|Small Arms in the Fredericton Region Museum, Rifles and Shotguns
Small Arms in the Fredericton Region Museum, Rifles and Shotguns
The Fredericton Region Museum, formerly known as the York Sunbury Museum, is a small, non-profit museum founded in 1934 by the York Sunbury Historical Society. The museum was housed in several different locations until 1959, when it moved into Officers' Square on Queen Street in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The Fredericton Region Museum focuses on preserving the history of the York and Sunbury region as well as central New Brunswick. The museum possesses a large and diverse collection of artefacts, including an extraordinary firearms collection, a few of which are illustrated here. The firearms have all been deactivated.
Photos of the small arms found in the museum are by the author or as credited.
Data current to 17 May 2019.
69. 1985.5.1, Tower .75 calibre smoothbore muzzle-loading (SBML) flintlock musket, India pattern (BO 1800). Nicknamed the “Brown Bess” this firearm which underwent many incremental changes, was the standard long gun of the British Empire’s land forces from 1722 until 1838, when they were superseded by a percussion cap SBML musket. The Brown Bess was used by both sides during the American Revolution. New Brunswick Militia units continued to use them to the 1860s.
68. 1969.2442.1, Star .54 cal SS Model 1898 carbine, with saddle ring. This is a single shot breech-loading rifle designed in the USA in 1858, primarily for use by horse-mounted cavalry. It weighed 7.4 lbs. The Starr carbine fired paper or linen cartridges that were ignited by conventional percussion caps. The weapon fired reliably as long as the lengthy flash channel was kept clean.
70. 1969.2435.1, Snider-Enfield .577ca SS carbine, Serial No. 1937.
85. 1969.2446.1, Enfield 1863, .577 cal SS Cadet carbine, 47C, Snider conversion.
86. 1969.2443.1, Evans .44CF cal repeating action carbine (transition model). The Evans was invented by Warren R. Evans, a dentist from Thomaston, Maine. With the help of his brother George, they perfected the rifle and started the "Evans Rifle Manufacturing Company" of Mechanic Falls, Maine in 1873. Their rifles were marketed by Merwin & Hulbert. The hope was that the rifle would be issued by the United States Army, but the rifle failed the standard dust test. The rifle has a radial block receiver similar to the Spencer, but the rounds were fed from an Archimedean-screw magazine which formed the spine of the rifle stock and could hold up to 28 rounds. The fluted cartridge carrier made a quarter turn each time the lever was operated, feeding a new cartridge into the breech. The Evans repeating rifle holds the distinction of being the only firearm mass-produced in the state of Maine in the 19th century. The Evans rifle also had the greatest magazine capacity of any rifle mass-produced in the 19th Century. The Evans has a rotary helical magazine in the buttstock, and cartridges are fed into the breech by cycling the cocking lever/trigger guard. Also, the magazine of the Evans has a much higher capacity than that of the Spencer, up to 28 rounds. The Evans holds four rows of cartridges which are loaded through a trapdoor in the buttplate. Each time the action is cycled, the magazine feeds the next cartridge to the breech in a helical pattern. By early 1876, Evans modified the original and began producing the so-called Transition model. Unlike the old model, the transition model had a walnut lower buttstock, as well as a redesigned buttplate. These changes improved the balance of the rifle, as well as protecting it from damage. Barrel markings on the transition model are as follows: “Evans Repeating Rifle Mechanic Falls Me./Pat, Dec. 8, 1868 & Sept. 16, 1871”. Only 450 carbine versions were made.
71. 1969.3240.1, Springfield Model 1888 45-70 cal SS percussion rifle, Serial No. 1884.
73. 1969.2520.1, Sharps & Hankins, Model 1862 .52RF SS rifle, Serial No. 11855.
74. 1969.3241.1, BSA & Co, 1872, Snider-Enfield Mk. III .577 cal SS rifle, 68th Bn.
75. 1969.3115.1, Ramsey Sutherland, .65 cal SS Baker Flintlock Rifle.
76. 1992.32.1, Adam & Co. Birmingham, DB 12 ga. shotgun, Serial No. 10384.
78. 1969.3038.1, Ketland & Co, SS Long Fowler, percussion rifle.
82. 1969.2432.1, E.M. Reilly & Co, 10 ga. DB shotgun, pinfire, London.
100. 1969.3059.1, Enfield 1844 .577 cal SS percussion carbine sling swivel rod.
102. 1969.2439.1, Spencer Model 1860, .52RF rifle, 6.
92. 1969.2444.1, P. Webley & Son, .455 SS Rifle, Serial No. 8297, D455.
94. 1969.2437.1, Winchester Model 1873 .44 cal, magazine, Serial No. 173300A.
101. 1969.2445.1, Enfield 1896 LEC 1 .303-in bolt action carbine, magazine, 516, cut down stock.