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U.S. Richardson and Overman Gallager Percussion Carbine (1)
This carbine was invented by Mahlon Gallager, a South Carolina native. More than 23,000 were manufactured, and they saw extensive service as a cavalry arm with Union troops. Both percussion and metallic cartridge versions of the Gallagher carbine were manufactured, but extraction problems with both cartridge types made this arm somewhat unpopular with the troops that used it. SN 1722
Manufactured by Richardson & Overman of Philadelphia, this
carbine fired an unprimed .50 caliber cartridge with a brass foil
and paper-wrapped case or an all-brass case. The rounded,
perforated base of the Gallager cartridge looks like a doughnut.
Ignition was provided by a percussion cap. A major fault of these
carbines was the absence of a suitable extractor. The case had to
be extracted with knife or some other sharp pointed instrument.
When the trigger guard lever is lowered, the barrel slides out from
the frame and tips downward to receive the cartridge.
Its barrel is 22 1/4 inches long and the overall length is 39 1/4 inches. Barrel and buttplate are blue and the frame, loading lever, and lock are casehardened in mottled colors. The Gallager, like most other Civil War carbines, has a sling ring on a slide bar mounted on the left side opposite its lock. The sliding sling ring was attached to a belt that went around the shoulder. The carbine was fastened to a swivel clip on the belt, from which it hung muzzle-down. This carbine was patented by Mahlon J. Gallager of Savannah, Georgia, July 17, 1860. 22,728 Gallager carbines were purchased during the Civil War.