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This Smith carbine came out of a house here in Rhode Island only a few days ago, and remains in its untouched, as-found condition. The gun is dirty, with patches of rust that should come off fairly easy. The .50 caliber barrel is dirty and dusty, but shows nice radiant rifling, with some mild pitting. The trigger guard and the latch that kept the barrel closed are long gone. The trigger doesn't stay cocked. The wooden stock is dirty, the wood is sound, with no major damages, the inspector's cartouche is quite prominent.
Gun is serial number 8316. All the markings on the breech are sound and legible, covered by a layer of 100 year old dust.
Patented in 1858, Smiths were bought by the Federal Government shortly after the beginning of Civil War, and issued to
* 3rd West Virginia Volunteer Cavalry Regiment
* 7th Illinois Cavalry
* 11th Illinois Cavalry
* 1st Connecticut Cavalry
* 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry
* 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry
* 6th Ohio Cavalry
* 9th Ohio Cavalry
* 1st Massachusetts Cavalry
The production of these carbines ceased at the end of the Civil War.
The gutta percha casing expanded upon firing, this sealing the breech. Smiths were a good and sturdy skirmishing weapon, easily re-loadable, fairly accurate, and quite powerful.
Using a specially-fabricated cartridge was a drawback, but Confederate soldiers used loose powder and ball in their captured Smiths instead, which produced significant blow-back.
This is a nice, as-found Smith which could be either a great project to complete, as original parts are available, or left as it is now.