Pietta Smith Carbines
The Smith Carbine
Manufactured by Massachusetts Arms Company of Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, the American Machine Works in Springfield, Massachusetts, or the American Arms Company in Chicopee Falls and distributed by Poultney & Trimble of Baltimore, Maryland, the Smith carbine was a .50 caliber breech-loading rifle patented by Gilbert Smith on June 23, 1857 and successfully completed the Military Trials of the late 1850s. Various cavalry units used it during the American Civil War.
The Smith Carbine was unique in that it broke apart in the middle for loading and it used rubber cartridges, which sealed the gases in the breech. The downside was that these cartridges were difficult to remove.
All Smiths were issued to cavalry units but modern collectors often refer to early versions as artillery models. Units known to have received the Smith Carbine include:
- 1st Connecticut Cavalry Regiment
- 7th Illinois Cavalry Regiment
- 11th Illinois Cavalry Regiment
- 1st Massachusetts Cavalry Regiment
- 10th New York Cavalry Regiment
- 6th Ohio Cavalry Regiment
- 9th Ohio Cavalry Regiment
- 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment
- 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment
- 3rd West Virginia Cavalry Regiment
- 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment (Union)
The Smith’s Patent Carbine, a single shot, breech loading, percussion .50 caliber, was one of the most important Federal Cavalry carbines of the Civil War. Production of these carbines was almost entirely consumed by government contracts. A total of approximately 30,362 Smith Carbines were purchased by the United States during the Civil War. A nice representative cavalry arm of the Civil War.
These fine reproductions are produced by Pietta in Brescia, Italy.