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Burnside Rifle Co.

Name Street Town State From To
Burnside Rifle Co. Canal Street Providence Rhode Island 1861 1862
Burnside Rifle Co. Elm Steet North Providence Rhode Island 1862 1865/1867

Patent Date Remarks

Contract for

see also Bristol Firearms Co., Burnside, A.E. and Foster, George Pratt

The Burnside guns were almost solely manufactures for the U.S. Army and used extensively in the Civil War.
The first and part of the second model was manufactured by Bristol Fireamrs Co.

Burnside Firearms Co. produced the reminder of the second models and all other models. Productions ceased in 1865.

1st Model Carbines
.54 caliber percussion, 22" round barrel, Maynard tape primer. Two hundred guns where ordered on May 1856 but only delivered January 1858. One reason was that the Ordnance Department required the Burnsides with the Maynard tape primer. Estimation is that only 250 to 270 carbines were made.
1st Model Sporting Rifle
observed are some sporting rifles. Production is estimated at 30.

2nd Model Carbines
.54 caliber percussion, 21" round barres. Improved model using G.P. Foster's patents number 27,874 and number 27791 both issued on April 10, 1860. Production is unknown it is believed that not more than 2400 were made. About 900 by the Bristol company. This model was made between 1861 and 1862.

2nd Model Navy Rifle
.54 caliber percussion, 29" half stocked barrel with sword bayonets. 700 guns were contracted by the navy in 1860 but the contract was cancelled without any delivery. In 1861 cataloges some Navy's were proposed to the market.
Rifled Muskets
.58 caliber percussion, 37" full stocked barrel, Harper's Ferry type rifle with sword bayonets. A contract for 1000 and later 2500 more was issued by the Ordnance department on Nov 21, 1861 however, Burnside never started production.

3rd Model Carbines
.54 caliber percussion, slight modification of the hammer and a forend with a barrel band, production started in 1862, production was about 1520. This type of Burnside is called 3rd Model by collectors but in no contemporary document the name 3rd Model appears.


other one right-side

4th Model Carbines / rifles or
Model 1863 as it was named by the Ordnance Department
.54 caliber Burnside or .58 caliber (rifle) Burnside, 21" round barrel, p roduction started in 1863. Improvement of the 2nd and 3rd model which permets simpler loading. The difference to the 3rd Model was ahinged breech to allow simpler loading of the Burnside cartridge, production was about 7000 and ended in 1864. Marked:
Top of frame = BURNSIDE PATENT / MARCH 25, 1856
Barrel = CAST STEEL 1862
The serial numbe is on the top of the breech, top of the receiver and inside (open the breech to see it).


5th Model Carbines or
Model 1864 as it was named by the Ordnance Department
.54 caliber Burnside, 21" round barrel. Production started in 1863, improvement (G. R. Bacon patent) of the 4th model by a screw-pin in the right side of the frame. This screw forced the breech to operation in the correct order. 43940 carbines of the 5th Model had been delivered to the Ordnance Department. Marked:
Top of frame = BURNSIDE PATENT / MODEL OF 1864
Barrel = CAST STEEL 1864
The serial numbe is on the top of the breech, top of the receiver and inside (open the breech to see it).

5st Model Sporting Rifle
Very view were made

Production and Purchases of Ordnance Depatment. No or very little commercial production. Perhaps only rejected arms of the Ordnance department.

1861 = totally 1060 carbines
1862 = totally 4224 carbines
1863 = totally 20995 carbines
1864 = totally 21001 carbines
1865 = totally 3800 carbines

A combined total of 1885 Model 2nd and 3rd Burnside Carbines were purchased by the Ordnance Department.

In 1861 the State of Rhode Island bourght 8 Burnside carbines from the Bristol Firearms Co. for $35.

In 1867 the company name changed to Rhode Island Locomotive Works.