Make: Richardson & Overman
Model: Gallager Carbine
Serial Number: 5620
Year of Manufacture: Production began in 1861, 22,728 units were produced through the war.
Caliber: .50 Gallager Cartridge
Action Type: Single Shot, Exposed Hammer, Percussion Fired ‘Gallager Cartridge’ Rifle, with Hinged Barrel
Markings: The right side of the receiver is marked “GALLAGER’S PATENT / JULY 17TH 1860 / MANUFACTD (Small D) BY / RICHARDSON & OVERMAN, / PHILADA. / 5620”. The inside of the cartridge box lid is marked “74”, found again on the right side of the lever.
Barrel Length: 22 ¼”, Round.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade, that widens to become a base that is dovetailed onto the barrel. The rear sight is a “V” notched base that is dovetailed onto the barrel.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The butt stock is a walnut piece; there is no forend which is correct to the model. The right sight of the stock has a hinged cartridge box, the left side of the wrist has a sling ring on an iron bar; the wood underneath the bar has gouges from the ring. The stock looks to have been sanded at some point, the fit to metal is still pretty nice. There are deeper gouges on the left flank that are now smoothed out; there are other scattered marks of light to moderate depth throughout the stock. There are no cracks present. The LOP measures 13 ½” from the front of the trigger to the back of the carbine-style butt plate; the plate was originally blued and has since turned to patina with scattered handling marks. The stock rates in about Good overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blued & Case Colored
Finish Originality: The rifle was never re-finished, however it appears the surfaces were cleaned with an abrasive medium which resulted in scratch marks. Please see our pictures.
Bore Condition: The bore is medium gray at the muzzle, becoming lighter towards the breech and the rifling is worn but still defined. There are spots of mild erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 0% of its metal finish. The surfaces have not been re-finished though it looks like they have been cleaned over different intervals, resulting in some abrasive marks, please see our pictures. The bare metal surfaces have light to dark patina, with scrape marks on the barrel and scattered handling marks on the other items. The ring bar is slightly bent, the nipple has some warping from the hammer. The screw head slots range from light to moderate tooling but are still serviceable. The markings are lightly struck in areas but legible. Overall, this rifle rates in about Good Plus condition given its age.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. This carbine would fire a .50 caliber Gallager cartridge which either had a brass or foil and paper case; the ignition was achieved with a percussion cap. The under lever is secured with a tang mounted lever; the lever is pulled forward, under the action, to pivot the barrel forward and down; this carbine does not have an extraction system. The hammer has a half-cock safety and strong spring. The trigger has a heavy but consistent pull. 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 & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: The Richard & Overman Gallager carbine was patented in 1860, shortly before the outbreak of the American Civil War; under 23,000 of these carbines were produced for Union troops during the span of the war; this low serial number item almost certainly saw action and shows some heavier marks on the butt stock and barrel. 0% of the finish remains, which can be expected of a martial arm of its age; the bore is light to mid gray with some spots of mild pin prick erosion and worn rifling, which is still defined. The stock is devoid of cracks and the action functions correctly, making this a unique survivor of America’s bloodiest conflict and should be a welcomed addition to any military collection. Please see our pictures and good luck.