This is an antique, high condition and all original Civil War Smith Cavalry Carbine, serial number 10626.
This Carbine was manufactured by the American Machine Works of Springfield Massachusetts, which was one of three prime contractors who manufactured the Smith Carbine during the Civil War, the other two being the Massachusetts Arms Company and the American Arms Company, both located in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts. Approximately 30,000 Smith Carbines were manufactured during the war and this is one of the earlier carbines made, serial number 10626.
This Carbine is .50 caliber, percussion. The US Government received almost the entire wartime production of all Smith Carbines and assigned serial numbers to the various manufacturers. The left side of the receiver, stamped vertically, is "ADDRESS / POULTNEY & TRIMBLE / BALTIMORE, U.S.A." Below the address line is stamped vertically, just behind the sling ring bar, "SMITH'S PATENT / JUNE 23 1857." Towards the front left side of the receiver, stamped vertically, is "MANUFACTURED BY / AM'N M'CH'N WKS / SPRINGFIELD MASS." The stampings are all still crisp and clear.
The receiver still retains the vast majority of the still beautifully vivid and original case colors throughout. The breech area retains even more vivid and original color case-hardened finish. The chamber portion of the breech is very clean and exhibits minimal evidence of firing. The barrel portion of the breech is in very fine condition, exhibiting a mirror finish. The bottom of the receiver, on either side of the pivot point, is the serial number, with “10” on one side and “626” on the other.
The original hammer retains considerable original color case-hardened finish. The original checkering on the thumb piece is still present and is still crisp. The original nipple has evidence of pitting but is remarkably clear down to the breach ignition hole. The Bolster retains considerable color case-hardened finish and the clean out screw has an unmarred slot. The Mainspring remains very strong.
The barrel still retains the majority of the original blue finish throughout with a fine layer of old foxing in places. The bottom, rear of the barrel has the matching serial number “10626.”
The left side of the barrel where it is octagonal towards the breech has the correct "L.F.R." inspector's initials stamped, which are the initials of Lafayette F. Rogers, who was an Ordnance Department inspector of contract arms during the Civil War.
The original brazed front sight base and brass front sight blade are present. The original adjustable rear sight is also present and the elevation bar still moves throughout the length of the rear sight leaf. The Rear Sight still retains the majority of its original blued finish with areas of old foxing throughout.
The bore is in very fine condition and still has strong rifling present and a mirror finish. The breech area has evidence of firing use but was relatively well maintained by the Cavalryman to whom this carbine was assigned.
The original black walnut stock is in excellent condition with no cracks noted and only minor dings and scratches with the exception of the area on the top, just to the rear of the receiver, where there is a small chipped section. The left stock flat has the original Federal Government military acceptance cartouche found on early Smith Carbines, which is a very crisp oval with the inspector's initials "JH" inside the oval, which is the inspection stamp of Joseph Hannis, who was sent from Springfield Armory to inspect Smith Carbines beginning in 1862. Just forward of the butt plate tang is another small, serif “JH” inspection stamp. The original black walnut forestock is also in excellent condition with no chips and only small dings and scratches and it matches the butt stock perfectly. Just to the rear of the forestock screw is a small, serif “JH” inspection stamp.
The original barrel band is present and has largely turned a brown color with pewter patina. The original butt plate is also present and exhibits a largely pewter and plum patina with evidence of old corrosion although both butt plate screws retain the majority of their original blued finish with unmarred slots. The bottom of the butt plate has a serif “P” inspection stamp. The original Cavalry Sling Ring and Bar is present and now exhibits a plum and pewter patina. The original brass disconnector in front of the trigger is present and the connection arm still works perfectly and still retains generous traces of the original, bright blued finish.
The Trigger Guard and Plate still retain 95% plus of the vivid blued finish with areas of old pinprick spotting from corrosion. The rear of the Trigger Plate has a serif “P” inspection stamp. Both original Trigger Plate screws are present.
This is an excellent example of an original condition Civil War Smith Cavalry Carbine from the middle of the war. Given the condition of this carbine, it saw little if any service and only suffered less than adequate storage over the years but it is still a far above average example. This carbine functions perfectly.