Sold For: $1,325
Make: Richardson & Overman
Model: Gallager Carbine
Serial Number: 8490
Year of Manufacture: Ca. 1863
Caliber: .50 Caliber
Action Type: Single Shot, Exposed Hammer, Percussion Fired Breech-Loading Rifle, with Hinged Barrel
Markings: The right side of the receiver is marked “GALLAGER’S PATENT / JULY 17TH 1860″, “MANUFACTD (Small D) BY / RICHARDSON & OVERMAN, / PHILADA. / 8490”. The inside of the cartridge box lid is marked “47”, found again on the right side of the lever assembly.
Barrel Length: 22 ¼”, Round.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade dovetailed onto the barrel. The rear sight is a folding sight in a base that is screwed to the barrel. The rear sight has a wide “V”-notch on one arm and a taller arm which has a “V”-notch at the top and a circular aperture with “V”-notch at its bottom.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stock is one-piece smooth walnut with straight wrist, straight comb, patchbox on the right side and steel carbine-style buttplate. The stock has scattered nicks, dings, scuffs, and scratches. There is wear around the sling bar from the sling ring and a crack between the front of the sling bar and the rear of the receiver. There are a few scattered minor losses at edges. The LOP measures 13 5/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has gone to a light-moderate patina with some scattered surface erosion and wear at the heel and toe. The patchbox shows similar patina and erosion. Overall, the stock is in about Very Good condition as Antique.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Refinished
Bore Condition: The bore is gray and the rifling is strong where not interrupted by erosion. There is scattered light erosion and some light pitting in the bore.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 50% of its current metal finish. The barrel’s finish has a light gray color as from old cold-blue. The barrel has light surface erosion scattered throughout with infrequent pitting. The receiver’s finish is stronger with some minor erosion under the finish, scattered nicks and scratches and some erosion which has been scrubbed out at the left-front corner. The top tang and lockplate have some scattered surface erosion. The screw heads range from sharp to disfigured with useable slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in about Very Good condition as refinished Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. This carbine would fire a .50 caliber Gallager cartridge which either had a brass or foil and paper case; the ignition was achieved with a percussion cap. The flash-hole is not obstructed and the nipple is in good condition. The under lever is secured with a tang mounted lever; the lever is pulled forward, under the action, to pivot the barrel forward and down; this carbine does not have an extraction system. The hammer has a half-cock safety and strong spring. The trigger has a heavy but consistent pull. We have not fired this rifle. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: The Richard & Overman Gallager carbine was patented in 1860, shortly before the outbreak of the American Civil War; fewer than 23,000 of these carbines were produced for Union troops during the span of the war. This fairly low serial number item almost certainly saw action, but retains strong mechanics and a decent bore. The metal has been refinished, but the markings remain clear. This is an interesting survivor of America’s bloodiest conflict and should be a welcomed addition to any military collection. Please see our pictures and good luck!
CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable: This Antique percussion rifle can be sold in California.