SOLD FOR: $1403.89
Make: Joslyn Fire Arms Co.
Model: Joslyn Model 1864
Year of Manufacture: Circa 1864-1865, Antique
Caliber: .52 Caliber Rimfire
Action Type: Single-Shot Left-Pivoted Breech Loaded Carbine
Markings: The lock-plate is marked “JOSLYN FIRE ARMS Co / STONINGTON CONN / 1864”. The breech-block is marked “6885”. The top-tang is marked “6852”. The left side of the barrel is marked “FDL”. The butt-plate is marked “US”. The left side of the forend, above the sling bar, is marked with two faded cartouches. The rear end of the breech-block is marked “B.F. JOSLYN’S PATENT / OCTOBER 8th 1861 / JUNE 24th 1862”.
Barrel Length: 22”
Sights/ Optics: The front sight is a blade dovetailed by the muzzle. The rear sight features three “V”-notch folding leaves. The tallest leaf is marked “5”. The rear sight assembly is fixed ahead of the chamber ring.
Stock Configuration & Condition/ Grip: The wood stock features a barrel band secured by a spring, a sling bar with a fixed saddle ring, a lock-plate, a straight wrist, a straight comb and a semi-crescent butt-plate. The stock has light-moderate handling marks, nicks and scuffs. Notably, there is a light ding behind the bottom tang, a light crack that originates at the top tang and extends onto the wrist in addition to a light crack on the top left portion of the wrist which originates at the groove for the breech-block. The LOP is 13.75” from the trigger to the rear end of the butt-plate. The butt-plate is coated in light-moderate surface oxidation and has some light handling wear. Overall, the stock is in Very Good condition for an Antique.
Type of Finish: Bright & Case Color
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is grey with somewhat sharp rifling. There is moderate-heavy erosion and stubborn fouling concentrated towards the muzzle end of the bore.
Overall Condition: The gun retains none of its metal finish. The metal parts of the gun are now coated in mild-moderate surface oxidation and it has taken a patina color. There are light-moderate scuffs, nicks and handling marks. Notably, there is some moderate wear around the muzzle. Aside from the faded cartouches, the markings remain clear. The screwheads have light tool-marks but they remain serviceable. Overall, the rifle is in Very Good condition for an Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The gun is loaded in a manner somewhat similar to the Snider action: the hammer is brought to the half-cock safety position, a notch on the right side of the breech block is pulled and the block is pulled to the left and a cartridge is loaded. We have not fired this carbine. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box Paperwork and Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: Benjamin Franklin Joslyn was an influential weapons designer whose inventions would be pressed into service during the Civil War. Born in 1821, Joslyn’s first breakthrough design was completed in 1855, the Joslyn Breech-Loaded Carbine which used the percussion ignition system. The gun was remembered as the “monkey tail” carbine due to its distinctive lever. He had his design entered in U.S. Army trials in 1857 and 1858 but it finished as a runner up compared to the Burnside. Despite this, the army did place an order for 1200 units and the Joslyn M1855s would be pressed into service when the Civil War broke out.
Following the Civil War’s outbreak Joslyn moved to Connecticut and formed Joslyn Fire Arms co. where he manufactured thousands of firearms for the Union military. In 1862 he designed the M1862 carbine which used a rimfire cartridge rather than the percussion ignition system. He also developed an army revolver (.44 caliber) which he sold to the military. His final contribution was the Model 1864 carbine (on auction here) which featured a few minor improvements over the Model 1862. The main problem with the M1862 was that its friction breech block was prone to inadvertently opening, so on the M1864 Joslyn redesigned the breech block with a pull-knob instead which rectified the problem. Almost all of the M1864 were delivered in time to see service in the Civil War, despite being manufactured relatively late in the conflict. Unfortunately, Joslyn had come to rely on government contracts and his business went under after the Civil War ended with his assets sold at Sheriff’s sale in 1868.
This is a nicely preserved example of the Model 1864 carbine. The markings remain clear despite some oxidation and the action functions correctly. One issue is that the breechblock is not serial matched to the frame, perhaps the result of a field repair or post-war refurbishment. This is a great Civil-War military firearm that should appeal to fans of historical firearms. Good luck on your bid!