Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1197: Civil War Era Warner Breech Loading Carbine

Auction Date: September 11, 2015

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $3,000 - $4,500

Civil War Era Warner Breech Loading Carbine

Manufacturer: Warner James
Model: Carbine
Type: Carbine
Gauge: 52
Barrel: 20 inch round
Finish: blue/bright
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 2754
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 100
Class: Antique

This carbine is marked "JAMES WARNER, SPRINGFIELD, MASS./WARNER'S/PATENT" on the left side of the brass frame. Only 1,501 of these carbines are believed to have been manufactured by Warner in 1864. These initial carbines saw some use by Wisconsin units and others during the last part of the war. Another 2,500 were produced with some variation through a contract by Greene Rifle Works and delivered to the U.S. government in February and March of 1865. After the Civil War the Warner carbines, (which had not garnered favorable reviews from the men they were issued to) were sold as surplus and then Schuyler, Hartley & Graham resold them to France in 1870. This example was subsequently sent to Europe given the "crown/K" and perron proofmarks on the breechblock and left side of the barrel, along with the additional Belgian proofmarks on the frame. It may have been used during the Franco-Prussian War by the French after having passed through the Liege proof house. Another possibility is that it may have been used by the Belgian Legion of Volunteers during the French invasion of Mexico. It has a round blade front sight, folding leaf rear sight with "3", "5", and "8" markings on the leaf (300-800 yards). It also has a smooth walnut forearm, extractor, and a straight wrist walnut buttstock. A saddle ring is fitted to the left side of the action. The serial number is marked on the buttplate, front of the action, and bottom of the barrel. Several of the components have small "L" stamps.

Rating Definition:

Very good as refurbished showing an overall aged brown patina mixed a dark gray patina. The brass has a lightly aged patina. There are some areas of minor pitting and surface scratches. The wood is very good. The action is excellent, and the markings are crisp. This carbine is in remarkable condition given the distances it has undoubtedly traveled and that it likely saw use in one of the French conflicts of the mid-19th century.

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