Two Unique Carbines That Never Got To Fire A Shot In Anger (Photo Heavy)

Joined
May 1, 2015
Location
Upstate N.Y.
Permission to use photos received,
E.G. Lamson was involved in much arms manufacturing during the Civil War. Two which he was involved with were ordered by the Government in June of 1864. Originally designed as .44 caliber the Government decided to standardize on .50 caliber in fall of 1864. The first being the Ball Repeating Carbine, a patent of Albert Ball. It was a repeater holding 9 Spencer .56-.50 RF cartridges. The shells were in the forearm much the same as a modern Winchester. His unique design allowed the cartridges to be inserted in the same port where spent cartridges were ejected. It had a 20.75" barrel and 37.5" overall with sling ring. Due to delays in size change and manufacturing the 1000 piece order was delivered on May 14, 1865. These were inspected by GGS for George G. Saunders.
The second being the Palmer Bolt Action Carbine single shot, a patent of William Palmer. It's bolt locking method was a fore runner of Mauser and Krag firearms. It also was chambered in .56-.50 RF Spencer cartridge. It had a 20" barrel and 37.5" overall with sling ring. The same delays ended up with a June 1865 delivery of that 1000 piece order. These were inspected by MM for Miles Moulton
Although both of these arrived to late for usage in the war it is important to note their designs was way ahead of their time.
Ball Repeater.

Ball Carbine- E.G. Lamson  #1.jpg


Ball Carbine- E.G. Lamson  #2.jpg


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Model 1865 E.G.Lamson & Co. Palmer Bolt Action  #1.jpg


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Model 1865 E.G.Lamson & Co. Palmer Bolt Action  #8.jpg


Model 1865 E.G.Lamson & Co. Palmer Bolt Action  #9.jpg


Model 1865 E.G.Lamson & Co. Palmer Bolt Action  #10.jpg


Model 1865 E.G.Lamson & Co. Palmer Bolt Action  #11.jpg


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Model 1865 E.G.Lamson & Co. Palmer Bolt Action  #4.jpg
 
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Jeff in Ohio

Corporal
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Oct 17, 2015
Wonderful posting and really sharp photos.
Do you know if either of these were in contention for US contracts AFTER the War when the Army was deciding what sort of arm would be purchased for the post-war cavalry?
 
Joined
May 1, 2015
Location
Upstate N.Y.
The only reference I came across is that the Ball came in second in 1864 trials behind the Burnside. That was when 1000 was ordered. There was such a glut of excess arms after the War that they were just stored till disposed of at auctions.
 

Jeff in Ohio

Corporal
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
A quick look suggests that only the first thousand were delivered on that contract.
The company surely had lots of costs in development and setting up production.
You can see when comparing the nice photos of each the difference between a gun that has been pretty much untouched and never sanded (the Ball carbine) and one that has been sanded down a good deal (the Palmer).
With shows so scarce, it's tough to compare in hand differing quality and conditions of items, but you can learn a lot from good photos, and these are good photos.
 
Joined
May 1, 2015
Location
Upstate N.Y.
A quick look suggests that only the first thousand were delivered on that contract.
The company surely had lots of costs in development and setting up production.
You can see when comparing the nice photos of each the difference between a gun that has been pretty much untouched and never sanded (the Ball carbine) and one that has been sanded down a good deal (the Palmer).
With shows so scarce, it's tough to compare in hand differing quality and conditions of items, but you can learn a lot from good photos, and these are good photos.
The contracts for both were only for 1000 of each. The Palmer metal to wood fit is tight with sharp edges and no signs of sanding. Note the cartouches. I know it can be misleading in photos, but no it was not sanded.
 
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Jeff in Ohio

Corporal
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
The contracts for both were only for 1000 of each. The Palmer metal to wood fit is tight with sharp edges and no signs of sanding. Note the cartouches. I know it can be misleading in photos, but no it was not sanded.

The flat of the stock around the lockplate on your Palmer and the flat opposite the lockplate originally had edges as sharp as the ones on your Ball carbine, and now they are well rounded, which means sanded at some time in the past. Here is what that area on the Palmer looks like as it came from the factory:

1611347205067.png
 
Joined
May 1, 2015
Location
Upstate N.Y.
The flat of the stock around the lockplate on your Palmer and the flat opposite the lockplate originally had edges as sharp as the ones on your Ball carbine, and now they are well rounded, which means sanded at some time in the past. Here is what that area on the Palmer looks like as it came from the factory:

View attachment 388665
I see the difference in the photos, but I'm thinking no way as the cartouches are bold and clear. Possible a different harsness of wood and different worker who did the finish work. Butt plate, trigger guard and Lock plate are also proud against wood. Compare the cartouche photo. We can no longer ask the workers.
 

Jeff in Ohio

Corporal
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
I see the difference in the photos, but I'm thinking no way as the cartouches are bold and clear. Possible a different harsness of wood and different worker who did the finish work. Butt plate, trigger guard and Lock plate are also proud against wood. Compare the cartouche photo. We can no longer ask the workers.

It is always the edges of the flats that show sanding, whether on wood or metal, or firearms or furniture. Unless the person doing the sanding is skilled, always the edges are rounded, whether on the flats of a firearm, or the edges of a table or table leaf.
Remember the person doing the sanding is not trying to maintain the original surface, and often dents and dings have been created by bumps on those originally sharp edges, and so in trying to clean up an old gun, the person doing the work would sand a bit more on those nicked and dented edges to make a smooth surface. Here is what the side opposite the lock looked like originally - the inspector's initials are in the middle of the flat, and between the lockscrews and so would escape the sanding done to clean dented and dinged wood of the stock

1611354187533.png
 
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