Military Review

The carbine epic of the northerners and southerners


Oh, how many of these barrels with a front sight at the end people saw at that time for the last time in their lives! A point-blank shot from such a 12,7 mm carbine will fire, and that's it, it won't leave you any chance!

With a rifle, but without knowledge - there are no victories, only you can do it weapons any troubles!
V. Mayakovsky, 1920

Military affairs at the turn of the eras. In the past material about the Burnside carbine it was said that it just so happened that at the turn of times, when the old weapon was literally replaced by a new one in one or two years, it was the cavalry carbine in the United States that had a particularly important role to play. They tried to make and release all and sundry, engineers, generals, and even dentists. As a result, the belligerent armies received a variety of samples of these weapons, and even life itself showed what was good and what was bad. And there were so many of them that it is just right to talk about a kind of "carabiner epic" that took place during the war between North and South. And today we will tell you about it.

So, in the first place in terms of distribution in the cavalry, especially at the beginning of the war, were percussion, that is, capsule, muzzle-loaded, Springfield and Enfield carbines. Then came the more comfortable models "Starr", "Jocelyn", "Ballard" and, of course, the famous "Sharps". These carbines were reloaded using a bolt action. At the same time, breakaway carbines appeared: "Smith" (which we already talked about last time), "Gallagher", "Maynard" and "Wesson". The popularity of the new weapon was enormous. So, Burnside sold 55000 of his carbines, and Sharps more than 80000, but with all this, they were not the most common. The same Spencer carbines were purchased more than 94000 copies, Henry rifles - 12000, however, these were not cavalrymen, but infantrymen. But there were also samples that were purchased in quantities of even 1000 copies and, by the way, speaking, they are also very remarkable from the point of view stories military affairs.

The carbine epic of the northerners and southerners
Well, to get acquainted with them closely, we, perhaps, will begin with the "rubber cartridge" for the aforementioned Smith carbine. This is how he and the bullet to him looked in section. But there was also a paper, cheaper version of this ammunition. Nevertheless, with all the positive aspects of the design of this cartridge, its combat life was short-lived, and this carbine itself was widespread, despite all its elegance, did not receive

The carbine of the design of Ebenerez Starr, who had created a good revolver before this, appeared in 1858. He presented it to the Washington Armory for evaluation, where the model was tested and it was found that the weapon does not misfire, the accuracy was recognized as better than average. But testers also noted that if the gas seal were more advanced, this carbine would be better than its competitor, the Sharps carbine.

Carbine "Starr". Left view

However, between 1861 and 1864, the Starr Arms Company in Yonkers, New York managed to produce over 20 pieces of this rifle. Moreover, the 000 model was developed for firing paper or linen cartridges. But in 1858, the government ordered 1865 Starr carbines for cartridges with metal cartridges. They turned out to be quite successful, and then 3000 more were ordered. However, while the Starr carbine proved to be effective during the Civil War, it was unsuccessful during the 2000 tests conducted by the US Army Testing Commission, and no further orders followed after the war. Although during the war, the Starr Arms Company was the fifth largest supplier of carbines and the third largest supplier of single-shot .1865 caliber pistols. But after the end of the war and the absence of new government contracts, Starr could no longer compete with larger manufacturers such as Winchester, Sharps and Colt, and his company ceased to exist in 44.

Carbine "Starr". Right view

The Starr carbine was similar in design to the Sharps carbine, but had a longer receiver. Barrel caliber 0,54 (13,7 mm), length 21 inches. The weapon had a total length of 37,65 inches and a weight of 7,4 pounds. The carbine had a three-position rear sight, which consisted of a rack and two flaps. The bolt, when the lever moved down, also cut off the bottom of the cartridge, after which the lever was returned back, and the bolt locked the barrel. The remains of the old cartridge after firing from the barrel were not removed, but pushed forward with a new cartridge. The weapon fired reliably as long as the long channel of fire torch transmission from the primer to the cartridge remained clean.

Carbine "Li". Left view

James Paris Lee is known today as the inventor of the detachable box magazine in the Lee-Enfield rifle system, that is, as a person who made a significant contribution to the development of firearms. However, his first experience in the development and production of weapons turned into a shameful failure.

