US Civil War Massachusetts Arms Co. Smith Carbine .50 Cal Percussion Rifle

SOLD FOR: $1125

LSB#: 210609MW71

Make: Massachusetts Arms Co.

Model: Smith Carbine

Serial Number: 1125

Year of Manufacture: Ca. 1862

Caliber: .50 Caliber

Action Type: Single Shot Breechloading Break-Action Percussion Carbine

Markings: The left rear of the barrel is marked “J” and “H”. The left front of the receiver is marked “MANUFACTURED BY / MASS. ARMS CO. / CHICOPEE FALLS”. The sideplate is marked with “ADDRESS / POULTNEY & TRIMBLE / BALTIMORE. U.S.A.” and “SMITH’S PATENT / JUNE 23. 1857”. The bottom of the breech is marked “1125”. The bottom of the left ear on the receiver is marked “1125”.

Barrel Length: 21 1/2″, Half-Octagon, Half-Round

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a german silver blade in a slotted base dovetailed into the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a folding ladder sight. When the ladder is folded down, a “V” notched battle sight is presented. When the ladder is folded up, there is a “V” notch on the slider. The slider moves freely on the ladder.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece smooth walnut with banded forend, straight grip, straight comb, and steel carbine-style buttplate. Both sides of the wrist have a long crack. There are cracks on the top of the wrist. The stocks have some scattered nicks, dings, scuffs, and scratches. Nearly all of the defects have colored with age. The LOP measures 14 1/2″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has been treated with cold blue and has some scattered erosion under the finish plus some fresh scuffs and marks. Overall, the stocks are in about Good-Very Good condition.

Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color

Finish Originality: Original but the metal has been treated with cold blue.

Bore Condition: The bore is dark with scattered large deep pits. The rifling is worn but visble

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 65% of its current metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. The barrel has mottled discoloration and there is scattered erosion and thinning. There are a few little nicks and dings on the barrel. There are scattered dings and patches of erosion on the receiver. There are areas of muted case color visible, most noticeable on the top. The sideplate is off center and has a darker patina compared to the rest of the receiver. There are some scuffs on the receiver. The guard has discoloration and erosion. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. Some of the markings are clear, others have been eroded. Overall, this rifle is in about Good condition as Antique.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The nipple has some erosion and the hammer has a half-cock safety position. The barrel lockup has some minor movement. 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: This is a nice Smith Carbine made by the Massachusetts Arms Company during the Civil War. The Smith Carbine was unique in that it broke apart in the middle for loading and used rubber cartridges that sealed the gases in the breech, which helped to give it good accuracy compared to some of the other breechloading rifles of the era. The downside was that the rubber cartridges were hard to remove from the chamber after firing. The carbines were built by three different companies. The distributor’s name was Poultney and Trimble, which was stamped on the left side of the receiver and sometimes mistaken for the maker. Over 30,000 of these carbines were built, and were issued to at least 10 Union Cavalry regiments. Despite being one of the more common breech-loading carbines issued in the war, we don’t see too many Smiths come through for auction. This one has some wear but should still find a spot in a collection of Civil War martial arms. Please see our photos and good luck!

US Civil War Massachusetts Arms Co. Smith Carbine .50 Cal Percussion Rifle
US Civil War Massachusetts Arms Co. Smith Carbine .50 Cal Percussion Rifle