|Place of origin||United States|
|Used by||United States|
|Wars||American Civil War|
|Unit cost||$35 (1859), $32,5 (1861)|
|Weight||7.5 lb (3.4 kg)|
|Length||39.5 in (1,000 mm)|
|Barrel length||21.6 in (550 mm)|
|Sights||Blade (front); Block and single Leaf sight (rear)|
The Smith Carbine was a 0.50 caliber breech-loading rifle patented by Gilbert Smith on June 23, 1857 and successfully completed the military trials of the late 1850s. It was used by various cavalry units during the American Civil War.
The Smith Carbine was unique in that it broke apart in the middle for loading and it used rubber cartridges which sealed the gases in the breech. The downside was that these cartridges were difficult to remove.
The carbines were built by Massachusetts Arms Company of Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts; the American Machine Works in Springfield, Massachusetts; or the American Arms Company in Chicopee Falls. The name of the distributor for the manufacturer, Poultney & Trimble of Baltimore, Maryland, is often stamped on the carbine's receivers.
Early versions are often known to modern collectors as artillery models, but all Smiths were issued to cavalry units. Units known to have received the Smith Carbine include:
- 1st Connecticut Cavalry Regiment
- 7th Illinois Cavalry Regiment
- 11th Illinois Cavalry Regiment
- 1st Massachusetts Cavalry Regiment
- 10th New York Cavalry Regiment
- 6th Ohio Cavalry Regiment
- 9th Ohio Cavalry Regiment
- 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment
- 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment
- 3rd West Virginia Cavalry Regiment
- 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment (Union)
- Purchase of arms, House Documents, 1861, P. 180.
- Field, Ron; Smith, Robin (2005). Uniforms of the Civil War: An Illustrated Guide for Historians, Collectors, and Reenactors. Globe Pequot Press. p. 64. ISBN 978-1-59228-525-9.
- James, Garry (October 2010). "The Hated Smith Carbine" Archived 2012-07-23 at the Wayback Machine. Guns & Ammo.
- Graf, John F. (2009). Standard Catalog of Civil War Firearms. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications. p. 170. ISBN 1-4402-2696-2.
- 72 Days at Gettysburg: Organization of the Tenth New York Volunteer Cavalry and Assignment to the Town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (December 1861 to March 1862) /George Rummel page 151