Carbine "Li". Right view

Lee patented the oscillating barrel system in 1862 and hoped to get an army contract for it. In February 1864, he presented his model of the rifle to the army, but he was rejected - the army was not interested in such a weapon. Then Lee offered her a carbine in April 1864, and it was accepted for testing, since the army of carbines was still not enough. However, it was not until April 1865 that Lee received a contract for 1000 carbines at $ 18 each. Lee found investors, raised capital, and established Lee Fire Arms in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to manufacture them. The first two examples were introduced in January 1866, chambered for .42 rimfire cartridges.

The receiver of the "Lee" carbine and on it a bracket with a ring for a running belt

And then a scandal erupted. The government stated that the contract specified caliber .44 (11,3 mm) rimfire and that delivery of .42 (9,6 mm) was unacceptable. A lawsuit was initiated, but with the termination of the contract, the company had to quickly look for a backup option for selling ready-made carbines. And in March 1867, newspaper ads were placed in Milwaukee for the Lee sporting rifles and carbines. By 1868, production ceased and Lee Fire Arms ceased to exist.

The barrel of the "Li" carbine, retracted to the right for reloading

James Lee himself returned to his former profession of watchmaker, but he did not forget the experience of developing weapons and in 1872 returned to work with Remington. And in the end, he created the store known to everyone today. Well, there is only one conclusion from this story: the creation of firearms is a risky business and not for the faint of heart. However, sometimes you can do better the next time with bad experiences.

Sights of the carbine "Lee"

The carbines had a two-position rear sight, a cavalry ring rail mounted on the left side of the receiver, blued steel parts and an elegant wooden stock. The hand extractor was located on the right side. In his patent for an earlier pistol on which the carbine was based, Lee explained that the bolt would lock when the trigger was pulled or fully cocked. When the hammer was half cocked, the bolt could be pulled aside for reloading.

The butt of the carbine "Lee"

Lee's patent for a single-shot pistol of his own design, which, however, was never produced ...

Benjamin Franklin Jocelyn was known as one of the most famous weapons designers of the American Civil War era, although his fame was most likely created by constant litigation with subcontractors and the federal government, rather than the quality of his weapons, especially since his proceedings with the government then lasted for many years. after the end of the war.

Carbine "Jocelyn" 1862. Right view

Jocelyn designed his breech breech carbine back in 1855. After successful trials, the US Army ordered 1857 of these rifles in .50 caliber (54 mm) in 13,7, but after trying them, she quickly lost interest in his rifle. But the US Navy in 1858 ordered him 500 of these rifles in .58 caliber (14,7 mm). However, due to technical problems in 1861, he managed to produce only 150 to 200 of these rifles and deliver them to the customer.

Carbine "Jocelyn" 1862. Left view

In 1861 he developed an improved version for a metal rimfire cartridge. The Federal Armaments Directorate ordered him to test 860 of these carbines, which were supplied to them in 1862. Received their units from Ohio. The reviews were good, so everyone in the same 1862 gave Jocelyn an order for 20 of their carbines. The delivery of their army began in 000, but by the time the war ended, it had received only half of its order.

Carbine "Jocelyn" 1862. The shutter is open

In 1865, Jocelyn introduced two more carbines for testing based on the 1864 model. The US government ordered 5000 new carbines, the Springfield Arsenal produced about 3000 before the fighting ended, but then all contracts were canceled as the hostilities ended.

In 1871, 6600 Joslyn carbines, as well as 1600 of his own rifles, converted for .50-70 caliber central battle cartridges, were sold by the Americans to France, which was at that time in the Franco-Prussian war and was in great need of weapons. Many of them became trophies of Germany, were sold to her in Belgium, where they were converted into shotguns (!) And then sent to Africa.

The first model of the Jocelyn carbine in 1855 used burnable paper cartridges ignited by shock capsules. The rifle had a 30 "barrel and an overall length of 45". The carbine had a 22 "barrel and a total length of 38". The carbines purchased by the US Army were .54 caliber, but the carbines ordered by the Navy, for some reason, were .58 caliber. It was possible to attach a “sword” bayonet to the barrel.

