Civil War Gwyn & Campbell Cosmopolitan Carbine .52 Cal Percussion Antique

SOLD FOR: $5,000

LSB#: 240126LM003

Make: Cosmopolitan Arms Co.

Model: The Cosmopolitan Carbine, Type II

Serial#: 2773

Year of Manufacture: Circa 1863-1864, Antique

Caliber: .52 Caliber

Action Type: Percussion-Ignition Falling-Block Breech-Loaded Rifle

Markings: The lock-plate is marked “GWYN & CAMPBELL / PATENT / 1862 / HAMILTON, O.”. The right side of the frame is marked “UNION RIFLE”. The bottom of the barrel is marked “PT” and “2773”, the left of the barrel is marked “R”, the right shoulder has a poorly struck “3”. There are smaller “R” marks on the sideplate, hammer, top tang, left of the receiver, rear sight base and arm, lever, and buttplate tang. The bottom of the receiver is marked “2773”. The bottom of the breechblock and front of the lever lever are marked “2773”. The left side of the wrist has a “WHR” cartouche and “W.H.R.” is stamped in the comb just in front of the buttplate’s tang.

Barrel Length: 20”

Sights/ Optics: The front sight is a fixed blade. The rear sight is a ladder sight that present’s a V-notch in the down position. When raised the ladder presents an integral V-notch at the top and has a V-notch slider. The ladder is marked 3-6, inclusive.

Stock Configuration & Condition/ Grip: The stock is one-piece wood featuring a slightly curved wrist, perch belly, a straight comb and steel semi-crescent butt-plate. The stock has minor handling wear with a few scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures approximately 14 1/2” from the front of the trigger to the rear of the buttplate. The plate has wear at the heel and toe and some scattered light oxidation with strong finish on the tang. Overall, the stock is in Excellent condition as Antique.

Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright with sharp rifling. There are infrequent spots of minor erosion in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 9 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains approximately 92% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at most edges. The most notable wear is on the left receiver flat from the sling-ring. The receiver’s case color is otherwise quite strong. There are infrequent spots of minor oxidation and there is scattered faint oxidation in the top tang. There are a few light nicks and scuffs. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are generally clear, some are poorly struck. Overall, this rifle is in Excellent condition as Antique.

Mechanics: The action engages correctly. 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: Edward Gwyn & Abner C. Campbell ran the Cosmopolitan Arms Co. which began producing a breech-loading percussion carbine in 1859, designed by inventor Henry Gross. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Gwyn & Campbell began to pursue a contract with the Union for their carbine and they quickly were awarded an order. Testing and issue of the initial deliveries led to requirements from the Union for changes which took shape in 1862, the Type 2 carbine. While the manufacturer referred to the carbines as “The Cosmopolitan”, the markings have led to collectors referring to them as the Gwyn & Campbell and the appearance led many soldiers to call them “The Grapevine”. Reportedly, the 6th Illinois Cavalry under Colonel Benjamin Grierson carried Gwyn & Campbell Carbines during a raid into Confederate territory in mid-1863 during the Vicksburg Campaign. The gun had a relatively short production run with government contracts drying up in 1864 in favor of other weapon systems, about 8,200 Gwyn & Campbell Carbines were made in total.

This example is quite the specimen, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find another in this condition. Retaining vibrant case color, sharp stock markings, strong mechanics, and perhaps most surprising, a nearly pristine bore, this Cosmopolitan Carbine is in absolutely Excellent condition. This would be a great addition to even an advanced Civil War collection and will surely be an improvement over nearly any other Gwyn & Campbell in existing collections. Please see our photos and good luck!

Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud

Civil War Gwyn & Campbell Cosmopolitan Carbine .52 Cal Percussion Antique
Civil War Gwyn & Campbell Cosmopolitan Carbine .52 Cal Percussion Antique