Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Ball Carbine

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The Ball Carbine was patented by Albert Ball of Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1864, and manufactured by E. G. Lamson & Company, Windsor, Vermont. 

Filling a Federal Ordnance contract, approximately 1,000 were delivered in May, 1865, after the close of the Civil War.
This seven-shot .50 caliber carbine, which was chambered for the .56-50 Spencer rimfire cartridge, operated on the same principle as the later Winchester repeating rifle.



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To load, cartridges are fed through an opening in the right side of the receiver frame and into a tubular magazine located under the barrel. The magazine was tensioned by a long spring, which had to be compressed and retained to allow loading. This was accomplished by pulling a long rod that resembled a cleaning rod, out from the forend of the carbine.
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When the rod was fully extended, the spring was compressed and was captured by a small catch at the end of the forend. Once the magazine was fully loaded, the catch was released and the spring tensioned the magazine to push the cartridges towards the action and into the lifter.
Closing the trigger guard lever feeds a cartridge from the magazine into the chamber. As the action could only be opened when the carbine was cocked, it was now ready to fire.
The carbine has a sling bar and ring on the left side of the receiver, magazine rod on the right side of the forearm and two leaf folding rear sight graduated to 600 yards. The left side of the receiver is roll stamped "E.G. LAMSON & CO./WINDSOR. VT./U.S./BALLS PATENT./JUNE, 23, 1863./MARCH, 15, 1864."

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My blog is filled with interesting weapons from the 19th Century so be sure to search the "Blog Archive".