The 1861 model used metal rimfire cartridges and a side-hinged breech bolt that opened to the left for loading. This design was then improved upon in 1862 with the addition of an extractor. The 1861 model used the .56 (14,2 mm) rimfire Spencer cartridge, and the 1862 carbine used its own improved cartridge. The barrels were not designed for bayonet installation.

The 1864 model had many small improvements and could use both .56-52 Spencer rimfire cartridges and .54 caliber rimfire cartridges from the Joslyn carbine.

Jocelyn M1865 rifle with bayonet. The 1865 model of the year produced by the Springfield Arsenal was essentially the same musket as the Springfield M1863 rifle, except that it had a Jocelyn bolt on it instead of the old M1863 capsule bolt.

To be continued ...
Articles from this series:
General Burnside's carbine: the first with a metal cartridge
People and spades
Rondash and rondachiers. From benefits to beauty
Artillery of the conqueror of Europe
Artillery innovations of the civil war between North and South
Mortars "Dictator" in the battles of the North against the South
Shuvalov's "secret howitzer"
North and South: smooth-bore and rifled guns
US Civil War ammunition
The most popular caliber of the North and South
Cannons of Tredegar and the Noble Brothers
Cannons of Brooke and Viard
James and Sawyer cannons: rifled versus smoothbore
"The parrot gun." Man and his instrument
Faceted bore gun
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  1. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 2 October 2020 18: 07
    Thank you, Vyacheslav Olegovich, a good continuation of the cycle and well-chosen photos.
  2. maktub
    maktub 2 October 2020 19: 29
    Thank you so much, informative!
    1. kalibr
      2 October 2020 20: 51
      I am glad that you liked the material. To be continued...
      1. maktub
        maktub 2 October 2020 22: 30
        I think not only I'm interested
      2. Icelord
        Icelord 9 October 2020 09: 31
        I liked it very much. Only at night from a business trip I came, and here a bunch of articles. Whisper. Thank you Vyacheslav Olegovich
  3. Saxahorse
    Saxahorse 2 October 2020 21: 24
    Excellent overview. Thanks to the author!

    To me, the Sharps carbine at that time seems to be the best, but the flow of fantasy of the inventors of that time is impressive!
  4. Constanty
    Constanty 2 October 2020 21: 58
    But the testers also noted what if the gas seal was more perfect, then this carbine would be betterthan its competitor, the Sharps carbine.

    It just means that he was worse than Sharps. And you have to remember that Sharps was created earlier and Starr was based on his design.
  5. Catfish
    Catfish 2 October 2020 22: 08
    Vyacheslav, thank you, great series! good Pleased for the coming sleep. smile
  6. Catfish
    Catfish 2 October 2020 22: 18
    Something from the arsenal of that time.
    1. hohol95
      hohol95 2 October 2020 23: 42
      With such an arsenal, Russian cavalrymen would not have shone in a collision with the Yankees!
      It simply would not have come to a saber strike!
      1. Catfish
        Catfish 3 October 2020 00: 33
        This is what technological progress and entrepreneurial energy mean. In demand - get it! Yes, the Crimean campaign highlighted all the backwardness of patriarchal Russia. Then there was Tsushima and, as something completely natural, the February Revolution and a kick in the ass to the sovereign-emperor. Then the Bolsheviks came and began to make their own and quite decent weapons for that time.
        1. AllBiBek
          AllBiBek 3 October 2020 03: 05
          Uh ... Okay, let's skip Galan's revolvers in the navy, skip the world's first central battle revolver put into service (Smith-Wesson Russian), and even skip a chain of a pair of Berdan and Krynka rifles as the main ones for the army, all European powers - leapfrog is not worse, and - against their background, the Republic of Ingushetia does not look like an outsider according to the results and terms.
          And what about the Yankees in the last quarter of the 19th century with a handgun?
          We managed to squeeze Uncle Hiram Maxim from the mainland, Uncle Lewis also dumped the centerfire cartridges - well, they'll go down to us, and the ring-fired one, other shooters - who cares.
          At the beginning of the 20th century, they still deigned to massively switch to "Russian white powder". Until then, they rejoiced and half-smoker.
          Oh, yes. Objectively, we have created the best long-bladed hoe of all time. Patton's cavalry sword. Exactly the time when hand-held long-bladed cavalry hoes became extinct as a class.
          And so what, you say, they have the first mass store for the central battle and on the mindless? Danish Krag, if I'm not mistaken? Even after the Germans in ten years? With the installation, peeling with single ones with manual reloading, and store opportunities - in case of emergency?
          And another question: but what did their Civilian in terms of weapons, strategy, tactics, and other things give to military affairs that changed the face of wars?
          1. Catfish
            Catfish 3 October 2020 04: 23
            Galan, Smith-and-Wesson, Krnka, Berdan and so on on the list - all of this, of course, was born of the Russian military-technical genius. laughing Well at least they bought decent samples abroad.
            As for the issues of "strategy and tactics", the article, and even more so my post, is absolutely not about that. So your "elephant" is not at all a truly Russian animal, and Russia, unfortunately, before the appearance of Mosinka did not have in production and was armed with modern multiply-charged weapons of its own design, and Trehlineka also had a Naganov store.
            1. kalibr
              3 October 2020 06: 42
              Quote: Sea Cat
              there was a Naganovsky store.

