American Civil War Long Arms in Our Collections
Page 3 of 6 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 ... LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 57
Like Tree247Likes

Thread: American Civil War Long Arms in Our Collections

  1. #21
    Senior Member

    Member #
    47314
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    1,424
    Liked
    2544 times
    I've admired the Star, but never owned one. With a production number that high, they should have been issued to more than four regiments. I need to dig several books out and take a look. I do remember reading they were indeed well thought of carbines, but I never knew of anyone shooting one in competition. I'll get back on this one. That's a fine example you have there, mentallapse! Thanks for bringing it to the forum.
    SHOOTER13 and mentallapse like this.

  2. #22
    Supporting Member
    Supporting Member

    Member #
    29747
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    159
    Liked
    569 times
    I only have one Civil War era firearm and it was not used during the war. It's a Special Model 1861 Contract Rifle-Musket manufactured by Lamson, Goodnow & Yale Co. with a 1863 dated lock. It is in unfired condition and I acquired it from my father in law's neighbor who resided in Montana. It hung above a fireplace for over 90 years and looked almost black when I got it. I wiped it down with Murphy's Oil and what you see in the picture is how the wood turned out with just wiping the dirt off with a soft rag.
    Thomas Francis Meagher, the acting Governor of the Territory of Montana, asked the US Government for arms and munitions to arm the Montana Militia. After quite a bit of research, this rifle is believed to be one of that shipment of arms delivered to the Territory in 1867. The rifle had been handed down through the family and as far as they knew, nobody had ever used it. It came with a bayonet and scabbard. The bore was packed with cosmoline or something like it and when I cleaned the bore, the breech plug was as shiny as a new dime. The underside of the hammer shows no wear and the nipple looks like new. The cartouche looks almost as crisp as the day it was stamped. The underside of the barrel looked like polished stainless and I'm sure I was the first person to remove the barrel from the stock after it was assembled in 1863.
    I was at the museum at Fort Harrison in Helena and there were some rifles displayed that included a LG&Y and when I asked the curator about them, he told me they were "Meagher" rifles and part of a shipment to the Montana Militia. That's what started me on researching this rifle as Thomas F. Meagher was a direct relative of my great, great grandfather. It was amazing to me that a random firearm purchase indirectly led back to one of my relatives back in 1867.





    "When in doubt, empty the magazine!"

  3. #23
    Senior Member

    Member #
    47314
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    1,424
    Liked
    2544 times
    Mentallapse, I figure if I dug a bit I would come up with more U.S. cavalry regiments armed with Starr Carbines. Here they are, 1st AR-13th IL-9th IA-5th Kansas-3rd MI-11th MO-12th MO-1st NY Vet Reserves-12th NY-24th NY-19th PA-Merrills Horse.
    ei8ht, mentallapse and Muley Gil like this.

  4. Remove Advertisements
    ColtForum.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #24
    Senior Member

    Member #
    47314
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    1,424
    Liked
    2544 times
    Quote Originally Posted by BARgunner View Post
    I only have one Civil War era firearm and it was not used during the war. It's a Special Model 1861 Contract Rifle-Musket manufactured by Lamson, Goodnow & Yale Co. with a 1863 dated lock. It is in unfired condition and I acquired it from my father in law's neighbor who resided in Montana. It hung above a fireplace for over 90 years and looked almost black when I got it. I wiped it down with Murphy's Oil and what you see in the picture is how the wood turned out with just wiping the dirt off with a soft rag.
    Thomas Francis Meagher, the acting Governor of the Territory of Montana, asked the US Government for arms and munitions to arm the Montana Militia. After quite a bit of research, this rifle is believed to be one of that shipment of arms delivered to the Territory in 1867. The rifle had been handed down through the family and as far as they knew, nobody had ever used it. It came with a bayonet and scabbard. The bore was packed with cosmoline or something like it and when I cleaned the bore, the breech plug was as shiny as a new dime. The underside of the hammer shows no wear and the nipple looks like new. The cartouche looks almost as crisp as the day it was stamped. The underside of the barrel looked like polished stainless and I'm sure I was the first person to remove the barrel from the stock after it was assembled in 1863.
    I was at the museum at Fort Harrison in Helena and there were some rifles displayed that included a LG&Y and when I asked the curator about them, he told me they were "Meagher" rifles and part of a shipment to the Montana Militia. That's what started me on researching this rifle as Thomas F. Meagher was a direct relative of my great, great grandfather. It was amazing to me that a random firearm purchase indirectly led back to one of my relatives back in 1867.





    That is a fine riflemusket with an interesting history! Enjoy it and pass it on.
    ei8ht and mentallapse like this.

