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Title Greene's carbine lock with Maynard primer, .54 calibre
Nationality American
Period 1856

This was made for the British Ordnance contract 1855-57 by Massachusetts Arms Co of Chicopee Falls, Mass, a total of 2,000 carbines being delivered. They were ordered for expected use in the Crimean War, but in fact saw little service. The barrel was shorter than the US version, only some 18" long as against 22" for the US issue.

British Ordnance trials of the era reported favourably on this gun: accurate to 400 yards, as good as any other carbine on the market and better than most, as there was no visible escape of gas and, even after firing 280 rounds without lubrication, a rate of fire of almost ten rounds per minute was still attainable.

This was a capping breechloader, using paper cartridges ignited by paper caps fed into action by Maynard's patent primer, as the gun was cocked for each shot. All the original colour case hardened finish remains and only the remains of broken side nails fore and aft mar what is otherwise a near perfect lock. There is even the remains of a Maynard cap tape within the tape magazine!

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Firearms : Percussion Longarms : American : 19th Century]


I received the item today, you had packed it well and there were no problems with customs. Overall I was happy with it although the blade was a little bit worse than I had imagined, however thank you for your efforts.

P P, Australia, 09.03.2011

Many thanks for the belt buckle, it arrived on Wednesday and I am very pleased with the purchase.

K E, UK, 06.02.2009