The Ordnance Department purchased 43,000 5th Model/Model 1864 Burnside carbines in 1863-65. Major General Ambrose Burnside may be most famous today for his military blunders and his distinctive facial hair, but these carbines combined with his personality helped build his national fame and military career. Though he designed the original model, he actually ended up suffering financially because he was forced to sell his shares of the company before it became profitable. He later served as the first president of the National Rifle Association with the goal of improving American marksmanship. These carbines were generally popular with the troops and saw extensive use. Burnside carbines are known to have been issued to at least 45 Union cavalry units as well as 7 Confederate units. They were the third most widely used carbines and were only less widely issued than the Sharps and Spencer carbines. This one has standard 5th Model markings and features, including matching serial numbers on the top of the action and breechblock, "NSP" and "RKW" cartouches on the left side of the wrist, and an "NSP" stamp ahead of the buttplate tang.
Very fine overall with 85% plus original blue and casehardened finish, smooth oiled finish on the otherwise fine wood, some slight spotting, minor marks and scratches, and crisp markings. The lower tang is a light brown patina. Mechanically excellent.
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