The Enfield Pattern 1853 Cavalry Carbine was the shortened, carbine form of the original, full-length Enfield Pattern 1853 rifled-musket of British origin. The carbine saw considerable use in the American Civil War (1861-1865) by mounted and dismounted troops and was favored by both sides of the conflict before the end. It became the most-purchased foreign-born gun of the war when both sides sought to arm themselves by any means necessary - including reaching out to overseas allies to fill requirements.
The carbine form was representative of its full-length counterpart save for its shortened barrel length (21") and reduced-length forend. This resulted in just two bands being needed to strengthen the gun along its length and made for a more portable weapon system. The firing action remained flintlock-based (faithful to the original British Enfield design) and the weapon was loaded at the muzzle with help from a swiveling ramrod arm affixed under the muzzle. It was chambered for the .577 ball but known to have regularly fired the .58 Springfield shot - the standard ammunition of the United States Army at the time.
Beyond their issuance to mounted troops, short guns like the Enfield Cavalry Carbine were also given to specialist troops like artillery operators so as to give these battlefield units some measure of defense against incoming enemy cavalry and infantry.
The Enfield Pattern 1853 Cavalry Carbine saw use by Confederate forces in the war though in far greater numbers as the Union blockade of major Confederate ports made acquiring these guns quite difficult. Fewer than 5,000 examples were known to have made it into Confederate Army hands.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Flintlock; Muzzle-Loaded; Single-Shot
Popular system of operation for some 200 years preceding the percussion cap, this action involves a piece of flint rock and falling hammer to generate sparks / ignition, therefore lighting propellant charge to drive ammunition from the chamber down the barrel and out through the muzzle.
(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)
.577 Ball; .58 Springfield
Rounds / Feed
*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.
Pattern 1853 Cavalry Carbine - Base Series Designation.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.
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