This is a Model 1864 Joslyn carbine. Benjamin F. Joslyn received U.S. Patents 33,435, 35,668, 39,407 and 42,000 dated respectively October 8, 1861, June 24, 1862, August 4, 1863 and March 4, 1864. The basis for the first of these was the swinging breech block feature, with the later patents being essentially refinements to the original.
The Model 1864, is sometimes called the Second Model. The Joslyn Fire Arms Company of Stonington, Connecticut, produced two swinging breech block models for the U. S. government, the M-1862 and M-1864. The early M-1862 used the percussion ignition while the later M-1864 used the rimfire system.
Designed for field use with Federal horse soldiers, the Joslyn was simple to use and employed a rimfire cartridge very much like the Spencer’s .56-.56 cartridge or its own special .54 Joslyn cartridge. Joslyn’s unique loading arrangement consisted of pulling out the breechblock knob, pivoting the breechblock up and to the left and then inserting the round. However, Joslyn’s single-shot design was as not as popular as the Spencer’s repeating multi-shot rimfire capability so Joslyn carbines were retired from service at the end of the war.
Deliveries of the Joslyn cartridge carbines came between November 27, 1861 and February 25, 1865, and approximately 11,000 Joslyn rimfire carbines were produced and procured by the government during the Civil War.
Joslyn carbines in varying numbers are known to have been in the hands of the following volunteer cavalry regiments at one time or another during the war: Fourth Indiana; First New York Dragoons; Nineteenth New York; Second, Third, Fourth and Sixth Ohio; Thirteenth Tennessee; Third West Virginia, and First Wisconsin. Additional units undoubtedly also used these arms.
In late 1864 the Ordnance Department bought 3,007 Joslyn actions to be used in rifles that resembled the Springfield Model 1863 .58 caliber rifle muskets.
This is an example of a Joslyn/Springfield breech loading rifle. It was the first breech loading rifle manufactured at a national armory. Springfield Armory assembled all 3,007 of these rifles in January to June of 1865, utilizing breech units supplied by Joslyn Firearms Company and specially fabricated barrels and stocks designed at the armory specifically for this action. The rifle was chambered for the 50-60-450 cartridge loaded at the Frankfort Arsenal. Springfield Armory subsequently re-chambered 1,600 of the Joslyn Rifles for the 50-70 cartridge; these rifles were exported to France in 1870. Experts believe that some Joslyn Rifles were issued to the Union Army before the Civil War ended in April 1865. The rifle has a 35 1/2 inch barrel chambered for the 50-60-450 Joslyn rimfire cartridge.