Rare weapon to find and made in very limited numbers, this 2nd Model is serial number 1762 and was made without a forestock.
Produced by the Burnside Rifle Company of Providence, Rhode Island (owned by Union General Ambrose Burnside), this variation was only produced from 1860 to early 1862. This cavalry model .54 caliber, single-shot, percussion breech-loading carbine isone of only 2,000 ever manufactured by the company. Produced without any forstock, the carbine features a breech mechanism opened by the inside latch device on the trigger guard. The hinged center section drops down when the inner latch is activated and allows for insertion of the uniquely designed, tapered, copper Burnside cartridge.
The weapon bears serial # 1762 on the eceiver, breechblock and barrel and exhibits a mellow gray patina on all metal surfaces with very slight traces of bluing and case color. The metal surfaces have normal light rust pitting and dark areas of oxidation from war and use in the field. The lockplate side tang is marked “BURNSIDE RIFLE Co. / PROVIDENCE R. I.” and the lockplate markings are clear, as are the serial numbers. There is a clean, clear maker’s stamp “BURNSIDE’S PATENT / MARCH 25TH, 1856” on the receiver frame and crisp and deeply impressed “G.P. Foster’s Patent” markings on the release lever assembly. Overall, the mechanics are strong and tight.
The bore has strong rifling and shows some slight rust oxidation in spots. The original walnut stock shows no breaks or major cracks and exhibits just a handful of very shallow dings and scratches consistent with use in the field and age. Fitted with a cavalry sling bar, carry ring, and the single sling swivel at the bottom of stock. Carbine has no guide screw in the center of the frame. Many early War Federal cavalry regiments and mounted infantry units were issued the 2nd Model Burnside carbine including the 1st Rhode Island, 1st Maine, 1st New Jersey, 1st Pennsylvania and the 1st US cavalry regiments. This very rare Civil War ‘Burnside’ second model carbine is essential to any cavalry arms collection!