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.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
1,130 mm 44.49 in
508 mm 20.00 in
9.48 lb 4.30 kg
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)
.50; .56-50 Spencer rimfire
Rounds / Feed
Seven-shot tubular magazine
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources. **Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
300 ft (91 m | 100 yd)
1,100 ft/sec (335 m/sec)
E.G. Lamson Ball Lever-Action Carbine - Base Series Name.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.
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