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Old South Military Antiques

S. C. Robinson Sharps Carbine Serial Number 13
Item #: OS-7631

Samuel C. Robinson was a prominent businessman in Richmond, Virginia who in a personal, patriotic and perhaps lucrative contract agreed to produce a breech loading Cavalry Carbine for the Confederate Government. He then set up his arms manufactory at Ninth and Arch Streets in Richmond. In the three months between December 1862 and March of 1863 when the Confederate Government took over the manufactory, Robinson produced just over 1900 breech loading Cavalry Carbines. For him to have produced 1900 high quality carbines in three months is remarkable by Confederate standards. Only 79 of the original 1900 are known to survive.

This Robinson Carbine is serial number 13, which is the second lowest number known to survive. The firearm is in excellent, original condition and has a beautiful, untouched, deep patina. The serial number appears on the lock, breech tang, sling bar, and underneath the barrel.

This example, with the exception of the serial number has an unmarked lock. There are known C.S. produced examples with no markings, but this is the only known S.C. Robinson without the lock stamping or the year/address on the barrel. This may have been done for marketing purposes as was for example, the unmarked Thomas, Griswold swords that were sold to retailers so that they could put their own marking on them.

The metal is as perfect and smooth as when it was made; the stock and forearm have some shrinkage cracks (all of which are shown in the photographs) resulting from using wood that had not been properly dried, a much too common occurrence during the pressing times. There is scratched writing in the left stock face, but I have been unable to make it out. The rifling remains strong and has light pitting in the grooves, the lands retaining a good surface.

According to Confederate Carbines and Musketoons by Dr. John Madaus the earliest known serial number for these carbines is 11, making this the second lowest known serial number example. This is a beautiful example in all regards.