1863 Confederate States, Richmond Carbine & Linen Sling

If you’ve been following the Civil War Arsenal for enough time you know I have a soft spot in my heart for Richmond made weapons. I’m always on the lookout for affordable quality Carbines, Short Rifles and Rifle Muskets.

So recently Rick Burton of http://www.ccrelics.com made available a very good condition 1863 Richmond Carbine with a linen sling. I contacted him and we negotiated a fair price that we both could live with. I received the Carbine shortly after and “WOW” I was extremely impressed with the condition of the weapon.

It was the first CW weapon I’d purchased from Rick and was impressed with the overall experience. His website was user friendly and he had a large selection of neat Confederate pieces (and Union)…..and he’s got some nice edged weapons….if only I was rich…haha

So anyway back to my new 1863 Richmond Carbine, she’s a beauty the stock, barrel, lockplate and all hardware are correct and in very good condition…..heck it’s even got the original rear sling swivel screwed into the stock…..for anyone who doesn’t know the rear sling swivel is generally missing from most Richmond Carbines. And the icing on the cake is that it came with a Confederate Linen Sling, I will admit the sling is not perfect however neither am I…..lol

The butt plate is steel and marked U.S., the rear sight is original and the front sight hasn’t been filed down, the barrel band closest to the breech is Richmond made due to the U being offset, the brass nose cap has a nice patina and the lock plate has very good markings as well as good action. The stock is in great condition with some initials and the year 1865 lightly carved on the right side.

This brings my collection of Richmond’s to 9……6 Carbines, 1 Short Rifle and 2 Long Rifles……not bad if I do say so myself.

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

S.C. Robinson (Sharps) Carbine

Samuel C. Robinson was a prominent businessman and property owner in Richmond, Virginia at the outbreak of the “war of Northern aggression”. He teamed up with John H. Lester who had migrated to Richmond shortly before the out break of the war. John was a accomplished businessman who moved his wood working machinery from Brooklyn, New York to Richmond, Virginia.

December of 1862 the Confederate Government entered into contract with the S.C. Robinson Arms Company, of which John Lester was superintendent. The contract was for as many Sharps pattern carbines the firm could produce. During the following 15 months (December 62 – March 63) S.C. Robinson’s Arms Co. manufactured around 2000 “Robinson Sharps” carbines.

The factory was taken over by the Confederate Government sometime after March of 1863. and as the war pressed on and the need for Calvary weapons increased the fabrication of weapons was rushed and many of the Robinson Sharps gained a bad reputation among the troops. One report contending that seven out of nine carbines had burst while testing. Investigation determined that improper handling of the arms would cause loose powder to leak into the lever spring mortise in the forestock, resulting in ignition and bursting of the forestock when firing. The problem was eventually solved by milling a half crescent shaped cutout in the bottom of the forestock allowing any residual powder to fall free.

While the S.C. Robinsons Arms Manufactory was in private hands there was approximately 1900 carbines manufactured and approximately 3500 made while under Confederate Government control.

S.C. Robinson Carbines are one of the few Confederate weapons with serial numbers on them, which allows us to understand when a particular carbine was manufactured, giving us better insight into there history. Most Confederate weapons aren’t so kind to the collector and enthusiasts leaving us grasping at straws to there history. In John M. Murphy’s book “Confederate Carbines and Musketoons”, John claims based on his research the lowest serialized S.C. Robinson carbine known to exist is “11” and the highest is “1909” and the lowest serialized Confederate produced carbine is “1925” and the highest is “5463”.

Robinson Carbines measure a total of 38 ½” with barrels that are 21 ½” long. They are .52 caliber and are rifled with six lands. Most barrels were browned, however some were heated blue. The lock plates/ actions were color-case hardened. The earlier versions made by S.C. Robinson are marked on the lock plate behind the hammer “S.C. Robinson / Arms Manufactory / Richmond VA/ 1862” in four lines, the serial number was stamped on the tail of the lock plate. The Government produced carbines are virtually identical to those made by S.C. Robinson except there lock plates are unmarked except for the serial number and the barrels are marked with Richmond VA behind the rear sight.

All this leads me to one of my many new Confederate Weapons. This carbine has been on my wish list for years, it is a carbine manufactured while under Government control with serial number “4469” on the tail of the lock plate, the tang at the rear of the breech block as well as the backside of the sling plate which can’t be seen while attached to the stock. All in all the carbine is in great shape for its age and history. The action is a little sloppy, but that’s to be expected, the stock does have a small crack on the left side above the trigger, beneath the sling ring…..but it’s minimal. Seems as though the horseman who carried this carbine carved his name and company into the left side of the stock (refer to the photos) which makes this weapons that much cooler…..