  6. #25
    Senior Member

    Member #
    47314
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    1,424
    Liked
    2544 times
    As stated from the beginning, I like shooting these arms and shot for many years in N-SSA competition with them. So, what are they like to shoot? Is one model better than others? Best shooter?

    First I'll say there IS a difference in ammunition for competition and what was issue during the war even with an original unaltered weapon. Sometimes the difference can even cause confusion in how the weapons were rated during the war because modern made components can make an arm seem excellent today that was considered sub standard in the hands of troops 157 years ago. One instance would be the Gallager breech loading carbine. It was a good enough design, not very different from the Smith, Burnside, or Maynard, however the "Patent" ammunition was faulty. It was a tapered rubber tube that had a habit of sticking in the chamber and was difficult to remove when the weapon fouled, it got a bad reputation because of it. Shoot one today with modern made casings and you would wonder why it was unpopular, "It works fine!" The "capped" breech loaders didn't have an extractor or ejectors for fired casings, once fired you had to pick the empty cartridge case out with your fingers. The Maynard had a brass case with a wide rim that required little effort to extract, the Smith casings were heavy enough they didn't expand and stick in the chamber, Burnsides used a tapered case loaded from the front of the breech block and were easily picked out, others, (like Sharps) used combustable paper or linen cartridges leaving nothing in the chamber to extract.

    Common muzzle-loading muskets/riflemuskets we now choose a mold and size the bullets to .001" under bore diameter, (.580" bore-size bullets to .579") test powder charges and shoot the best combination for accuracy. Load the powder in a plastic or rubber case, top with a lubed bullet, bite the bullet off the tube, pour the powder down the bore, top and ram the bullet, cap, aim, and fire. Simple enough and conducive to sometimes amazing accuracy. Original ammunition was very different. At first U.S. issue ammunition for the .58 riflemusket used a .575" swaged bullet lubed with a bees wax and beef tallow mixture with a charge of 60gr. "musket powder" (about modern FFg) rolled in a folded paper cartridge, later the bullet diameter was further reduced to .573" to facilitate loading in both the .577 Enfields and the .58 Springfields. On top of that, bore diameters did vary. For Springfield and contractor riflemuskets it could go from .580" to .585". Enfields were far worse with bores ranging from .573" to .580" +. Late Enfields ordered by the U.S. Gov't specified a .58 or 24ga. bore to avoid the undersize bores. I'll add that most Enfield pattern arms were of good to excellent quality, but most were hand fitted and if something broke it was more than a simple part swap out. Later in the war when the Confederacy declared the Enfield it's official arm, most soldiers would swap for a U.S. Springfield given the opportunity. I'll add here the standard rifling twist for the U.S. made arms was 1:72" and 1:78" for the Enfields.

    I'll add here that of all contract arms of Springfield pattern, Colt was the only one who had a 100% acceptance rate even though the Colt 1861, "Special Model" was a Springfield/Enfield hybrid. The Colt Special Model was so good in fact the U.S. Gov't patterned the Model 1863/1864 Riflemuskets after it eliminating the needless clean out screw of the 1855-1861 Models, changing the hammer profile, swelled rammer to a "spoon" retension in the forestock, and going to Colt type screw clamping barrel bands. After some use in the field it was decided to go to back to nonsplit barrel bands with spring retainers in 1864 along with a new rear sight more conducive to combat conditions.

    Over-all if I were to rate the best riflemuskets of the war, the U.S. 1864 Springfield would certainly top the list with the U.S. 1863 and Colt Special Model of 1861 tied for second place. That's only my free opinion and worth every cent you pay for it. Of course the U.S. Springfield 1864 didn't enter the war until 1864, earlier than that I would rate the Colt as the best arm covering the entire war. The 1861 Springfield and it's contractors was an excellent riflemusket spanning the entire war and THE representative arm of the conflict. It's only real short coming being the needless clean out screw in the bolster eliminated in later models.

    Smooth bore muskets is an easy choice, the U.S. 1842 as made at Springfield and Harpers Ferry and although parts interchangability was "iffy" at best, Palmetto, C.S.A. The 1842 Model was the pinnacle of the smooth bore musket. A charge of 110gr. musket powder propelling a load of three buck shot and a ball was a load to be reckoned with and not entirely out of fashion for the times and tactics. My own shooting with an 1842 is it gives quite a recoil jolt compared to a .58 riflemusket, the lack of a rear sight is more of a major handicap than the arm being smooth bore, but once the sight picture is established it can easily hit a man size target out to 80yds. My best shooting with an 1842 was roughly a 4" group, 6 inches above point of aim at 50yds with 50% of the buckshot on the 20x20" paper target. Not bad considering I was using the as issue combat load.

