Original U.S. Civil War Joslyn Firearms Co. M1864 Cavalry Carbine Serial 6025 – circa 1864
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a real find, and is one of only a few Joslyn System firearms that we have had in over 25 years! Benjamin Franklin Joslyn was known as one of the most interesting gun designers during the U.S. Civil War, and he developed a series of breech-loading firearms, which were incremental improvements over each previous design. One of the last of these was the Model 1864 Carbine, which had all of the improvements developed over the years. The most important of these was likely the spring lock for the breech block, which previously had a friction lock with a ball bearing, which could come open.
The example we have is in fine display condition, with all parts intact and in good shape, bearing serial number 6025 on the breech block and receiver tang. It also bears ordnance sub-inspector marking F.D.L. on the left side of the breech, a known marking appearing on many of these carbines, who is unidentified. The wood stock is in great shape, and does not look to have been arsenal reconditioned at any point. This has left the two additional F.D.L. cartouches over the saddle ring bar crisp and legible. It has the lovely red-brown color of aged oiled walnut, as used with many U.S. military rifles. The grain is very nice, and there are no major dents, cracks, or chunks missing. Really
The metal components of the carbine still have much of the original blued finish, with some light peppering in areas such as the breech and barrel. The trigger guard and butt plate have a bit more peppering, and have been cleaned a bit more leaving a mottled gray patina. The carbine does not look to have seen much use, however it was definitely not stored in ideal conditions for the metalwork. It also is missing the saddle ring on the left side, though that could easily be replaced.
The bore is clear and still shows rifling, however it is quite oxidized on the interior, with some scaling visible. It looks like it was not cleaned after firing, which resulted in black powder fouling and corrosion, making the interior dark. The action works correctly, opening smoothly and locking back into place. The firing pin is still present, however due to corrosion it is seized firmly in place. The lock functions correctly, holding at half cock and firing at full.
The carbine is marked on the Lock Plate:
OCTOBER 8TH 1861
JUNE 24th 1862
Year of Manufacture: circa 1864
Ammunition Type: Rimfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 22 inches
Overall Length: 39 inches
Action: Rotating Breech with Manual Hammer
Feed System: Single Shot
History of the Joslyn Rifle:
In 1855, Joslyn designed the first of his breech-loading carbines, which had an elongated breech block that reached down to the wrist of the rifle. After successful tests, the U.S. Army ordered 50 of these rifles in 1857 in .54 caliber. The Army quickly lost interest in the rifle, but in 1858 the U.S. Navy ordered 500 of these in .58 caliber. Production problems resulted in only 150 to 200 of these rifles being delivered in 1861.
Subsequently Joslyn designed a modified version in 1861 using a metal rimfire cartridge, as opposed to the paper combustible cartridges used before. More importantly, the model 1961 introduced a laterally hinged block called the “cap” which enveloped the standing breech and could be swung open to the left when the locking catch was released. This was a vast improvement over the previous breech design.
This design was further refined in 1862 with the addition of cam surfaces which improved the cartridge seating and extraction. The Model 1861 was chambered for the Spencer .56-56 rimfire cartridge, and the improved Model 1862 used the Spencer .56-52 rimfire cartridge.
The Federal Ordnance Department ordered 860 of these carbines, which were delivered in 1862. Most went to units from Ohio. In 1862, Joslyn received an order for 20,000 carbines. Delivery on these weapons started in 1863, but by the time the Civil War came to an end only about half of these had been delivered.
The Model 1864 Carbine featured many small improvements and refinements to the Model 1862 design, and could fire either the Spencer .56-52 cartridge or a .54 caliber cartridge made by Joslyn.
In 1865, Joslyn submitted two carbine designs for trial, both based on the Model 1864 carbine. Despite the difficulties between Joslyn and the U.S. Government, an order was placed for 5,000 of these weapons. Springfield Armory produced approximately 3,000 Joslyn rifles before hostilities ended.
After the war ended, the U.S. Government canceled all remaining contracts, claiming that the rifles failed to meet specifications. Litigation related to these contracts persisted for many years after the war ended. Sadly this has resulted in the Joslyn firearms company being known more for their litigation than for the actual firearms they produced.
NOTE: International orders of antique firearms MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services (courier). USPS Priority Mail international will not accept these. International customers should always consult their country’s antique gun laws prior to ordering.
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