              And the barrel from Lebel's rifle ...
              1. Icelord
                Icelord 9 October 2020 09: 39
                And the shutter too
          2. hohol95
            hohol95 3 October 2020 23: 27
            Wasn't the Russian Empire buying rifles from the USA?
            During the First Imperialist!
            Before the Bolsheviks came to power, the tsarist government did not really care about its own arms industry and its development in step with other developed countries! Checkers and sabers with lances were still made by the media. But already the firearms were copied or produced on the basis of foreign developments! And in artillery at the time of the First World War, all the guns were developed either over the "hill" or with the participation of foreign capital.
            If during WWI we bought bags from the allies, then there was nowhere else to go!
            1. AllBiBek
              AllBiBek 5 October 2020 11: 20
              The vaunted American arms industry could not master the three-line with the necessary tolerances, and offered lever Winchesters under the Russian cartridge. They did not meet the deadline. Then they had complaints about our acceptance, they say, too picky, two-thirds of the barrels refused to accept even for bribes. At the exit we received a good rifle for guard duty in the warm and dry seasons; lever rifles shamelessly wedge when the lever does not work in a vertical plane, and there are enough gaps that are clogged with dirt. Even in winter, to put it mildly, it is inconvenient to use it in mittens or gloves. In fact, for a lot of money, they bought a rifle for the tasks that the Berdanka also coped with, and sent it to the front line.
              Colt-Browning machine guns are also fun, they were already delivered to the Civil War, and also according to the principle "We don't like it." The potato digger as a handbrake for shooting from the ground turned out to be a very, very dubious decision.
              And what else did the USA help us with weapons in that historical period? I don't remember about artillery.
              1. hohol95
                hohol95 5 October 2020 12: 41
                The Browning machine gun in the Russian army appeared in the First Imperialist.
                "Berdanks" were distributed as humanitarian aid to the right and to the left. Ethiopians were given only 30 thousand pieces and 5 million cartridges.
                They were given to Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro.
                The Winchester order was the very first at the end of 1914! For 300 thousand rifles! Could their factories in 1914 quickly hand over 300 thousand rifles to the army?
                Why did you buy Japanese "Arisaki"?
                But why.
                Instead of rifles, the Sestroretsk Arms Plant manufactured fuses, cavalry pikes, rangefinders, and various instruments. The Tula plant made machine tools, calibers - anything, but not weapons. Other military enterprises were in the same position.
                The maintenance of the “unemployed factories” was expensive. The Ministry of Finance has been pushing for the closure of "redundant" military enterprises all the time. And in 1912, that is, just two years before the war, this fate almost befell the Sestroretsk Arms Plant.
                In December 1914, before I was sent to the front, the arms factories together gave 33 new rifles instead of the insignificant norm of 60. Meanwhile, combat reality has shown that at least 200 thousand rifles must be sent to the front every month.
                This amounted to almost two and a half million copies per year. Even with a full turn of production, military factories could only give a fifth of this amount, since their total productivity during construction was calculated for only 525 thousand rifles per year.

