Model 1847 Springfield Rifled Cavalry Carbine, ca. 1850
Brought a cavalry carbine, model 1847, that I bought back in late 1960 or early 1970.
What'd you pay for it?
Oh, if I remember, I paid $225 for it.
Okay. Well, you're right, it's a Springfield cavalry carbine. It's a model 1847. They made these guns from about 1848 to about 1859, and this for a long time was our standard cavalry weapon. It's a muzzle-loading gun, percussion ignition. They used them for a little while. They didn't work out so well. And about 1855, we adopted rifled arms for all of our military. This had been smooth bore, so they started experimenting with rifling them and trying to make them better, more effective guns. This is one of those guns. They only did a few hundred of these. Almost all of them got altered for some other use. They didn't get altered to rifle carbines. When they rifled it, they not only put the rifling into the barrel, they put a rear sight on it that's adjustable for long-range use. They also changed over the rammer to one that's hung on a chain. So if you're using it on horseback, you drop your ramrod, you don't lose it. What's wonderful about this gun is so few of them were done that you never see them complete and correct. One of the things they did when they altered these guns… because when they rifled them, they recoiled more, and it hurt the soldiers. So they drilled out the butt and they put a lead weight in the butt to help reduce recoil. The lead weight over time expands and contracts, the butts always crack. This one didn't crack. It's one of the best examples of these guns I've ever seen. I think a reasonable auction estimate for a gun in this condition that's totally complete and correct like this, somewhere between $6,000 and $8,000.
Well, that's a nice return on investment.
Pretty darn good return.
I knew it was worth more than I paid for it, but I didn't know how much.
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