This is an antique, very fine condition and all original Civil War Smith Cavalry Carbine, serial number 18794. Based upon its condition, it is likely that this carbine was never issued.
This Carbine was manufactured by the Massachusetts Arms Company of Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, which was one of three prime contractors who manufactured the Smith Carbine during the Civil War, the other two being the American Machine Works of Springfield, Massachusetts, and the American Arms Company, also located in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts. Approximately 30,000 Smith Carbines were manufactured during the war.
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 horizontally, just behind the sling ring bar, "SMITH'S PATENT / JUNE 23 1857." Towards the front left side of the receiver, stamped horizontally, is "MANUFACTURED BY / MASS. ARMS CO / CHICOPEE FALLS." The stampings all remain very crisp and clear.
The receiver still retains virtually all of the still beautifully vivid and original case colors throughout. The breech area also retains virtually all of the original color case-hardened finish. The chamber portion of the breech is very clean and exhibits no evidence of firing. The touchhole exhibits no evidence of ever having been fired. 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 “18” on one side and “794” on the other.
The original hammer retains the majority of its original color case-hardened finish. The original checkering on the thumb piece is still present and is still crisp. The hammer screw has an unmarred slot. The original nipple is in fine condition and is still clear down to the breach ignition hole. The Bolster retains considerable original finish and the clean out screw has a slightly marred slot. The Mainspring remains very strong.
The barrel still retains the majority of the original blue finish throughout with a few very minor errors of finish loss. Overall, the barrel retains 95% plus of its original blued finish. The rear face of the barrel has the matching serial number “18794.” The bottom of the barrel, between the two pivot points, also has the full serial number “18794.”
The original brazed front sight base and brass front sight blade are present. The base retains the majority of its original blued finish. The original adjustable rear sight is also present, and the elevation bar still moves throughout the length of the rear sight leaf. The adjustable Rear Sight still retains the vast majority of its original blued finish, and the elevation leaf still moves correctly.
The bore is in immaculate, mint condition and still has strong rifling present and a mirror finish. The breech area exhibits no evidence of firing use and remains exactly as it was when it was manufactured, further supporting the theory that this carbine was never issued.
The original black walnut stock is in very fine condition with no cracks noted and only very minor dings and scratches. The left stock flat has the original Federal Government military acceptance cartouche found on later Smith Carbines, which is serif “H.J.” stamp, which is usually seen on Smith Carbines in this serial number range. The original black walnut forestock is also in very fine condition with no chips or cracks and it matches the butt stock perfectly. The original forestock screw retains considerable original fire blue finish and the slot is unmarred.
The original barrel band is present and has largely turned a brown color with pewter patina, although there is evidence of the original blued finish on the forward edge of the band. The original butt plate is also present and retains considerable original color case-hardened finish on the tang and back portion. Both butt plate screws are present, and both have unmarred slots. The original Cavalry Sling Ring and Bar is present and exhibits pewter patina. The original brass disconnector in front of the trigger is present and the connection arm still works perfectly and still retains 95% of its original, bright blued finish. The original Trigger is present and retains 90% plus of its original blued finish.
The Trigger Guard and Plate still retain 95% plus of the vivid blued finish with only a few small areas of finish loss. Both original Trigger Plate screws are present and only one has a slightly marred slot.
This is an exceptional example of an original condition Civil War Smith Cavalry Carbine from the middle of the war. Given the condition of this carbine, it is likely that this carbine was never issued during the war. This carbine functions perfectly.