This is a near MINT example of a Gwyn & Campbell carbine. One of only 4,000 Type II carbines ever produced, the .52 caliber, percussion breech-loading Gwyn & Campbell carbine was the invention of businessmen Edward Gwyn and partner Abner C. Campbell, both of Hamilton, Ohio. Sometimes referred to as the “Union Carbine” or “Grapevine Carbine”, the U.S. Ordnance Department granted over a dozen contracts to Gwyn & Campbell from 1862 to 1864 for a total of 8,202 carbines. A number of Federal cavalry units were armed with this weapon and included the 3rd Wisconsin; 2nd and 3rd Iowa; 2nd & 3rd Arkansas; 5th and 8th Ohio; 5th, 6th and 16th Illinois along with other Civil War units.
The weapon is a single shot, falling-block action piece mated to a 19” round barrel that has a 3 ½” long octagonal section at the breech. Trigger guard / lever locks into a small claw-like latch on bottom of the stock. The serial number, 1988, appears on the frame, breech block, and lever. The weapon is very lightly stamped with maker’s mark of “GWYN & CAMPBELL / PATENT / 1862 / HAMILTON, O.” on the lockplate. All screw heads in fine condition. Folding rear sight sits on the octagonal portion of barrel with blade sight at muzzle. Carbine exhibits strong mechanics. Fitted with a sling bar and sling ring. Bore is clean with light rifling. All gunmetal is in fine condition. Barrel is an even smooth finish with over 95% original finish. A generous amount of original case colors remain.
The inspector marks are deeply and clearly struck, looking almost unissued. Overall the weapon is borderline pristine but the mainspring is missing—no clue where or when it was removed. A replacement is not difficult to locate, if so desired.