeable, aside from that everything else is fine. The bluing on the barrel has worn off over the years but that just adds to the character of the weapon. All of the markings are legible and the action is perfect. The rear sight is the 600 yard graduated style and it has a sling ring on the left side. The serial # is in the 3500 range and the assembly number is 42. I’d like to thank John D. McAulay for all the great research he’s done. Without his book “Carbines of the Civil War” I would not be able to write this article in such detail.

1862 Enfield, P-1853 Type III Rifle Musket

Over the last bunch of weeks I’ve written about many of the domestic weapons in my Civil War Arsenal, but today I’m going to write about one of my imports muskets. The 1853 Type III Enfield was the most common imported weapon of the Civil War. Both the North and South imported this weapon to the tune of 900,000 from 1861 to 1865.

At the outbreak of the war the Enfield was considered the rifle of choice. The Enfield was the first production gun to use rifling in its barrel and it fired the .577 caliber Pritchett minie ball (which was innovative for its time) and considered by many the prettiest rifle made with its brass accents.

There were many private contractors manufacturing Enfield’s but the better quality Enfield’s were made by the Birmingham Small Arms Factory and the London Armory Arsenals. The reason for this was that these two companies made muskets that had interchangeable parts, the dozens of other gun making companies made muskets that looked the same but the parts would not interchange from one gun to the other. This did not fare well in battle, as one musket failed you could not take parts from another and fix it.

So that takes us to the 1862 Enfield in my Civil War Arsenal. I purchased this musket a few years back on Gun Brokers Auction Web Site. The fellow that was auctioning musket did not know much about it, other then it was old. He was selling off a collection of antique weapons for someone. When I first saw the gun I thought there was no way I’d win the auction, thinking that everyone interested would be jockeying for position. However I did have the winning bid and I think I got it for a great price.

This Enfield is super clean with hardly a mark on it. The stock is absolutely stunning with its tiger wood finish and the barrel and hardware are almost flawless. It has the Birmingham stamp on the right side of the stock with the maker’s name of Joseph Wilson. On the top of the stock by the tang of the butt plate is the stamp of Schuyler Hartley and Graham, or SH over G3. I think 3 and 5 are the most common numbers found on these imports with 1, 2, 4 being less common.

Schuyler Hartley and Graham had Military Goods, stores in N.Y.C. at 19 Maiden Lane and 22 John Street, and are considered by many to be the first store to sell Military accessories, kind of like a modern day Army Navy store.

Because they already had connections overseas as buyers of military accessories the U.S. Government and State Governments turned towards them to purchase weapons (rifles, pistols, swords, etc…). Most of the Enfield’s they purchased were bought for the State Militia’s of Massachusetts and New York.
However some of the weapons that S.H & G sold were sold over the counter to soldiers who wanted better equipment then the Government was issuing, and all officers were required to purchase their own uniforms and swords, so during the war S.H.& G. was the perfect tool for soldiers and officers alike to purchase quality weapons and accessories.

But we know this Musket wasn’t purchased by a soldier over the counter. First of all if a soldier wanted to upgrade his Government Issue weapon he would have bought a breech loading rifle or carbine. But the most telling sign is the Government cartouche on the left side of the stock, which tells us this was imported by S.H. & G for the U.S. Government, very neat stuff. I love it when the markings on the weapon tell the story.

This Enfield is a beauty I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Any questions about this posting or any of the other postings at the Civil War Arsenal feel free to contact me at civilwararsenal@yahoo.com attm: Gene West

1862 Sharps & Hankins Naval Carbine

First I must apologize for my spelling errors. It seems as though in my rush to enter content my grammar and spelling haven’t been as good as they should. I find myself wanting to add information as quickly as possible and in my haste I’m making errors, I’m sorry I’ll try to do better.

So on to the next weapon in my Civil War Arsenal. I’ve been of the fence as to which weapon I’d write about next, so I decided to write about the New Model 1862 Sharp & Hankins Naval Carbine.

Christian Sharps left the Sharps Rifle Company in 1853 and started his own company. He needed capital to expand his operation so he brought in partners Ira B. Ebby and Natan H. Bolles. The Companies name was C. Sharps & Company.

In 1860 William C. Hankins, a wood maker by trade joined the firm as superintendent of the rifle works. He brought additional capital to the business, which was greatly needed. In 1861 Ira and Nathan left the firm, the following year William became a full partner. In 1863 the Company’s name was changed to Sharps & Hankins.

The Sharps & Hankins Carbine contained a number of “firsts” in the military field.

1. The separate firing pin within the receiver.

2. Hammer safety mechanism, this kept the hammer face from contacting the firing pin.

3. Extractor system, a spring loaded catch in the frame extracts the cartridge and also prevents the forward movement of the cartridge case when the breech is open.

The Sharps & Hankins Carbine used a 52 – 56 rimfire cartridge with the later carbines chambered for Spencer rimfire cartridges. It had a 800 yard graduated rear sight with a walnut stock the overall length of the carbine is 38 5/8”long and the Barrel is 23 5/8”long. But perhaps the strangest thing about this weapon is that it has a leather sleeve that fits over the barrel and is fastened at the breech. Because this was designed for Naval use it was thought that the leather would prevent the barrel from rusting from exposure to salt water, however they found that when the leather got wet it held the water (like a sponge) and rusted the barrel, part of the learning curve of the industrial revolution I guess.

They actually made a Calvary version of this Carbine without the leather sleeve over the barrel. This carbine measured a total of 33 ½ “with the barrel length of 18 ¾”. It had a sling ring on the left side of the breech so the cavalrymen could attach it to there harness.

About 6200 of these were made throughout the war at a cost of $25.00 each. There were only a handful (600 I think) of the Calvary version made.

The one you see here is a 1900 serial # and is in good condition. Most of the bluing has worn off but it has no rust on it. The leather is in very good condition but may have been replaced at some time. On most of these Navy Carbines the leather sleeve is in poor condition or even missing

The Sharps & Hankins Co. closed its doors in 1867 and all guns were sold off by 1868. William Hankins left the firm early 1867 and the Company changed its name to C. Sharps & Co.

Christian Sharps (who by the way patented the breech mechanism on the Sharps Carbine) died of tuberculosis on March 12, 1874 his estate was valued at $341.25.