Civil War Poultney Trimble Smith Carbine .50 Cal Percussion Rifle Antique

SOLD FOR: $1375

LSB#: 210722TS81

Make: Massachusetts Arms Co.

Model: Smith Carbine

Serial Number: 9806

Year of Manufacture: Ca. 1864

Caliber: .50 Caliber

Action Type: Single Shot Breechloading Break-Action Percussion Carbine

Markings: The left rear of the barrel is marked “LFR”. The bottom of the barrel is marked with the serial number, “9086”. The bottom of the receiver is marked with the serial number as well, “90 / 86”. The left side of the receiver is marked “SMITH’S PATENT / JUNE 23. 1857”. The side plate is marked with “ADDRESS / POULTNEY & TRIMBLE / BALTIMORE. U.S.A.” and “MANUFACTURED BY” over markings that can not be readily made out. The left of the wrist has three cartouches, two of which appear to be “LFR” and “JH”; the third can not be deciphered.

Barrel Length: 21 1/2? half octagonal, half round.

Sights/Optics: The front sight is a 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 is frozen in place.

Stock Configuration and Condition: The stocks are two piece smooth walnut with banded forend, straight grip, straight comb, and steel carbine-style s-shaped buttplate. There is a crack on the left side of the grip that runs through the cartouches there. There are light-to-moderate nicks, dings, and compressions throughout, many of which have been oiled over; others, such as on the left side of the grip and right side of the buttstock appear newer. The wood is dark where it meets the buttplate. The LOP measures 14 3/4? from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. There is light scuff wear at the heel and toe, and overall, the plate has gone to a light patina. Overall, the stocks rate in Good condition, as Antique.

Type of Finish: Blue and Case Color

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright with well-defined rifling. There is intermittent minor erosion in the bore along with scattered light stubborn fouling.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 10% of its original metal finish. Remaining finish is strongest on the tang. The barrel and receiver have gone to a light patina. No case color remains on the receiver. The barrel has a few scattered scuffs and nicks. The octagonal portion of the barrel has minor pitting from erosion throughout. The receiver, hammer, and sideplate have all gone to a light patina. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in about Fine condition as restored Antique.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The nipple is free of erosion and the hammer has a half cock safety position. The barrel lockup is solid. We have not fired this rifle. As with all used firearms, thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork, and 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 breech loading 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. This example is by appearances original, with all the attendant wear expected on a firearm of this age, and used as it was. Despite this, the bore is in fairly good condition—a bit of elbow grease will serve it well. The barrel lockup is solid. 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 is sure to find a spot in a collection of Civil War martial arms. Please see our photos and good luck!

Civil War Poultney Trimble Smith Carbine .50 Cal Percussion Rifle Antique
Civil War Poultney Trimble Smith Carbine .50 Cal Percussion Rifle Antique