So there you have it another Greeeeeaaaaat Confederate weapon, I’m currently looking for an early version of the S.C. Robinson Carbine manufactured while privately owned, which should put the serial number below 1900. If you happen to have an early version Robinson Sharps that you’d like to sell give me a shout maybe we can strike a deal. If you have any questions about this or any of the other weapons at the” Civil War Arsenal” contact me at civilwararsenal@yahoo.com attn: Gene West. Thanks for stopping by, hope to see ya again.

1863 Richmond Carbine

The newest weapon in the ever growing Civil War Arsenal is an 1863 Richmond Carbine that is in excellent condition with all of its accoutrements still in tact. This is not the only Richmond Carbine I own nor is it the only 63 Carbine in my Arsenal, however it is my first complete Richmond Carbine with everything in place…I.E. pinched sight, ram rod, rear sight, swivel slings,etc…..another neat feature of this Southern weapon is that it’s 100% Southern made.

Most Richmond Armory made weapons were assembled with at least some parts from battlefield pickups and or parts that were confiscated during the 1861 raid of the Harper’s Ferry Armory.

As we inspect the cavity under the lock plate we can clearly see that there is no primer cut finger feeds that would be in place if the stock was manufactured at the Harper’s Ferry Armory. The C.S. Armory, Richmond would eliminate unnecessary machining operations from the stock leaving lock plates cavity central element in the shape of a “mules foot”.

The date on the Richmond lock plate has a “die break in the lower left portion of the 8” which is thought to be a stress flaw in the stamping process during the month of October 1863. During that month the Richmond Armory assembled 300 Carbines.

I love the look of the dark “blackened” wood and hardware especially with the brass butt plate and nose cap. Unlike most Confederate weapons you’ll see these days with missing and damaged parts, probably because most of the better quality weapons are in museums and private collections, this carbine is complete in every way.

This makes 7 Richmond Carbines I currently own. I can’t say any one is my favorite, since there all my favorites for different reasons. But I do tend to favor the newest members of my collection until I purchase the next one, lol….

Hope you enjoy the photos and if you have any questions about this Richmond or any of the other weapons in the Civil War Arsenal please contact me at civilwararsenal@yahoo.com attn: Gene West

1864 C.S. Richmond Carbine

Finally a 1864 Richmond that was affordable enough to add to the ever growing Civil War Arsenal. This fine Richmond Armory weapon is 100% Southern manufactured. The stock has no cut out for the Maynard Primer system on the mule’s foot, suggesting that it is wood that was shipped up from Macon Georgia and shaped in Richmond Virginia.

The lock plate has a nice brown patina with fine markings that we like to see on these models. The barrel also has a brown patina with clear V.P. and eagle inspection markings however their is no date stamped. The rear sight is missing however it does have the cut for the steady pin which holds the sight straight. The only problem with the barrel is the front sight has been filed down, however based on the color it was done a very long time ago.

The barrel bands are both stamped with the off set U (for up) which tells us they were hand stamped at the Richmond Armory, however the front barrel band is missing its sling and unlike most Richmond Carbines that are missing the rear sling that screws into the stock this one has its correct one. The butt plate and the nose cap are both brass which is common amongst 1864 Richmonds.

If you haven’t noticed by now I should tell you I love these Richmond Armory weapons. I can’t seem to get enough of them. Each and every one tells its own story, I guess that’s what fascinates me about them.

I’m hoping to add more late model Richmonds to my collection over the next year. It’s my opinion that the late 1863 and 1864 models with there brass butt plates and Macon Ga. stocks tell great stories and show case well. So with any luck you will see my collection grow with those models and if I get really lucky I just may have the opportunity to add more short rifles to my collection. I think there my favorite, but like everything else that changes with time.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my garble. I hope you enjoy the photo’s and if you have a Richmond no matter what year or condition and want to sell it, shoot me an email at civilwararsenal@yahoo.com attn Eugene West

1863 Richmond Va. Carbine & Linen Sling

Summers almost over which is a bummer but I’ve been busy buying lots of new Southern Weapons for my arsenal. I haven’t been written much lately since I’ve been so busy at work. It’s a necessary evil (work that is) if I want to continue collecting and growing my weapons collection.

Just some of my new pieces include 1863 Richmond long rifle that I purchased from William Adams at the Gettysburg Civil War show back in June, E.P. Bond Enfield with the JS & anchor cartouche and hand engraved inventory # 8199 on the butt plate and 1864 Richmond Virginia Carbine out of a collection from Georgia.

But the Weapon I’ll write about today is the 1863 Richmond Carbine, I purchased this weapon from the good people at Lodgewood Mfg. I believe the carbine was on consignment and while surfing their web site I stumbled upon it, immediately I called David and negotiated a price.

