This is an exceptionally fine and possibly unfired example of the famous 2nd Model Maynard percussion carbine which was one of the most popular weapons of the era with cavalry troopers both North and South. This example is near museum grade exhibiting over 95% original finish overall with crisp government inspector markings.
This 2nd Model Maynard carbine also referred to as the Model 1863. The Maynard was widely regarded as one of the best performing and most accurate of all the cavalry weapons used during the American Civil War. The breech-loading Maynard carbine employed a metallic cartridge and percussion cap ignition system and was the invention of New Jersey doctor Edward Maynard (who patented his first model carbine in 1851). During the Civil War, the U.S. Ordnance Department contracted for over 20,000 of these single shot percussion .50 caliber 1st and 2nd Model carbines. Produced by the Massachusetts Arms Company of Chicopee, Massachusetts, these carbines were issued to Federal cavalry and the Maynard proved to be a lightweight, very serviceable and extremely dependable field combat weapon that saw extensive service during the Civil War.
This very pleasing specimen is a mid to late production carbine and is serial #16240. The carbine has a total length of 36 7/8” with a 20” round barrel and no forend and is in excellent original condition with an untouched black walnut stock that exhibits the original ‘feathering’ effect. The stock bears two crisp government cartouche stamps on the left side near the receiver. Fitted with a sling bar and saddle ring on the left side of the breech frame, the carbine has a folding two-leaf rear sight and a slightly curved iron butt plate. The receiver retains a generous amount of beautiful case colors. The barrel includes a 5” long octagonal section at the breech with the remainder a round barrel. The barrel exterior retains almost all of its original bluing and exhibits a pleasing patina overall. The bore is minty-plus, mirror bright with excellent three-groove rifling. The hammer retains its original bluing and the receiver / barrel hinge pin is tight and strong with no play in the lever operation.
All stampings on the frame are sharp and read, “MANUFACTURED BY / MASS. ARMS CO. / CHICOPEE FALLS” in three lines on the obverse side while the reverse side is marked “EDWARD MAYNARD / PATENTEE / MAY 27, 1851 / DEC. 6, 1859” in four lines. The triggerguard tang is deeply stamped with the serial #16240. The original military sub-inspector stampings are found on the sling bar, rear sight, butt plate and at the toe of stock. All gun metal is fine to very fine. The carbine exhibits tight, strong mechanics. All frame screws are excellent with generous original bluing. This Second Model Maynard carbine is a very excellent original representative Civil War cavalry arm that would enhance any Civil War display or collection.
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