Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 108: Civil War American Machine Works Smith Carbine

Auction Date: December 2, 2016

U.S. Civil War Contract American Machine Works Smith Breech Loading Percussion Carbine

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $1,300 - $1,900

U.S. Civil War Contract American Machine Works Smith Breech Loading Percussion Carbine

Manufacturer: American Machine Works
Model: Smith
Type: Carbine
Gauge: 50 percussion
Barrel: 21 3/4 inch part octagon
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 520
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 55
Class: Antique

Just over 30,000 carbines based on Dr. Gilbert Smith's 1857 patented break action design were manufactured during the Civil War by the Mass. Arms Co., American Machine Works, and American Arms Co., all based in Massachusetts. Smith was from Buttermilk Falls, New York, and his arms were distributed by Thomas Poultney and D. B. Trimble of Baltimore. Nearly all of the carbines manufactured were issued to several Union cavalry units, and thus all but the earliest examples have saddle rings on the left side of the action. This example has the standard German silver blade front sight, folding ladder rear sight without range markings, three sets of markings on the left side of the action, matching serial numbers on the bottom of the hinge, "L.F.R." on the left barrel flat at the breech, and a "JH" inspector cartouche stamped on the left side of the wrist. It also has an added "7" in dots on the top of the wrist and "TEX" in dots on the right side of the wrist.

Rating Definition:

Very good. 60% of the fading original blue finish remains along with traces of case colors. The balance has gray and brown patina and some light spotting. One screw is absent from the hinge, and the bottom of the forearm has an additional hole. The wood is fair with repaired cracks on the right side rear of the forearm and toe of the buttstock, a chip at the toe, and some minor scratches and dings. Mechanically fine and crisp markings.

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