The carbine is in pretty good shape especially for the price I paid. The only replacement parts is the front barrel band and the ram rod, but you can tell the ram rod has been with the weapon for a very long time and is hand made with many forging flaws throughout, oh and its missing the rear sight which is not uncommon for Richmond carbines everything else on the weapon is correct.

The wood stock is complete and has a great aged/blackened color to it, the brass tip towards the muzzle is correct with the extra thickness on the bottom to hold the ram rod. The stock has the Maynard Primer cut out under the lock plate so we know this was made with one of the condemned rifle stocks confiscated when the Harpers Ferry Arsenal was raided back in April 1861.

All the metal on the carbine except for the lock plate has a sweetened chocolate color to it, I’m thinking that this was probably a wall hanger at one time and someone polished the lock plate to make it look pretty (bummer) but at least they didn’t polish the whole carbine. The front pinched sight has been filed down a bit and the butt plate is metal with no U.S. stamp on it.

This weapon has the rear sling swivel that screws into the stock behind the trigger guard generally lost on these carbines. A month or two after I purchased this carbine, Brian Akins from “Rebel Relics” had a confederate linen sling for sale on his web site, so here I go again I call Brian a negotiate a price for the sling.

I wasn’t certain which weapon I would place my new sling on but it seemed as though it was meant for this 1863 Richmond carbine.

So there you have it another story told and another weapon for the Civil War Arsenal. My collection of Richmond rifles is growing quickly, if you have a Richmond rifle, short rifle or carbine that you’d like to sell please contact me at civilwararsenal@yahoo.com Attn: Gene West

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the photos.

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

1862 Richmond Carbine

It was the Fall of 1862 and the South was struggling to keep pace with their Northern counterpart. The Northern government and private contractors were manufacturing about 50,000 long and small arms a month, while in the South the two government armories in Richmond, Virginia and Fayetteville, North Carolina were struggling to piece together 2000 usable weapons a month, I say piece together because many of the Musket Rifles were made from parts captured at the Harpers Ferry Arsenal or from battlefield pickups.

Fast forward 150 years, I’m at the Civil War Gun Show at Gettysburg Pa. hoping to find the Confederate Carbine that’s on my wish list. I’m with my wife (Melinda) and her instructions are to help me find a Richmond Carbine and negotiate a price, which is her expertise. It seems as though non collectors don’t have an emotional connection so there not as likely to over pay for the item there negotiating for. So were walking up and down the aisles and there’s a few OK carbines but there in bad to poor condition and I had my heart set on a cleaner version. When finally there it is the Holy Grail of Carbines, an 1862 Richmond Virginia Low Hump Carbine in good condition. I break down the Carbine hoping that it’s historically accurate. First the lock plate then the barrel next the stock and it seems to be 100% correct. The metal all of which is Southern made (except one barrel band and the butt plate) is got a brown patina (not rust) that is smooth to the touch the barrel has a front pinched sight, the hammer is southern made everything is what you hope to find in an early model Richmond Carbine. The stock is probably the neatest of all the features the carbine has to offer.  The stock is split into 2 pieces under the barrel band closest to the lock plate and there are 2 staples holding it together. I’ve read about these types of Confederate guns and I’ve even seen a few in books but I had never held one.

So to make a long story short I fall in love with the Carbine and my wife works here magic negotiating the best price possible while I’m salivating in the next aisle of the show, I went to the next aisle because I didn’t want to show my hand to the seller who might not have moved off his price.

We spend the rest of the weekend in Gettysburg doing battlefield exploration type stuff, having dinner, drinks and the best pretzels I’ve ever eaten at the Irish Pub. Mean while I can’t wait to get home break down my new Carbine and study it from top to bottom.

We finally get home and there I go taking my new toy apart hoping to find what nobody else was able to find. I use gun oil to clean everything hoping it may reveal that one thing that everyone else missed and low and behold there it is on the left side of the stock  a name carved (ever so likely)into the wood, John Taylor.

So then it becomes my mission to learn more about John William Taylor. It turns out John Enlisted April 21st 1861 in Stafford Virginia, roster of the 9th Virginia Cavalry, Company A and served for the duration of the war. We know that all the Carbines made at the Richmond Armory were issued to Virginia Cavalrymen; we know John was promoted to Cpl. Early 1863 which should have given him leverage in getting issued the Carbine.  So it’s fair to say that This John William Taylor carried this Carbine, HOW NEAT IS THAT!

John William Taylor

John William Taylor Tin Type

This is just one of the many Civil War stories I’m hoping to share with anyone willing to listen and I encourage you to tell one of your neat stories about Civil War finds and artifacts.
If you have any thoughts or questions please contact Eugene West at civilwararsenal@yahoo.com