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Thread: Smith Cavalry Carbine

  1. #1
    2horses is offline
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    Smith Cavalry Carbine

    Hi everyone, I just acquired a Smith Cavalry Carbine. #9004
    Was told by the seller he thought it was issued to the 1st Alabama U.S.
    Can I get an SRS check please. Really curious what turns up.
    She looks like a fun gun to shoot!
    Any tips reloading?
    Thanks a bunch!
    Terry


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  2. #2
    2horses is offline
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    More pics

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  3. #3
    Kevin Tinny is offline
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    Smith 9004

    Hello:

    I am NOT a Smith expert, but having bought 10574 last year and asked for the same info, here's what the experts shared:

    Fred Grandanetti, "Two Flints" on the CAS/SSS Forum shared that his SRS books showed 10574 was "probably"issued to Company L, First Alabama Vol Cavalry, a U.S. outfit, in 1863. 10571 and 10576 were for sure. Thesectwo are FIRST models with swivels! Mine is NOT a First Model, but the SN is the same as a First Model.09 So, absent awareness of SN duplication, it can be an easy stretch to affix more provenance. I have seen MAJOR "trusted, authentication letter providing" auction houses do this, even on cleverly repaired ones, too. Read the fine print in such letters and wonder.

    There were at least two versions and possibly up to three blocks of DUPLUCATE serial numbers because of different makers.

    Those "second models" without swivel(s), with a very small number of exceptions, were very likely to have been purchased and accepted, but never issued, hence the relatively unused condition. Mine was mint.

    These sat in arsenals while repeaters were requested.

    After the war, they found their way into the surplus market.

    There are serial number blocks for the unissued ones that duplicate the SRS Book ones, BUT the SRS Book numbers are only for ISSUED.

    My belief, based upon no swivels and condition, is that yours was not issued and was surplus after the war. Mine has zero historical value, but is pristine. It sat for thirty plus years and was sold for the widow. The original owner paid maybe $300 for it. I paid $2,500, with no negotitating, and was thrilled. It shoots very well.

    There are several members that helped me with mine.
    If you bring it to Bruce Cobb at the old Yeck booth opposite Lodgewood's, he will help you.

    All the best,
    Kevin Tinny
    Last edited by Kevin Tinny; 04-14-2018 at 04:58 PM.

  4. #4
    Southron Sr. is offline
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    Smith Carbines (both original and replicas) are very popular in the N-SSA. Also, they can also be real "tack drivers" IF you spend the time and effort to develop a good load for them.

    I highly recommend that you slug your Smith's bore, then you can select a mould and sizer that will provide you with bullets that are of the right diameter for your carbine. Many Skirmishers load light charges of black powder in their Smith tubes and then use a "filler" like Cream of Wheat of Gritz to take up the rest of the space in the cartridge case

    Lodgewood sells both brass Smith tubes and also plastic Smith tubes. The brass ones will last forever, but weigh a ton. The plastic tubes are good for somewhere between a half dozen and a dozen reload before they have to be replaced. Usually what happens is that the flash hole in the base of the cartridge enlarges with every round fired with that case.

    Anyway...Good Luck with yourSmith

  5. #5
    Southron Sr. is offline
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    Smith Carbines (both original and replicas) are very popular in the N-SSA. Also, they can also be real "tack drivers" IF you spend the time and effort to develop a good load for them.

    I highly recommend that you slug your Smith's bore, then you can select a mould and sizer that will provide you with bullets that are of the right diameter for your carbine. Many Skirmishers load light charges of black powder in their Smith tubes and then use a "filler" like Cream of Wheat of Gritz to take up the rest of the space in the cartridge case

    Lodgewood sells both brass Smith tubes and also plastic Smith tubes. The brass ones will last forever, but weigh a ton. The plastic tubes are good for somewhere between a half dozen and a dozen reload before they have to be replaced. Usually what happens is that the flash hole in the base of the cartridge enlarges with every round fired with that case.

    Anyway...Good Luck with your Smith

  6. #6
    2horses is offline
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    Thanks so much for the input guys!
    Had no idea about the serial number thing!
    Duplicates! My bore SHINES like chrome. So it must have been shelved.
    This one cost me 1500.00 shipped.
    I didn't think I'd ever get one of these!
    The prices are CRAZY! I just kept looking, and got a nice one!
    I'll get the bore slugged, and find out.
    What are the sights set at? 200?
    My 63 Sharps shoots 10-12" high at 100yds.
    Anyway thanks very much for your responses!
    I really enjoy my Sharps, I know I'll enjoy this one!
    Another C.W. addition!
    I have a 63 Sharps, Now a Smith Carbine, 63 Starr S.A., 63 Remington, 60 Army Colt,
    All originals!
    I LOVE EM!

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  7. #7
    Kevin Tinny is offline
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    Hello, again:

    I agree with Southron, based on my work to get mine in the black with the proverbial golf ball sized groups at 50 yards.

    First, you will need to replace the german silver BLADE, not base, in the front sight.
    The BLADE can be driven out of the BASE'S slot and Lodgewood in Wisconsin can provide replacement blades. These come in two widths, so measure your blade WIDTH where it fits to know their closest width. I had to slowly lap my Lodgewood blade, ALTERNATING SIDES, on BOTH sides and measuring each time using 600 grit wet-or-dry to remove a little on EACH SIDE for it to be a tight fit.

    Measure twice, cut once. A TIGHT FIT is fine, use no glue AND be sure it is tapped DOWN into the BOTTOM of the slot. Height stuff coming.

