ORIGIN: Confederate States
MANUFACTURER(S): Cook & Brother - USA
OPERATORS: Confederate States
CALIBER(S)*: .58 (.570 Patched Round Ball; .575 Minie Ball)
SIGHTS: Front Dovetail Blade; Rear Open Dovetail
Detailing the development and operational history of the Cook & Brother Carbine Musket Rifle.
Entry last updated on 3/24/2017.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The Cook & Brother Carbine was another in the long line of muzzle-loading muskets utilized in the great American Civil War. As a carbine it was designed as shorter than your standard musket "long gun", meant instead for standard issue with cavalry infantry as opposed to basic foot soldiers. The Cook and Brother Carbine was unique is one major way, however, for it became one of the few firearms that was (and could be) produced in Southern territory during the war with production figures ranging to about 1,500 examples, perhaps slightly more according to sources though, at any rate, being something of a rarity compared to other mass-produced guns of the war. This was made possible by the carbine's construction materials which required wood types (walnut, pecan or maple) that were in abundance throughout the Southern-held territories and states. Cook & Brother Carbines were clearly identified with Confederate markings.
The carbine was developed by brothers Ferdinand and Francis Cook and produced under the Cook & Brother brand label (established in 1860) originally out of New Orleans, Louisiana. Later, the group moved its operations to Athens, Georgia. It was based on the British Enfield 1853 Pattern Carbine and chambered for the .58 cartridge (.570 patched round ball or .575 Minie Ball used with black powder) and operated with the widely-accepted percussion principle. As a musket, it was loaded from the muzzle and was of single-shot in nature meaning that the operator needed to reload each time after firing.
Design of the Cook and Brother Carbine was conventional as Civil War firearms go with a single-piece wooden body containing the barrel and key brass components required for the firing action. The barrel was double-banded and the ramrod (made of cast iron) was fitted underneath the barrel. The ramrod was connected to the weapon and operated by way of a swiveling joint connection fitted to the underside of the muzzle. The hammer was offset to the right hand side of the receiver while the curved trigger was protected by a slim ring guard. Open loops at the stock and forend allowed the use of a shoulder sling for marches or general handling and sights were noted at the front (dovetail with steel blade) and rear (dovetail base, open steel) of the weapon for more accurized fire. Barrel length was approximately 21 inches while overall length was just over 40 inches. The carbine weighed roughly 7.5lbs.