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Thread: 12 gauge Gallager Carbine

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub Steppenwolf's Avatar
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    12 gauge Gallager Carbine

    I purchased this Gallager in 12 gauge. Should I line the bore, re-barrel or enjoy it for what it is? Here is the seller's description of the Gallager.

    "Civil War Gallager
    Originally manufactured in 56 rimfire, approximately 25,000 were made for use in the U.S. Civil War. The lockplate is marked “Gallager’s Patent July 17, 1860, manufactured by Richardson & Overman, Philla”, (Philadelphia). It is not clear on where the conversions were done but the barrels were Belgian made. Bannermans, which would be the 1800's equivalent of our army surplus stores, bought a large amount of these rifles around 1877, then converted them to shotguns. 12ga x 2 ¾, Barrel is 31 ½ inches. No ejector or extractor were fitted. Mechanically it functions as it should, it has a decent bore, and good strong wood,"

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  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy tmanbuckhunter's Avatar
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    I have no suggestions, out of my league, only to say they are very neat shotguns. They remind me of my Zulu shotgun, built off of French Tabatiere's.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I am surprised it isn't 2 5/8 or 9/16 as that was more common. I would like to see a cloe up of the firing pin set up I assume a longish slanted pin?

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    To me it looks like your Gallager is the original percussion version rather than the later rim-fire version. Either way it is an interesting piece of history. If it were me I'd save the current barrel and make up a complete new barrel in the original 50 caliber percussion or if it is a rim-fire action I'd make up a new barrel in the proper Spencer caliber and use a 22 rim-fire primed machined brass case and shoot it that way. The draw back is that the Gallager never had an extractor for the cartridge case. What a wonderful find. Keep us posted on what you do with it.
    BIG OR SMALL I LIKE THEM ALL, 577 TO 22 HORNET.

  5. #5
    Boolit Bub
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    As someone else said, I have no advice. I do think it's a neat gun. Were it mine I would probably shoot it, with BP of course. YMMV!

    Dave

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub Steppenwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KCSO View Post
    I am surprised it isn't 2 5/8 or 9/16 as that was more common. I would like to see a cloe up of the firing pin set up I assume a longish slanted pin?
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    Here are a couple of photo of both ends of the firing pin and the "nipple" system

    .

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Since it is center fire I would shoot it as a shotgun but again, I would be tempted to make up a complete new barrel in a 50 caliber centerfire of some sort, probably the centerfire version of the 56-50 Spencer or maybe the 50-45-400 Navy. It might even lend itself to being converted with a removable liner. That way you would have the best of both worlds.

    It must have some clever way for the hammer to strike the firing pin as it is clearly originally intended to be percussion.

    Great find.

    Let us know what you do.
    BIG OR SMALL I LIKE THEM ALL, 577 TO 22 HORNET.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    The cartridge conversion carbines wernt popular,the complaint being the fired rimfire case was near impossible to remove from the chamber ,and needed a rod down the muzzle......Therefore ,I suspect a shotgun case which doesnt stay tightly expanded was far more satisfactory.......Its also reported the cartridge carbines went to France in 1870 ,and that is possibly the source of a gun with Belgian alterations post 1870.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Looks to be an extractor in the breech that would pull the case out a little as the barrel moved forward. This is the first one I have ever seen and it is very nice. Easy enough to make a 56-50 liner but I wouldn't go past that power wise as the Gallager was a weak action to start with.

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