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Phoenix Arms Gibbs Carbine

United States (1862)

Detailing the development and operational history of the Phoenix Arms Gibbs Carbine Percussion-Based, Breech-Loaded, Single-Shot Carbine.

 Entry last updated on 9/8/2016; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

Basic Specifications
National Flag Graphic
United States
Year: 1862
Type: Percussion-Based, Breech-Loaded, Single-Shot Carbine
Manufacturer(s): Phoenix Arms Factory (New York) - USA

Like other useful carbine weapons of the period, the Gallager Carbine was sure to find takers in the American Civil War.

The need for viable small arms in the American Civil War (1861-1865) was such that many model types from a plethora of designers and manufacturers were eventually taken on in both great and small numbers. The Gibbs Carbine was one of the latter with just 1,052 units reportedly produced of the intended 10,000 for Union (Federal) forces. W.F. Brooks and W.W. Marsden owned the Phoenix Arms Factory in New York that manufactured the handy weapon but the destruction of the factory during the 1863 Draft Riots (July 13th - 16th, 1863, New York) severely limited the carbine's reach in the war - making it one of the rarest firearms of the Civil War period.

In the Gibbs design, the trigger guard acted as the lever to give access to the chamber for loading/reloading. The barrel was tilted upwards to provide access and a cartridged bullet (.52) inserted. The carbine was a single-shot design and a percussion cap was required to ignite the propellant charge contained in the cartridge. The cap was set atop a nipple along the right side of the body. The flintlock-style hammer was found nearby. Like other weapons of the period, the Gibbs Carbine used a single-piece wooden stock that incorporated the shoulder stock as well as a short forend. The barrel, of 22 inch length, protruded just a short distance ahead of the wood work.

Both early and late model patterns emerged during the war with slight variations between them. Carbine rifles found popularity in the war when it was found that true long guns were cumbersome and unwieldy by troopers - particularly scouts and those operating on horseback. Close quarters battles were better found with shorter guns that could be maneuvered into action in short order.
Any available statistics for the Phoenix Arms Gibbs Carbine Percussion-Based, Breech-Loaded, Single-Shot Carbine are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering initial year of service, country-of-origin and manufacture(s) involved in bringing the weapon to market. Other qualities showcased are related to physical values such as the internal action, available calibers / chamberings, weight and lengths. Global operators are also presented in A-to-Z format as are any model variants available to the series.
Supported Mission Types
Frontline Infantry
Special Forces
Close Quarters Battle
Designated Marksman/Sharpshooter
Area Effect/Suppression
Indirect Fire
Airspace Denial
Attachment Weapon
Internal Design, Weight and Dimensions
Firing Action: Single-Shot; Breech-Loaded; Percussion Cap
Available Caliber(s): .52
Ammunition Count / Feed: Single-Shot
Overall Length: 760 mm (29.92 in)
Barrel Length: 558 mm (21.97 in)
Sighting Assist: Iron

Operating Performance
Rate-of-Fire (RoF): 3 rounds-per-minute (rpm)

Operators List
United States

Model Variants
• Gibbs Carbine - Base Series Name; production yielding approximately 1,052 examples.