    As for a "short" or "Sergeant's" pattern muzzle loading rifle of the war, I like the British Enfield P-1856, (there were no P-1858 Naval Pattern Enfields in use by either side, at least in any numbers). The reason I would choose the 1856 Sergeants Pattern is the same as it was for Confederate sharp shooters in the war, the rear sight sits forward on the barrel giving a crisp sight picture for skirmishing or sharp shooting and the 1:48" twist gave good bullet stability at distant targets over the standard U.S. riflemusket 1:72" twist or the 1:78'' twist of the P-53 Enfield riflemuskets.

    Sharps led the war as for a single shot breech loader, being accurate, powerful, and dependable. Few if any of it's competitors could claim all three of the Sharps attributes.

    The Spencer repeating rifles and carbines take top honors in it's class over the Henry, Ball, and others. Although it didn't hold as many rounds and was slower to cycle, the Spencer could be loaded with precharged magazines and fired a much more powerful ammunition than it's competitors making it a true combat arm.

    Lastly, there's a bunch of weapons I passed over here because of numbers issued, quality, or simply obscurity. One thing I've found is, many good designs came later in the war and some were eclipsed by the industrial power of the North. It may seem odd that Spencer repeating rifles were carried in numbers at Gettysburg while Maynard Carbines were yet to be issued to the Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac. Such was the war...

    Edit to say, in Claude Fuller's book, "The Civil War Riflemusket" contains a wealth of information as well as many pages depicting targets shot with various arms of the war by the men who were there.
    Last edited by krag96; 01-19-2020 at 11:59 AM.

  7. #26
    Senior Member

    Member #
    47314
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    1,424
    Liked
    2544 times
    One popular arm I've yet to mention is the U.S. 1841, "Mississippi" rifle. With the various manufacturers and alterations, this rifle can be a life long hobby in itself. Manufactured by Harpers Ferry Arsenal and four contractors some 75,000 were made and was a popular arm both North and South. Originally designed for patched round ball .54 ammunition, many were rebored and rifled to the new .58 Minie ammunition by the Federal Gov't and individual states. Often the alteration included upgraded sights and a bayonet lug. One of the better alterations was done by Colt which included rebored and rifled to .58, the addition of a folding rear leaf sight, and a clamp on bayonet lug.

    Federal alteration with long range sight.
    0NM15uy.jpg

    Colt alteration with bayonet from Arms List.
    CRIqrpl.jpg

    Detail of Colt rear sight from Arms List.
    pQXNlf1.jpg

    The altered to .58 "Mississippi" Rifle was one of the better Civil War rifles for me to shoot. I shot a Federal long range sighted rifle and did very well with it, it was a pleasure to shoot.

  8. #27
    Senior Member

    Member #
    30579
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    242
    Liked
    518 times
    Here is an 1838 smooth bore that fired a 69 caliber round ball. It was converted from flintlock to percussion at some point probably by the North.


    1838 Springfield.JPGconfed conversion.JPG1816 Bayo.JPG

  9. #28
    Supporting Member
    Supporting Member

    Member #
    4922
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    1,661
    Liked
    7188 times
    Colt 1861 contract musket. It is a .58 caliber and is finished in the white. Made in 1864.





    Recusant, krag96, Chaffee and 2 others like this.
    It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived.

  10. #29
    Senior Member

    Member #
    23824
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    FL and PA
    Posts
    1,580
    Liked
    2256 times
    I've been wanting a Civil War Rifle to shoot for quite a while and recently picked up this 1864 Springfield (or 1863 Type II, whichever you prefer) from Dave Taylor in Ohio. The nipple is all beat up, so I still need to replace it, but hope to have this one up and running very soon.

    IMG_0860.JPGIMG_0859.JPGIMG_0861.JPG

  11. #30
    Senior Member

    Member #
    47314
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    1,424
    Liked
    2544 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Recusant View Post
    Here is an 1838 smooth bore that fired a 69 caliber round ball. It was converted from flintlock to percussion at some point probably by the North.


    1838 Springfield.JPGconfed conversion.JPG1816 Bayo.JPG
    That's an above average conversion and one well worth having in a collection.
    mentallapse and Muley Gil like this.


 
Page 3 of 6 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 ... LastLast

Home | Forum | Active Topics | What's New

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
We are not associated with Colt's Manufacturing LLC. We are an enthusiast site comprised of Colt Fans.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.3
Copyright © 2020 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.
SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.