    Watch that it doesn't move by measuring after the first 5-shot and subsequent 10-shot groups.

    Our bore spec's are going to be close enough, given that PURE lead will allow sufficient upset IF A DECENT POWDER CHARGE is used.

    Most want around a 380 grain weight bullet that carries better to 100 yards. John Bly cuts Lyman 50-70 515141 mold blocks back one grease groove to a weight of 368gr to 370gr. It usually casts to .515" - .516" and will hand press into the brass cases. I have NOT NEEDED TO SIZE THE AS-CAST BULLETS.

    Try to use brass cases. Again, DEAD PURE LEAD. LEN'S LUBE from Rebel Trading Post will, in that altered bullet, provide ample protection.

    Now I use a charge of 33gr. 3Fg Swiss, which just reaches the top of the case powder chamber. I put a wax paper sheet wad .515" on top as insurance againt lube contanination. This could be over-kill. GOEX will work, but don't know how much.
    My groups have always been tighter in both muskets and carbines with 3F vs, 2F.

    I dip lube the bullets, holding the nose with hemostats. This leaves lube ON the base, but it hasn't reduced accuracy or ruptured the wax paper.

    The Lodgewood replacement front sight BLADE will be way high, so be careful about shooting LOW, off your target frame. Start at 25 yards, holding on the top of the frame to gauge point of impact. Look to see that the bullet holes are SQUARE with no tipping. They should be. I tested four bullets from 360 to 385 grains and none tipped at either 50 or 100.

    Fire five at 25 to know where to start holding and examine your blade to be sure it has not moved! I measure its top, rear height. This WILL differ from the front height due to barrel taper over the 1/2" of barrel. Don't cut the sight lower UNTIL YOU HAVE GOOD "round" GROUPS NOT LARGER THAN 3" at 50. Ok, you can cut it to be on paper at 50 to keep from missing the target. Ask me how I know.

    I tested 25, 30, 33, 35 and 37 grain charges with ten shot groups For the lighter ones, I used filler. Quickly found 33 was consistently ok. Mine kicks at 37 2F Swiss!

    Check that your bullet's ogive or front driving band BARELY engraves or touches the rifling. This helps accuracy. If your bullet engraves to the point the you cannot finger extract a loaded round, as long as the closing effort is not excessive it is ok.

    BUT never try to pull a loaded round when shooting. The bullet usually sticks and you have a spilled powder mess. Always shoot THAT round AFTER RANGE
    OFFICER OK.

    After following Tony Bagdon's ("Grouping Your Firearm" at CIVILWARWIKI) and Lou Ruggerio's similar load test techniques, I found that my blade top, rear edge ended up at .546" above the top of the barrel. But that is w 33 3FSwiss and a 375gr bullet. Lou uses a lighter charge and does well with the Moose copy of the Rapine 385gr bullet.

    I zeroed that load for 50 with staff flat in base using the notch in the slider and top of post flush with slider notch held at 6:00 on a 4" black bull. For 100, raise the staff, PULL THE SLIDER TO ITS UPPERMOST ON THE STAFF and use the tough to see notch in the bottom of the STAFF. THE TOP OF THE POST MAY end up either flush or a bit above flush.

    Sight radius is SHORT , so minor sight picture variations will be magnified.
    Get a good natural aiming position off of a decent rest with NO side pressure on the carbine to minimize deflection during recoil. Ten-shot groups. Save targets and carefully label them.

    You must get your shots off within 4 to 6 seconds once you begin final aiming to avoid sighting errors. If your wobble area opens up, STOP and start over.
    Concentrate on the front sight relative to the bull with the sight as crisp as possible.
    Trying to switch focus between bull, post and notch causes problems.

    Groups should not be much taller than wide or sighting errors or wind might be involved. Wind BLOWS these things TWICE as much as it does a 22LR target round!
    Wind can DEFLECT a minie or Smith bullet out of the black at both 50 and 100!
    Remember, how you set uo your natural aiming position, especially your FEET, matters to lateral grouping. Never move your feet once you establish a good position. Dancing around on the line between shots causes problems offhand!

    Once you think the charge is good, test it twice MORE on separate days to be SURE. Then test its point of impact by shooting STANDING using LIGHT support from a step ladder. Again, two separate days, ten shot groups.

    Holding against a post will push your POI AWAY from the HARD resistance during recoil. Do not be surprised if your offhand POI "shifts" a bit. But, if you practiced good bench technique, it shouldn't be over a couple inches different at 100. Zero shift from range to range might vary an inch at 50, and 2" at 100 due to light, etc, but not OUT OF THE BULL. Shoot the INDIVIDUAL matches and use your grouping as a guide for any hold-offs.

    All the best,
    Kevin Tinny
    Last edited by Kevin Tinny; 04-14-2018 at 03:21 PM.

  8. #8
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    Steve

  9. #9
    2horses is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maillemaker View Post


    Steve
    That's a Good one Steve!

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  10. #10
    Kevin Tinny is offline
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    Very cute and thanks, Steve:

    I have tried three times to add some more of the free sharing of so many to that post and it hasn't appeared. Maybe it's at limits?

    Will wait and if not there at noon, will do a supplemental one.

    I love Morgan. He and Gene are always good.
    As the janitor, Morgan's: "Don't mess with free will." says volumes.
    Made my day.

    Kevin
    Last edited by Kevin Tinny; 04-14-2018 at 11:13 AM.

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