Type III Morse Carbine #912

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Description and Photograph

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     This attractive .50 caliber carbine was manufactured by the State Military Work in Greenville, South Carolina.  The breech loading carbine was invented by George W. Morse.  Morse’s weapon was far ahead of its time, too far it seems, because cartridge manufacture techniques lagged behind.  The problems of securing enough of its center fire metallic cartridges proved insurmountable. 

     Approximately one thousand of these advanced carbines were manufactured.  Production ended in late 1864, when the machinery was relocated to the Confederate arsenal at Columbia, South Carolina.  All of the machinery was destroyed when Sherman sacked Columbia.  Serial number 912 shown here, would manufacture in mid-1864 and was in all likelihood to have been issued to South Carolina State Troops right away.  The large casting flaw in the side plate cover indicates that the carbine was finished in haste.

     The carbine is in fine condition.  The stock and forearm have minor bumps and bruises covered by a pleasing natural patina.  The iron parts, including the barrel, have absolutely no rust pitting and retain a natural smooth patina with the exception of three screw heads that have been re-slotted, using the original screws.  The patinas on and around the other screws still have natural patinas and have obviously not been turned for many, many years.  The carbine’s brass parts have minor scratches and dings and the patina is original.  The serial numbers match and the gun is marked with punch dots, Roman numerals and a cryptic “R”.

 

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