Shooting Sports USA - November 2021 - 40

PAGE FROM HISTORY: AMERICAN RIFLEMAN
I Have This Old Gun:
Gwyn & Campbell Carbine
BY GARRY JAMES
B
ecause of timing, improvements in
technology and no lack of inventive
spirit, the American Civil War saw an
array of armaments the variety and novelty of
which were unsurpassed in earlier conflicts.
Small arms were singularly affected.
While many types of systems were not
unusual by any means in the early 1860s,
the sophistication of their improved versions
outstripped most previous efforts.
A broad spectrum of rifles and carbines that
could be rapidly and easily loaded from the
breech was manifestly evident. The works of
such pioneers as Christian Sharps, Ambrose
Burnside and Edward Maynard were particularly
noteworthy. But there were many others-
some good, some not so good-that, because
of wartime emergency, were able to gain the
attention of desperate ordnance officials.
One of the more unusual-looking examples
of lesser-known Civil War breechloaders
was the Gwyn & Campbell. This brainchild
of Henry Gross of Ohio, a variant of earlier
dropping-block designs, was interesting in that
it had no fore-stock-the tapered barrel jutting
directly from the midpoint of a rectangular
receiver gives the gun the vague appearance
of a mechanical narwhal.
Refinements were made to the arm, and
the company restructured in 1863. The new
carbine, while resembling its predecessor,
employed a different breechblock-linking
mechanism and had cosmetic changes to the
hammer and lever.
Production of the Gwyn & Campbell
Carbine or " Union Rifle, " as it was now
called, totaled some 8,200 guns divided
between two versions-the Type I and Type
II, which themselves were produced in
subvariants involving such things as different
lever styles, upgraded lever-latching systems
and modified sights. *
Originally produced by Cosmopolitan Arms Co., whose principals were Edward Gwyn and Abner C. Campbell,
the " Union Rifle " was a single-shot, .52-cal. firearm.
40 NOVEMBER 2021 | SSUSA.ORG
PHOTO BY GARRY JAMES
https://www.americanrifleman.org/content/i-have-this-old-gun-gwyn-campbell-carbine http://www.SSUSA.ORG

Shooting Sports USA - November 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shooting Sports USA - November 2021

Contents
Shooting Sports USA - November 2021 - Cover1
Shooting Sports USA - November 2021 - 2
Shooting Sports USA - November 2021 - 3
Shooting Sports USA - November 2021 - Contents
Shooting Sports USA - November 2021 - 5
Shooting Sports USA - November 2021 - 6
Shooting Sports USA - November 2021 - 7
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Shooting Sports USA - November 2021 - 40
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