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Burnside Carbine


Burnside Carbine
Burnside Carbine

Common name:   Burnside Carbine

Description:   The Burnside was one of the first breech-loading, and the third most common carbine in Federal Cavalry service, later exceeded in numbers only by the Sharps and Spencer carbines. It was a lever action, single-shot weapon. First and Second (of 5) Models were in service by Antietam. Its inventor, Ambrose E. Burnside, was also at the Battle. About 55,000 of these rifles were delivered to the US Army by the end of the War.

Employment at Sharpsburg:   Common in many Federal units early in the War. Captured pieces in Confederate service.

Ammunition Used:   Special Burnside design, cone shaped metallic cartridge. Usual load 65 grains powder behind 500 grain bullet.

Manufacturer:   Bristol Firearms Company, Burnside Rifle Company    Where made:   Rhode Island    Model:   1857    Year(s) made:   1857-1865

Effective Range:   200 yards     Muzzle Velocity:   950 fps

Length Overall:   56 inches     Bore:   0.54 inches     Weight:   9 pounds

Other notes:   Photograph and other details from the Smithsonian.1


1   Barber, James G., and Troy Lachance, et al., CivilWar@Smithsonian, first accessed 01 January 2002, <>, Source page: /weapons_burnside.html  [AotW citation 294]

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