Joslyn Model 1864 Carbine .54 56-56? Rimfire Civil War Breech Loading Rifle

Sold For: $1,230


Make: Joslyn Fire Arms Co.

Model: 1864

Serial Number: 9778

Year of Manufacture: 1864

Caliber: We have seen conflicting information from different sources. Joslyn had a proprietary .54 caliber rimfire cartridge and the bore diameter is approximatley .54 caliber. The 56-56 Spencer cartridge chambers properly and some sources list the rifle as chambering a Spencer cartridge. There is no caliber marking on the barrel.

Action Type: Pivoting breech-block single-shot rimfire carbine.

Markings: The lockplate is marked “JOSLYN FIRE ARMS Co. / STONINGTON CONN / 1864”. The rear face of the breech-block is marked “B.F. JOSLYN’S PATENT / OCTOBER 8TH 1861 / JUNE 24TH 1862”. The top of the breech block and the top of the action tang are each marked “9778”, the bottom of the barrel is marked “P9778”. The left of the barrel is marked “G.H.S.”. There are two “FDL” in box cartouches on the left of the stock above the sling bar. The top of the buttplate is marked “US”. There is another marking on the top of the comb just in front of the buttplate which is not legible.

Barrel Length: 22“

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a rounded silver-colored blade in a slotted base fixed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a flip-up “U” notched dual blade assembly. When folded down, a notch is visible. When flipped up, two notches are available marked “3” and “5”.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stock is one-piece walnut with a barrel band at the front, sling bar on the left below the action, straight grip, straight comb and iron carbine-style buttplate. There is a long crack on the left extending forward from the breech block, another on the bottom-front of the forend, and there is a chip-loss on the top-left edge of the forend forward of the barrel band, currently with the original piece being held in place by the barrel band. There are scattered nicks, bruises, dings, scuffs, and scratches. The LOP measures 13 7/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The pate has scattered surface erosion and light wear. Overall, the stock is in about Good condition as Antique.

Type of Finish: Blued

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright and the rifling is sharp. There is light erosion scattered through the bore, mostly toward the muzzle-end.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 30% of its metal finish. Most remaining finish is in the barrel, mottled with light patina. The breech block, sling plate and lockplate show a light patina with the sling bar and plate having wear from a previously installed ring. There are some scattered spots of erosion on the forward portion of the barrel and some other scattered light nicks and scratches. The screw heads are disfigured with useable slots. Most markings are clear except for the marking on the top of the stock as noted. Overall, this rifle is in about Very Good condition as Antique.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork& Accessories: None.

Our Assessment: The Joslyn carbine is an interesting Civil-War breech-loading rifle. The original design was a breech-loading percussion carbine but was soon adapted for use with a proprietary rimfire cartridge. The original cartridge design was prone to having the breech-block pop open when fired and further improvements were made in 1864 including chambering the rifles for use with Spencer cartridges. The earlier guns met with mixed reviews during testing, but the 1864 model was much more favorable. The design was good enough that 3,000 breech assemblies were purchased by the Union and used to make infantry rifles by Springfield Arsenal, the first mass-produced breech-loading rifles to be made at Springfield. This 1864 carbine seems to have survived the war and intervening years quite well with a fairly strong bore, strong mechanics, and wear in the metal and wood consistent with its age and military use. It will make a fine addition to a Civil War small arms collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable (THIS SECTION DOES NOT APPLY TO OUT OF STATE RESIDENTS): This Antique can be sold and shipped direct in California as “the firearm use ammunition manufactured in or before 1898, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States.” Penal Code: 16170. Out of state residents can disregard this section – your local laws apply.

Joslyn Model 1864 Carbine .54 56-56? Rimfire Civil War Breech Loading Rifle
Joslyn Model 1864 Carbine .54 56-56? Rimfire Civil War Breech Loading Rifle