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

SOLD FOR: $1931

LSB#: 210930TP88

Make: Joslyn Fire Arms Co.

Model: 1864

Serial Number: 7741

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 approximately .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 lock plate is marked “JOSLYN FIRE ARMS Co. / STONINGTON / CONN”. 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 “7741”. There is a “FDL” in box cartouche on the left of the stock above the sling bar. The top of the buttplate is marked “US”.

Barrel Length: 22”

Sights/Optics: The front sight is a rounded blade dovetailed into the barrel. The rear sight is a flip-up “U” notched dual blade assembly. When folded down, a notch is visible.

Stock Configuration and Condition: The stock is one-piece walnut with a barrel band at the front, sling bar with lanyard ring on the left below the action, straight grip, straight comb and iron carbine-style buttplate. The stock appears to be refinished, evidenced by the absence of the secondary cartouche on the comb and various marks being under the finish. There are scattered minor nicks, compressions, and draglines, nearly all of which are dark in appearance and piled over. The LOP measures 14? from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. There are no chips or cracks. The plate has gone to white and there is minor surface oxidation throughout. Overall, the stock rates in Very Good-plus condition, as refinished Antique.

Type of Finish: Blued

Finish Originality: Refinished

Bore Condition: The bore is rather dark but the rifling is well-defined. There is light erosion scattered throughout the bore along with light stubborn fouling—erosion is most obvious at the muzzle.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 50% of its metal finish. The refinished barrel has begun a shift to a light patina and there are light nicks, dings scattered about as well as one more notable drag line through the finish on the underside. The breech lock has scattered light finish loss and minor thinning on most edges. The lock plate and cavalry bar plate have gone to a darker patina and both have light thinning on edges and a few nicks/scuffs. The screw heads are mostly sharp and have strong slots. Most markings are clear, though refinishing has removed marks on the left side of the barrel and the comb. Overall, this rifle is in Very Good condition, as refinished 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, and Accessories: None.

Our Assessment: The Joslyn carbine is, like so many arms designed and manufactured during the period, a fascinating 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 subsequent 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 with a fairly strong bore, strong mechanics, and the helping hand of preservation/refinishing. It will make a fine addition to a Civil War small arms collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

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