The 1843 Side-Lever Hall Carbine by Simeon North

Cool Forgotten Weapons merch!

The final production version of the Hall was Simeon North’s Model 1843 Carbine, of which 10,500 were made between 1844 and 1853. It used North’s percussion update to the design, and a cleverly simple calming lug connected to a lever on the right side of the action to open the breech. These were smoothbore .54 caliber guns, issued to the Dragoons and used in the Mexican-American War.

Forgotten Weapons
6281 N. Oracle #36270
Tucson, AZ 85740

Hey guys thanks for tuning in to another Video on I’m ian mccollum and i’m here today at Rock island taking a look At the very last pattern of hull breach Loader in american military service This is a model of 1843 side lever hall Carbine it’s a smooth bore as well which We’ll get to in a moment Now if you didn’t see my original video On the The hall system i would strongly Recommend checking it out the hall was a Tremendously influential System in not just military affairs but Really in the whole Of industrialization of the united States and in turn of the world it was Critical a critical step in the the Development of All systems of interchangeable parts Really much more of a milestone than i Think a lot of people Appreciate it for at any rate the hull Would be in service over Many decades with the us military and it Would go through a lot of changes during That time so One of these was that a second Contractor was brought in to manufacture Hull rifles and carbines Rifles and muskets actually i suppose And this was a guy named simeon north Of connecticut and he had been

Manufacturing guns for the u.s Literally back into the last years of The 1700s Um long experience his son would go into This business After him um there’s a well-renowned Company a skilled guy and he was able to Actually duplicate the interchangeable Parts that Hall himself pioneered at the harpers Fairy armory And one of the things that simeon north Would do is develop a percussion system For the hull so the original hull rifles Are flintlocks they’ve got a big old Flint mechanism on here because of Course they were developed Before the advent of the percussion cap But the percussion cap is a more Reliable Cheaper easier just a way better system In general so if we’re going to keep Making these things Let’s make them percussion simeon north Introduced that in 1833 Now he would follow this with another Improvement meant to address Another issue of the original halls if i Bring this guy Back out one of the problems you have is With This hook which is the essential Component used To open the breech block of a hull the

Problem is that hook Tends to hook on things it gets in the Way it gets caught it gets snagged And there was a desire to have an Improved system So what north did first was develop what Was called the fishtail lever system Which Basically keeps the opening lever down On the bottom but makes it something a Lot less a lot more low profile And then improving on that came this the Side lover pattern so let me show you up Close So we have here a u.s army carbine Marked s North simian north out of connecticut Dated 1844 So relatively early in the production This is remember a model of 1843. We also have these two really remarkably Clear cartouches In the stock just behind the action on The right side here is w-a-t That’s william anderson thornton he was A captain in the u.s ordinance Department who was inspecting guns And then on the opposite side on the Left we have a j h Cartouche and that is joseph hannas Who was a sub inspector for the u.s Ordinance department This is a new production percussion gun A lot of the flintlock patterns would be

Later converted over to percussion But these guns were made from the ground Up as percussion guns Notice that this is made for dragoons so This has a big old Sling bar on it you can hook your single Point sling to that ring To keep control of the gun or keep from Dropping the gun while you’re on Horseback And then the fundamental improvement to The system is this lever And all i have to do to open the breech Is pull this lever Out just slightly to bypass that locking Stud And then i pull the lever down and it Cams the breech block Up notice that the underside of the gun Is much cleaner now in fact in addition To not having the hook On the bottom here they’ve also gotten Rid of what i thought was really a Pretty nice Extra pistol grip on the bottom of the Trigger garden Here is a standard pattern of you know Earlier hull As a comparison so you can see that the Trigger guard has changed Has been simplified dramatically and of Course we don’t have The hook on the bottom now in addition These carbines were all smooth bore guns

54 caliber That seems weird to me because really One of the advantages of the hall Is that you can have it rifled without Suffering the Slower loading of a rifled muzzle loader I suspect what was going on was simply a Combination of wanting reduced cost and Less machining Involved in making the guns and also Having them a little less susceptible to Powder fouling Without rifling it’s easier to clean the Guns there you don’t have those Nooks and corners of the rifling for Fouling to accumulate in A few other quick elements to look at we Have our cleaning rod Secured up in that lug in the front a Little small front sight there the Rear sight is a v-notch that is centered On the receiver Where the earlier flintlock guns the Sights were offset to the left To accommodate the larger flint system This the percussion hammer is narrower And so it doesn’t interfere with a Center-mounted sight Although just barely your sights are Very close along the side of this hammer When you’re Aiming the gun now i’ve taken the breech Blocks out of both so that we can Compare these

As well and what really jumps out at me Is How they’re basically exactly the same North didn’t change anything he didn’t Have to so The firing mechanism is identical on the Left side The locking surfaces are identical up Here Obviously the top is much simplified but The basic hammer structure is the same Between the two just Instead of having a a flint In here you just have a simple Percussion hammer and the percussion cap Has taken the place Of the entire priming pan and frison Assembly Here now it is important to point out That on the right side of the breech Block The original the early hull has a Locking shoulder just Like on the opposite side where the 1843 Side lever has this rounded lug instead Of a square one That is of course done to accommodate This opening lug on the inside of the Receiver So the idea here by the way is that this Leg is just a flat spring That’s always pushing this lever down to Keep the gun locked And when this lever is in this position

This lug does in fact hold the breech Block In place by this and it will act as a Locking lug But when you push the lever down it cams The whole thing up so it’s a very clever Design You can see the original locking lug Style is still here on The left if we compare the interiors Of both of these guns you can see that The back end again is pretty much Identical The inleting in the stock for the Triggers is the same Uh the 1843 adds a metal base Um sort of uh recess To the entirety of the front of the Receiver that’s going to help protect The wood Uh from the blast out you know the Unsealed Blast around the side of the breech Block And of course the shape of the locking Lugs has changed up here we also have The inletting For the locking hook which you don’t Need On the 1843s instead all they have is One little hole down there that’s going To act as a drain hole so that if water Gets into the action It has a way to get out and not just sit

In there and soak into the wood And rust the metal when simeon north Developed this side lever system He was already in the middle of making a Contract of percussion hall carbines That dated to 1839 And he proposed this side lever system To the secretary Of war in 1843 as a as an improvement Like hey how about This version and they went ahead and Adopted it and said and gave North permission to fulfill the rest of That 1839 contract With this pattern of gun so that would Be the first Uh first production of these starting in 1844 And then the us military would continue To order the guns in batches of a Thousand every few years Until the final order placed was Actually for three thousand guns in 1850 By february of 1853 that order had been Fulfilled and In total some 10 and a half thousand of These side lever pattern 1843 Hull musket carbines were produced Making them actually The most the largest production pattern Of the hall These would be used by u.s dragoons in The mexican-american war And then a lot of them would actually go

On to be used in the civil war They would have the barrels bored out And rifled Kind of it’s really i think a shame that The hall went to a smoothbore system Because that really Obviates one of the real benefits of the Breach loading hall is that you didn’t Have to engrave bullets down the rifling Load of the breech and the gunpowder Does it for you At any rate this one retains its Original smoothbore barrel 54 caliber and frankly it’s a gorgeous Example Of the pattern so hopefully you are Continuing to enjoy this Uh intermittent look into the Development of the hull rifle We’ll have some more interesting Versions as i get my hands on them Thanks for watching

Learn More →