SOLD FOR: $1001
Make: Massachusetts Arms Co.
Model: Maynard Carbine, 2nd Model
Year of Manufacture: 1865, Antique
Caliber: .50 Caliber Centerfire Conversion
Action Type: Single-Shot Lever-Actuated Tip-Up Breech Loaded Percussion Ignition Rifle
Markings: The left side of the receiver is marked “EDWARD MAYNARD / PATENTEE / MAY 27. 1851. / DEC. 6. 1859.” The bottom tang is marked “1865” and features the serial number “23345”. The right side of the receiver is marked “MANUFACTURED BY / MASS. ARMS CO. / CHICOPEE FALLS.” The left side of the wrist is marked with two cartouches (please see photos). The top of the butt-plate is marked “S”. There are some faded marks on the left side of the butt.
Barrel Length: 20”
Sights/ Optics: The front sight is a blade dovetailed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a folding leaf sight that is dovetailed to the chamber. There are three leaves, each with a “U” notch in the top edge. The rear leaf and the center leaf pivot together and are set at 90 degrees from each other. The front leaf can be pivoted up or down once the middle leaf is raised.
Stock Configuration & Condition/ Grip: The wood stock is one-piece featuring a straight wrist, a straight comb and metal butt-plate. The left side of the frame features a sling bar with a fixed saddle ring. The stock has some light handling marks, nicks and compressions. There is a light crack on the right side of the wrist, a light crack on the right side of the toe and the wood is worn around the top-tang. The LOP is 14.5” from the trigger to the rear end of the butt-plate. The butt-plate is coated in light surface oxidation and has some light handling marks. Overall, the stock is in Very Good condition.
Type of Finish: Blue and Case Color
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is dark with mostly faded rifling. The front portion of the bore is heavily eroded.
Overall Condition: The carbine has no surviving finish. The gun is coated in mild-moderate surface oxidation and has taken a patina color. There are scattered patches of light pitting which are concentrated around the frame, breech and muzzle. The gun has some light handling marks, nicks and scuffs. The markings on the frame are slightly obscured by oxidation but still can be discerned and the cartouches remain clear.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. 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 and Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: This is a Maynard Carbine chambered for .50 Cal centerfire cartridges that was manufactured between 1863-1865. This carbine’s story begins with Dr. Edward Maynard. Maynard was an interesting man, he started his adult life by entering the US Military Academy at West Point but due to poor health had to resign after a single semester. He went on to pursue a career in dentistry. Maynard became one of the most successful dentists of his day, but he also moonlighted as a weapons designer, patenting dozens of firearms related patents. He designed a unique percussion ignition system that was used on the Model 1855 Percussion Rifle Musket. While theoretically a sound design, the Maynard Tape Primer System proved unreliable with its paper strips susceptible to moisture. Fortunately, the Model 1855s were able to operate normally with standard percussion caps and worked well enough in the field, in spite of the Maynard system.
Aside from his work on the Model 1855, Maynard also designed a breech loaded carbine for the U.S. Military. Along with the carbine, Maynard also designed a cartridge unique to his weapon system. There were a number of the carbines in storage when the Civil War broke out, and the Federal government only placed a single order for 22,000 of them in 1863. This specimen is one of the post-1863 manufacturer carbines. This is evidenced by the lack of a tape-primer system and patchbox which were installed on the originals. Some of these carbines were converted from rimfire to centerfire after the war, as appears to have been the case with this specimen.
This Maynard is largely in its original configuration, aside from the conversion from rim to center-fire. The action functions correctly with a lever that still tips the barrel and the hammer still cocks normally. This carbine was accepted for use in the U.S. military, it has nicely preserved cartouches which indicates as much. This is an important Civil War-era weapon system that should appeal to fans of historical firearms. Good luck on your bid!