.58 U.S. Carbine (Berdan)

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

Before the end of the Civil War, the muzzle loading rifle had seen its peak of military usefulness. Metallic cartridges were able to be shot at a faster and more reliable rate. Troops, on both sides, were using breach loading and repeating rifles with devastating results. After the war the U.S. Military had a large surplus of the Springfield rifled musket. So, Colonel Hiram Berdan developed a conversion system for these rifles and while the U.S. military never adapted them Spain, Russia and other European powers did. The .58 U.S. Musket & the .58 U.S. Carbine (Berdan) were released in 1869 for use in the Berdan breech loading conversion of the Springfield rifle.

Colonel Hiram Berdan is credited with the establishment of the 1st United States Sharpshooters during the Civil war. The Sharpshooters were in every eastern battle until the autumn of 1864 and were recognized for their efforts in the battles of Yorktown, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Chattanooga, Atlanta, Spotsylvania and Petersburg. Colonel Berdan was also a noted inventor and developed the Berdan repeating rifle, the Berdan center fire primer, a range finder torpedo boat and many other designs.

The .58 U.S. Musket is capable of propelling a .585 dia., 530 grain bullet at 1,100 fps with 1,420 ft.-lbs. of energy. The .58 U.S. Carbine is capable of propelling a .585 dia., 530 grain bullet at 925 fps with 1,012 ft.-lbs. of energy. The Carbine cartridge holds half the powder charge of the Musket and were used in the Colt Berdan muskets and rifles.

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