Civil War Smith Carbine


Civil War Smith Carbine – The Smith carbine was manufactured by the American Machine Works of Springfield, Mass. and the Massachusetts Arms Co. and American Arms Co., both of Chicopee Falls, Mass. The total quantity of these weapons that was manufactured, during the period of 1861 – 1865, was something over 30,000. The Smith was a breech-loading, single-shot carbine of .50 caliber.

The gun has iron mountings, with standard, blued finishing, with a case-hardened breech assembly. The stocks were oil-finished walnut, with a saddle ring and bar on the left side of the breech. Poultney & Trimble, agents for this gun, as indicated by their stamping on the left side of the breech, were purportedly responsible for the mounting of the saddle ring and bar on this weapon, as earlier examples had two sling swivels. Most of the entire production of the Smith carbine was purchased by the Federal Government, with only a few sold commercially. The famed private, military purveyors, Schuyler, Hartley & Graham, of New York, did advertise these weapons in their 1864 catalog. Notable Union cavalry regiments issued the Smith included: the 3rd W.Va., 7th and 11th Illinois, 1rst Conn., 7th and 17th Pa., 6th and 9th Ohio, and the 1st Mass.

Marked on the left side of the breech: ADDRESS/POULTNEY & TRIMBLE/BALTIMORE, U.S.A. and SMITH’S PATENT/JUNE 23 1857, as well as the 3-line markings of the contractors: MANUFACTURED BY/ MASS ARMS CO/ CHICOPEE FALLS.

This example of the Smith is in excellent, untouched condition; it retains some original bluing on the barrel and casehardening on the breech. The breech-breaking action of the gun is great, and the bore is super-clean, retaining sharp and distinct rifling. The stock remains in totally original, issued condition, with a wonderful, dark patina and the fine, grain-feathering of early walnut. The serial number of this gun, appearing on the underside of the breech, is 13, 162, placing this gun as mid-war production. This Smith is a superior example of a pivotal Union cavalry weapon.

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