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1861-1872 CARBINE AND RIFLE CLEANING BRUSH, THONG AND ROD SETS:  Natural bristle brush, leather thong and barracks rod set as issued with the Civil War Carbines and probably the Spencer and Sharps breech loading rifles issued during the War.  These sets were then continued in use through the issue of the early Indian War Spencer, Sharps, Ward Burton and M1870 Springfield Carbines.  The brush unscrews from the thong for use with the barracks rod.  This brush attached to the thong enabled the soldiers to carry the set in their saddlebags.  See Gun Tools, Vol. I (Shaffer, Rutledge, & Dorsey) page 284-5 for more details.  A nice addition to your cavalry display. 

 

No. 1  CARBINE BRUSH, THONG AND ROD SET:  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.  $85

 

No. 2  CIVIL WAR RIFLE BRUSH, THONG AND ROD SET FOR USE IN THE SPENCER AND SHARPS RIFLES:  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 respectively. 

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 logical solution.  

The Spencer 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.  (0303)  $100

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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