                Fedorov Vladimir Grigorievich
                In search of weapons
              2. Icelord
                Icelord 9 October 2020 09: 46
                Mr. Ulanov writes that the pickiness of the Russian reception was unprecedented even by the standards of peacetime. Instructions forced to reject even for not very clear branding
          3. hohol95
            hohol95 3 October 2020 23: 30
            And another question: but what did their Civilian in terms of weapons, strategy, tactics, and other things give to military affairs that changed the face of wars?

            "Sabers into the scabbard!": The crisis of the Russian cavalry of the second half of the XNUMXth century
            Stanislav Yudin 09 Sep '15
            Read on to find out how the American Civil War influenced the development of cavalry in the Russian Empire!
      2. kalibr
        3 October 2020 06: 41
        They did not shine - true to the infantry, in 1877 near Plevna. The Turkish cavalry gave their winchesters to the infantry and 100 rounds per person. And ours did not manage to come closer than 30-50 m, so they met a shaft of fire. And the losses amounted to that day ... 30 thousand people!
        1. Catfish
          Catfish 3 October 2020 06: 59
          Olegych, what about their snipers, write a thread? smile
          1. kalibr
            3 October 2020 07: 17
            It is necessary, Constantine, to write ... But I don’t know when it will be. The material is very "scattered". And most importantly - what to write about guns? Everything is written, but there is very little information about the sights ...
        2. Keyser soze
          Keyser soze 3 October 2020 11: 49
          the losses amounted to ... 30 thousand people that day!

          My respect, but there are no such losses during the encirclement of Pleven in one day and in general for the entire siege. Total losses - 38 killed and wounded and prisoners.

          Maybe one zero should be removed :)
          1. kalibr
            3 October 2020 15: 44
            Probably it is necessary ... The memory began to fail. I actually have an affair of PEOPLE AND WEAPONS on the Web, and there is about it. It is clear that it is not an invention. But I was too lazy to look
            1. Keyser soze
              Keyser soze 3 October 2020 15: 49
              Probably it is necessary ... The memory began to fail.

              Yes, it happens to everyone, we all confuse the numbers. I always read your works with great pleasure and thank you for the time allocated for us. hi
              1. kalibr
                3 October 2020 15: 50
                You should read a novel here ... Everyone who read it liked it. And one wrote so bluntly: not Karl May and not Fenimore Cooper, but still great! It's nice when compared with such ...
                1. Keyser soze
                  Keyser soze 3 October 2020 15: 56
                  You should read a novel here ... Everyone who read liked

                  This is a must. As a child, he adored Cooper and Ca la Maya. I still have Cooper from my grandfather, 6 green volumes, in Indian coloring. Grew up with them, under the covers, reading about Chingachgook.

                  All the best to you :)
                  1. kalibr
                    4 October 2020 17: 35
                    Quote: Keyser Soze
                    I still have Cooper from my grandfather, 6 green volumes, in Indian coloring.

                    Ha! There they are on my shelf! As I understand you !!!
    2. Icelord
      Icelord 9 October 2020 09: 37
      Four years ago I had a chance to shoot from replicas of these revolvers. Remington is much more perfect, more reliable, stronger, more powerful and more accurate than the Colt. All three models I've tried. And Peterson, and Dragoon, and Navi
      1. kalibr
        9 October 2020 10: 04
        Quote: Icelord
        All three models I've tried.

        Envy !!!
        1. Icelord
          Icelord 9 October 2020 10: 11
          Remington is also outrageously beautiful. The frame is brass, and the barrel and barrel are blued. And it was so on the original
          1. kalibr
            9 October 2020 10: 12
            Dear Igor! I don't know if you paid attention, but the material about the revolver, which I promised you, came out.
            1. Icelord
              Icelord 9 October 2020 10: 17
              Yes, Vyacheslav Olegovich. Thanks. Walsh. I just read it, but I knew about him, but Smith's rubber cartridge made me rummage through books and the net. I am very grateful for that, how could I have missed this, I don’t understand. But a couple of months ago there was a lot of pride about the knowledge of weapons of the wild west and the civil war)))
              1. kalibr
                9 October 2020 11: 01
                In fact, there is nothing to be ashamed of here. There is a lot of information, but it is scattered, not systematized and mostly in English. It is difficult to search, difficult to read, and even to translate, and that is difficult.
  7. Pakhom Bratishkin
    Pakhom Bratishkin 26 November 2020 08: 15
    Elegant series of articles.