Ball Repeating Carbine

The Ball Repeating Carbine was one of the last Civil War arms manufactured, as an initial order of 1,002 units was ordered in 1864 but not delivered until shortly after the cessation of hostilities in 1865. The carbine was designed by Albert Ball of Worcester, Massachusetts and manufactured by Lamson & Co of Windsor, Vermont (which also made Palmer carbines).

The military Ball carbines were chambered for the .56-.50 Spencer cartridge, to simplify ammunition supply. Reportedly a small number were also made for commercial sale after the war, and these were chambered for the .44 Long Rimfire cartridge. In either caliber, the most interesting feature of the Ball was how it split the chamber into two separate pieces, and used the lower one as a cartridge elevator. This system apparently worked quite well when new, but suffered accuracy problems as the components started to wear with use.


[Music] I guess thanks for tuning in to another Video episode on Forgotten weapons comm Today we’re looking at a pretty Interesting very rare Civil War Repeating rifle here this is a ball Repeating carbine named after the fellow Who invented it these were manufactured Up in the state of Vermont and that was None of them were ordered for a union Service in 1864 although by the time They were actually manufactured and Delivered it was 1865 and the Civil War Was over so that was pretty much the Extent of production was just that Thousand guns now what makes this Interesting is of course the fact that It’s a repeating rifle the action looks And vaguely like a Spencer although it Isn’t really you know there’s a tube Magazine located under the barrel here That holds seven rounds this was Chambered for the 56 50 rimfire Cartridge that’s the same round that the Spencer used and in order to operate it We’re going to start by cocking the Hammer all the way back and then the Trigger guard acts as the operating Lever So let’s get a quick look at that Cycling so now the thing that jumps out At us about this yes Alright now here’s the interesting thing About the ball carbine in here this is

Actually the the rear three-eighths or Half an inch of the chamber which has Been split in two with this curve Profile you can actually see the cutout For the rim of the case right in there The reason for that is the rim of the Case is actually completely exposed When the action is closed right up here Right up in there You can see the top half of the chamber Now when I close the action you can see That the two mate up and then there’s This little exposed area right there and Rim sticks out and there is a matching Piece of firing pin right there on the Hammer so that’s what fires it you don’t Have to have a connecting rod or Something like that like that trapdoor Springfield did now in order to load the Tube mag many guns like the Spencer for Example we’re loaded through the Buttstock this one you load through the Action and the tube is under the barrel You can see it there a little dark but Underneath the barrel right down in There so when the actions fully open you Can go ahead and load that from the from The breech when you’re cycling the gun It pulls around backwards out of the Tube under spring pressure and then This lever pushes it on to the breach And pushes the rim Into that RIM groove so that when the Cartridge comes up like this it’s held

On the breech block and feeds into the Barrel once you’re in that position is Pull the trigger drops the hammer fires The round and you’re ready to go again There is a two-position flip-up rear Sight on this actually pretty good for Sights of the era a fairly typical Little front front post So we’d like to thank Rock Island Auction for letting us come out and take A look at this Among other guns and tune back into Forgotten weapons comm for more cool Civil War repeaters they’re cycling the Gun You

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