bullet : configuration : round nosed with flat base and single wide compound notch cannelure. Relic, lead covered by white oxide
Authority: Baisden, C N : 1980
Reference: Lewis, B R : 1968 : Small Arms and Ammunition in the United States Service, 1776-1865 : Smithsonian Institution Press : : plate 40. Description: bullet only for a Gilbert Smith breech loading rifle or carbine. This series of cartridges were made with both india-rubber and tin foil cartridge cases. The Smith breechloader, where barrel and breech separated half way up the chamber when the mechanism was opened for loading, was tested in Britain in 1858, at a time when there was some interest in breechloaders for cavalry, but not adopted. The US Army purchased 300 Smith carbines in 1860, one of a number of breechloading carbine designs acquired for evaluation in the 1850s. The pre-war india rubber cartridge case could be reloaded several times. By the outbreak of the American Civil War, Smith had assigned his patent to Thomas Poultney of Poultney Trimble & Co., which, after protracted financial negotiations, were awarded a Union contract for 10,000 Smith carbines in August 1861. Actual manufacture was probably undertaken by the American Machine Works of Springfield, Massachusetts, a well established engineering company. These were used with the tin foil Crispin/Poultney cartridge design also utilised in the Burnside, Gallagher and Maynard carbines.