MANUFACTURER(S): E.G. Lamson (Production) / Albert Ball (Design) - USA
ACTION: Manually-Operated Lever
CALIBER(S): .50; .56-50 Spencer rimfire
LENGTH (OVERALL): 1,130 millimeters (44.49 inches)
LENGTH (BARREL): 508 millimeters (20.00 inches)
WEIGHT (UNLOADED): 9.48 pounds (4.30 kilograms)
MUZZLE VELOCITY: 1,100 feet-per-second (335 meters-per-second)
RATE-OF-FIRE: 17 rounds-per-minute
RANGE (EFFECTIVE): 300 feet (91 meters; 100 yards)
Detailing the development and operational history of the E.G. Lamson Ball Lever-Action Carbine Rifle.
Entry last updated on 7/13/2018.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
For a time, the lever-action long gun settled the issue of repeat-fire performance for the standard army infantryman. Such breech-loaded weapons were used to good effect during the American Civil War (1861-1865) where there still proved a reliance on single- and double-shot, breech-loading types. In many of the lever-action designs, the reloading function was settled by management of a lever at the trigger area which cleared the firing chamber of spent casings and introduced a fresh cartridge. A tube magazine supplied a near-constant supply of ammunition for the gun. Some of the more famous lever-action rifles emerged from Winchester factories during the mid-to-late 1800s.
Another entry into the lever-action category became the E.G. Lamson Ball Lever-Action Carbine. They were wholly conventional in appearance as lever-actions of the period went - double-banded, two-piece wooden (walnut) stocks, iron sights, tubular magazine (seated under the barrel assembly) and a lever that doubled as the trigger guard. The carbine was chambered in .50 and fired the .56-50 Spencer rimfire cartridge, a self-contained cartridge which was leaps ahead of the old cap-and-ball system. Overall length measured 37 inches with a 20 inch barrel assembly.
The result was a fine lever-action carbine suitable for scouts, sharpshooters, infantrymen and mounted troops - just compact enough to take into close-quarters battle but long enough to reach out to targets at range. The cartridge provided good man-stopping power and range and seven were carried, ready-to-fire, in the tubular magazine. The guns arrived in 1864 and interested the Union Army enough for an order to be secured for 1,000 carbines. These arrived in May of 1865 - though the War Between the States ended in April of that year making the Ball lever-Action Carbine something of a rarity in circulation.
Design is attributed to Albert Ball of Worcester, Massachusetts and manufactured by Lamson & Company of Windsor, Vermont.
Where applicable, the appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Russian Ministry of Defense, Chinese Ministry of Defense or British Ministry of Defence visual information does not imply or constitute endorsement of this website (www.MilitaryFactory.com). Images marked with "www.MilitaryFactory.com" or featuring the Military Factory logo are copyrighted works exclusive to this site and not for reuse in any form.