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AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter


Gwyn and Campbell Carbine


Breech-Loaded Percussion Carbine [ 1863 ]



The Gwyn and Campbell Carbine saw service in the American Civil War and was issued to Union cavalry troopers across multiple states.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 11/01/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

GO TO SPECIFICATIONS [+]
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The Cosmopolitan Carbine was an American Civil War-era small arms development that issued to some of Illinois' cavalry regiments for its time in the war. This .52 caliber, single-shot, percussion-based long gun emerged from the Cosmopolitan Arms Company of Hamilton, OH, owned by Edward Gwyn and Abner C. Campbell. Following this design, the company introduced a new carbine known primarily under the owner's names as the "Gwyn & Campbell Carbine". Designed by Henry Gross, it mimicked much of the design lines seen in the earlier Cosmopolitan Carbine: the new gun was also a .52 caliber, single-shot, percussion-based weapon taken on by the state to arm its cavalry troopers.

The Gwyn & Campbell Carbine went on to be known under various names during its service run: the "Union Carbine", the "Monkeytail Carbine", and the "Grapevine Carbine" - the latter due to the loading lever's elegant, vine-like shaping.

The carbine utilized the proven rifle arrangement of the day: robust metal components inlaid to a stout wooden frame that included the shoulder stock and hand grip (no forestock / handguard was implemented). The manually-actuated hammer sat along the left side of the receiver with the trigger slung underneath and protected by a rounded trigger guard assembly. When the guard was hinged downwards, it opened to reveal the awaiting breech for loading/reloading. The internal action relied on the percussion cap method for ignition of the priming powder. The rounded barrel assembly measured 20-inches long. Sighting devices were included over the receiver and at the muzzle for more accurate ranged fire.

The cartridge in play was comprised of linen or paper and black powder coupled with a .52 or .54 bullet.

Once in the hands of Illinois cavalrymen, the carbine was used during raids into enemy territory in 1863 and about 8,200 of the type were ultimately produced under two distinct variants known simply as "Type I" and "Type II". The Type I was differentiated by having a spur at the end of the trigger guard and its design lines at the guard and hammer were noticeably more stylized. The Type II featured more of a flatter hammer design with beveled edges while a reduced curve was seen at the trigger guard. About 4,000 of each are thought to have been manufactured. Beyond this, more subtle changes to the lever and sights may have been encountered.

In action, the carbine was largely deemed reliable with its major knock being gas leakages at the breech. On the whole, however, it proved an acceptable cavalryman's carbine. Manufacturing ran from 1863 until 1864 and thirteen contracts originated from the U.S. Ordnance Department during that time. Beyond its issuance to Illinois units, the firearm also saw service with elements in Arkansas, Kansas, Tennessee, Ohio, and Missouri.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.
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Specifications



Service Year
1863

Origin
United States national flag graphic
United States

Classification


Breech-Loaded Percussion Carbine


Cosmopolitan Arms Company - USA
(View other Arms-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of the United States United States
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)


IRON SIGHTS
Supports 'iron sights' allowing for inherent accuracy in ranged fire.


Overall Length
1,270 mm
50.00 in
Barrel Length
508 mm
20.00 in
Sights


Iron Front and Rear.


Action


Breech-Loaded; Trigger-Actuated Hammer

(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)


Caliber(s)*


.52 Caliber

Rounds / Feed


Single-Shot
Cartridge relative size chart
*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.
Rate-of-Fire
6
rds/min


Gwyn & Campbell Carbine - Base Series Name.
Type I - Original production form with enhanced curling of trigger guard and smoother hammer assembly.
Type II - Subsequent variant with flattened, beveled hammer design and reduced trigger guard curling.


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