Object Title

Flintlock muzzle-loading military carbine - Pattern 1796 Dragoon

Flintlock muzzle-loading military carbine - Pattern 1796 Dragoon

Date

1829

Object Number

XII.183

Provenance

Old Tower Collection

Physical Description

The lock is of the style generally considered as 'Victorian Brown Bess' with the rail rounded in outline as well as on the surface. The plate measures 6.3 in x 1.25 in and is obviously a musket-size lock as compared to the normal size of lock used for the earlier pattern 1796 Carbines (XII.1883). The pan is rounded and plain, with a bridle. The rounded swan-neck cock has a narrow comb barely curling outwards in profile at the tip. Plate engraved across tail, TOWER and ahead of the cock, crowned GR nicely executed, also marked ID.
Stocked to 3.25 in of the muzzle, with bayonet stud acting as fore-sight. The barrel is retained by two pins. Two heavy brass rod pipes the upper one having rod-retaining spring inside it. Heavy iron button-head rod with straight body. Slit stock with wide channel to front of trigger guard. Baker Rifle pattern flat brass sideplate. Brass trigger guard has squared off front finial and rear finial is longer than XII.1883, fastened with one screw and a pin. Butt-plate is New Land Pattern. Sling bar on left side held at rear by the rear lockscrew. Bar extends forward 6.5 inches then bends beneath fore-end and forms a yoke up either side of the fore-end, being held by a screw through both tips of the yoke and the fore-end, the same system as used for the Dragoon Carbine of 1770 (XII.119).
The full round barrel has a rounded tang tip and is browned. Government proofmarks are stamped on the breech

Dimensions

BarrelLength25.98inches
BarrelLength660mm
OverallLength1061mm

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number none visible

Calibre

0.75

Inscriptions and Marks

Barrel marked: GR crowned broad arrow, crowned crossed sceptres, T. GILL

Associations

Places England

Notes

It is just possible that this carbine is not a standard arm, but a late piece constructed from available parts for experimental or trial use. It could be one of the several designs considered by the Carbine Committee of 1827-32. But the parts in themselves are all of issue pattern on one sort of weapon or another. It seems probable that it is a late weapon set up with an eye to improvements made over the years but never specifically adopted. The peacetime economy of the post-war years unquestionably produced this sort of hybrid rather than resorting to the manufacture of new components.