Original Gallagher Carbine, .50cal, SN# 680


1 in stock

SKU: EK-792 Categories: ,


An early example of a single shot, breech loading, .50caliber percussion model Gallagher carbine issued to Federal Cavalry during the American Civil War. Mahlon J. Gallagher, a South Carolina native, developed the weapon while he resided in Savannah, Georgia in July 1860. Gallagher received patent # 29,157 for his prototype carbine and subsequently the Philadelphia firm of Richardson and Overman obtained the rights to manufacture Gallager’s product via several contracts with the U.S. Ordnance Department. From its factory location at 12th and Thompson Streets, the firm produced almost 18,000 of these carbines for the Federal government from 1861 to 1865.

These carbines saw extended service with Union cavalry during the war but the weapon was not well liked by the troopers due to the difficulty of extracting spent cartridge casings from the breech. The Gallager featured a breech loading mechanism which consisted of a lever / trigger guard combination that when pushed down, allowed the barrel to slide forward and tilt up and away from the barrel. A brass cased 56-52 Spencer cartridge was inserted into the barrel breech. Though Gallager boasted that his design would facilitate the easy removal of the spent casing from the breech, this extraction action was the major defect of his weapon.

This original specimen bears serial # 680 and features a 22½” long round barrel, no fore-end and has a total length of 39.00 inches and weighs 7 lbs., 8 oz. Fitted with a sling bar and saddle ring on the left side of the breech frame, the carbine also has a folding single leaf rear sight, iron blade front sight and a slightly curved iron butt plate. The round barrel wears a plum-colored patina and exhibits light pitting overall. The carbine is iron mounted and exhibits a dark receiver. Stamping of “Gallager’s Patent / July 17th 1860” and the serial number “680” rest on the lockplate behind the hammer. The black walnut buttstock exhibits its original iron patchbox. Wood has a number of dings, dents, and scratches and appears to never have been cleaned. There is a gorgeous wear mark on the left rear of the buttstock, most likely where the weapon rubbed against the rider while on horse. No cartouches or sub-inspector stampings visible. Carbine exhibits good mechanics and frame screws show very little wear. Bore is clean and rifling is excellent. This Civil War Gallager model carbine is a very good representative cavalry weapon of the Civil War.


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Additional information

Weight 90 oz


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