CIVIL WAR RIFLE
BRUSH, THONG AND ROD SET FOR USE IN THE SPENCER AND
Some years ago I purchased a large quantity of the
brush, rod and thong sets, and mixed in with the
standard length thongs, I found three of the thongs
which while otherwise appearing the same as the others,
were significantly longer - 33", 35" and 38" long
After some consideration, I believe these longer thongs
were intended for issue with the Spencer Model 1860 Army
and Navy Rifles, and with the Sharps Models 1859, 1863
and 1865 Army and Navy Rifles. Significant to this
conclusion is that none of these breechloading rifles
were designed, or later equipped, with a cleaning rod
integral to the rifle.
The early issues of the Model 1860 Spencer Rifles went
to cavalry units and the Sharps rifles were issued to
the sharpshooter regiments or for use by naval landing
and boarding parties. All of these troops would
require some means of cleaning their rifles in the field
or when away from any fixed garrison, and since the
rifles were not fitted with a cleaning rod, these
already available brush and thong sets would be the
Rifle barrels measured 30" long and the Sharps Rifle
barrels measured 30-36" long - all too long for the
carbine length thong and brush to have been useful.
All of these rifles would have required a longer thong,
and these three I have found would have met that need.
Interestingly, the standard barracks rod manufactured
and issued for the carbines was long enough when
assembled with the brush to service all these rifles.
In "like new" unissued condition, the rod and thong are
full length, the thong is supple and strong, and the
brush retains the bristles. The threads on the
brush and rod tip are clear and engage properly.