Breechldrs The carbine with the barrel encased in leather.

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
The Sharps and Hankins Navy carbine was a breech loading carbine with the barrel encased in leather. There are two theories about why the leather cover. 1) To protect the barrel from the corrosive effect of salt/sea air. 2) To prevent the sailor from getting burned by hot barrel. Does anyone know which theory is correct?

It would seem like the leather cover would become soaked with sea salt and not be very effective at stopping corrosion. Also the leather barrel guard would prevent the outside of barrel from being oiled.
 
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ucvrelics

Colonel
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Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Joined
May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
The S&H carbine came in an Army version (no leather) the Navy had the leather and the Naval brass thought the leather would keep the corrosion down but it didn't on the ships at sea, plus a lot of these were issued to the brown water navy. Here is mine not speck of rust under the barrel.
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major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
For those interested in the small arms used by the Navy, Maines, and Coast Guard you might want to keep you eye out for this book.
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The book was published in 1972 but does have some useful information. Revenue Service swords are interesting as are later Coast Guard swords. Where else can you see a Navy type Jenks mule ear carbine without the provision for a ring swivel under the stock on the rear trigger guard, as used by the Revenue Marines.
 

kotkinjs1

Private
Joined
May 25, 2017
I've never heard of it being to protect sailors' hands from the heat. I can't see sailors being expected to be shooting their guns more so than cavalry / army units anyway who had their barrels uncovered.

Here's my Army model for reference. The Cavalry model had an even shorter barrel, also with no leather cover.
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Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
I agree that the theory was to protect from corrosion from exposure to salt air. But we as collectors know that a good way to create serious rusting and pitting on a stored gun is to leave it in a leather holster, so that idea wasn't a foolproof way to protect the metal.
 
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