American Civil War Long Arms in Our Collections
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Thread: American Civil War Long Arms in Our Collections

  1. #11
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    Interesting thread fellows. My Civil War collection only contains a 5th Model Burnside and a 1859 Sharps Carbine. I try to stay away from muzzle loaders (except for a Kentucky Long Rifle, which I feel obligated to own being a native Hill Jack). My interest is in metal cartridge guns. Being an engineer by education, the evolution of guns during the Civil War period has always fascinated me. The break throughs in design, machining, metallurgy, and heat treatment are a wonderful study (if you're a nerd like me). The BP cartridges led to a collection of Winchesters, which led to Colts, which led to......
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  2. #12
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    Making a Burnside Carbine would entertain any master machinist for a long time! I thought they were somewhat awkward, but the troops who used them reported they liked them. I haven't read any first hand accounts, however small "stacks" of fired Burnside cartridges have been found on some battlefields. By stacked I mean like ice cream cones, one inside another forming a stack of several. It's believed once a trooper pulled the first fired case out with the next loaded round, or maybe had an empty handy for the "Tool" and used it to pull others out forming a stack of casings to be dropped when it became too long to easily handle or when the shooting stopped.

    The men of both sides loved the Sharps Rifles and Carbines. They were quick to load, no empty case to pick out, accurate, and they packed a punch, even at long range that many other breech loaders lacked. They were popular enough for the Confederacy to produce their own copy, Minus the Lawerance priming mechanism at Richmond Arsenal.
    Last edited by krag96; 01-15-2020 at 10:12 PM.

  3. #13
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    I hadn't heard about the "stacks". In shooting my Burnside (not a lot, obviously) the cases simply fall out. But these are medium loads, about 45 grains.
    And yes, it wasn't until after the Civil War that the Sharps became popular as metal cartridge guns. During the war, they were paper cartridges guns.
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  5. #14
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    According to serial number, this rifle was issued to the 5th Michigan Cavalry commanded by Major General George Armstrong Custer. Much of the basis for his many combat laurels was the effectiveness of the brigade's Spencer repeaters. This one is rough and shows much use. It does have the been there done that look. Barrel is 30" long. The magazine tube is exposed in the tang area from wear and breakage. Wood in the tang area is thin from it being hollowed out for the magazine tube. All numbers match including the barrel, forearm, and frame. I believe it is a 100 % survivor.



    Last edited by mentallapse; 01-16-2020 at 08:24 AM.
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    It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived.

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    I do believe you have a genuine Veteran of the Gettysburg Battle there, mentallapse. Custer's Brigade fought on July 3 on what's known as, East Cavalry Field. J.E.B. Stuart tried circling around Mead's Army to cause confusion and draw troops away from Lee's intended assault on the Union center known today as, "Picketts Charge". The tactic failed due in part to a good number of Spencer repeating rifles in the hands of the Union Troopers.
    Last edited by krag96; 01-16-2020 at 08:44 AM.
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  7. #16
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    My CW carbine collection and some CW long guns with some others mixed in.

    IMG_4168.jpg IMG_4172.jpg
    This all started with one gun!
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  8. #17
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    Please elaborate, Mike! Looks like a fine collection, I see Sharps, Spencers, what looks like a Smith or two, maybe a Gallagher, and possibly a Remington Ryder?..on the carbine side. On the musket rack, an Enfield...and I can't positively the others, but they look European except foe some post war U.S. stuff.
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  9. #18
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    2 Sharps, 2 Spencers, a Smith, a Burnside, a Gallagher, and a Remington Split Breech which did not arrive in time for the war. The long guns include 3 Enfields, one a two band dated 1866. 2 Belgian guns, a Rev War French Musket, a cut down US Model 1840, and a Dutch Rolling Block. Several US Civil War era swords. I have a fair number of CW pistols in various places. These old guns seem to come out of the woodwork at a fairly regular pace around this area. Many of them have been sitting in closets for the last 100 years. I have had to unload more then one of them.
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    This all started with one gun!
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    Here is one of my favorites. It is a Starr .54 caliber carbine made from 1862-1865. Just over 20,000 were made. In government test the Starr carbine was rated better than the Sharps. These were issued to the 1st Arkansas, 5th Kansas, 11th Missouri, and 24th New York. The 1st Arkansas is the only one known to have officially identified their carbines.


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  11. #20
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    That is one of the cautions of taking in these old guns, some can come loaded. I've only run into this once myself, a well worn and rusted U.S. Springfield 1861 made in 1862 claimed to have been found hidden away in a building North of Richmond. A fellow collector/shooter and I had to pull the breech plug and dislodge the round with a wooden rammer from the muzzle after a long soak in Diesel fuel. With the replacement of some small parts and a relined barrel from Bobby Hoyt it was made shootable again and I used it in a few shoots until trading it off for a Winchester.


 
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