Discussion Read & Watson Carbine - Breechloader converted to muzzleloader

UncleBourbon

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Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Location
Massachusetts
I got the book Confederate Carbines & Musketoons by John Murphy.

One specimen that caught my eye and has stayed in my mind since is the Read & Watson Carbine, apparently the only known example of a breechloader having been converted to a muzzleloader for military use, with roughly 900 Hall rifles and carbines having been converted.

What I want to know and couldn't find (even in the book) was why? It never stated the Hall rifles were damaged or that they were missing parts, so why convert hundreds of perfectly good breechloaders into muzzleloaders?

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Lanyard Puller

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Location
South Carolina
The Hall rifles which were so altered were mostly early type flintlocks, which would have caused even more problems for the CSA supply system. They would have been from the captured US Arsenals and Armories in the south.
A more cost effective alteration of perfectly good rifles in storage most likely was to make them into single shot, muzzle loaders with the percussion system installed/modified using the available parts as much as possible.
Reed & Watson produced 2 models; the "carbine" edition, which is pictured above, and a rifle. They are very thin on the ground these days, as they were issued early and usually show hard usage.
Here's two photos showing the difference, especially the rear portion of the trigger plate found on the carbines..
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ucvrelics

Colonel
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Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
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Here is a great thread we had on these.

 
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