tredegar carbine?


October 20, 2003, 06:44 PM
tredegar carbine? can anyone tell me anything about this rifle?


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October 21, 2003, 01:19 AM
anyone? anyone?

Mike Irwin
October 21, 2003, 01:24 AM
Are you talking something like the Tredagar Iron Works in Richmond, Virginia?

Did they make firearms during the Civil War?

October 21, 2003, 01:36 AM
its what the CSA uses in the book the great war: the american front by turtledove, alternate history.


October 21, 2003, 01:49 AM
Well whadya know, Turtledove gives us the answer right here:

He fired again, and so did the Kiowa. The Indian's Tredegar Works carbine, a close copy of the British Martini-Henry, had about the same performance as his own weapon.

(Custer's using a "Springfield carbine " in .45-70, by the way of comparison.. a trapdoor I presume)

No idea if the Tredegars really existed or not.. they sound like a hypothetical post-war CSA development though, given that the Martini-Henry wasn't around in 1865 I'd guess. Web search says the M-H entered service in 1869, and I'm presuming the (now ex) CSA armoury wouldn't be running four years after They Drove ol' Dixie Down.

I'm going to move this over to Black Powder -- those guys should know.


October 21, 2003, 03:33 PM
They made CSA artillery as I recall.

Don't know if the made any rifles or carbines..

Mike Irwin
October 21, 2003, 03:39 PM
Tredagar also made the iron plating for the CSA Virginia....

Erik Jensen
October 21, 2003, 03:56 PM
I *thought* this was going to be a Turtledove question. I've looked high and low, and it does seem that this is Turtledoves conjecture. Tredegar was a real foundry, but they never made Rifles. I do suppose, as Mr. Turtledove does, that were the CSA to win the war of secession, Tredegar would be the most likely indigenous source for arms.

my question is, in the newest book (American Empire - The Center Cannot Hold), what is the .45 he makes reference to? with Utah and the Mormons in open rebellion, it seems unlikely that the USA would adopt a pistol designed by JMB. so, what pistol came in second in the 1911 trials(or whenever they were)? the Savage? the .45 Luger? btw, in the books, the USA is allied with Germany.

October 21, 2003, 04:28 PM
Jeez Atek, are muzzle loaders aloud in highpower competition?

Next Chuck Taylor class... you bring that.

October 21, 2003, 04:51 PM
Tredegar Iron Works did indeed make rifled muskets during the Civil War. The did so using captured machinery from the Harpers Ferry arsenal, so basically we're talking about copies of the 1855 Springfield. The equipment from the arsenal at Harpers Ferry (another very fun historic trip for shooters) was an important grab for the Confederacy, as it included machinery for rifle boring, and stock lathes. There is also a decent museum at Tredegar, well worth the visit for Civil War buffs visiting the Confederate White House and the Museum of the Confederacy. It details not only the history of cannon and armor manufacture there, but also the post war work at the mills.
The "Tredegar Carbine" of Turtledove's fantasy novels is simply the mirror image of the legacy of "Springfield" rifles created in the US, just as he describes "White" CSA made motorcars along with US "Ford's" in his entertaining novels.
Go here for Tredegar info:

4v50 Gary
October 21, 2003, 10:44 PM
I checked in Murphy & Madaus's Confederate Rifles and Muskets and it doesn't list Tredegar as making small arms during the war. I don't recall seeing anything when I visited it earlier this year (great site and there's a somewhat controversial plan to put a statute of Abe there).

October 21, 2003, 11:17 PM
Two muzzle loading cannon barrels mounted in tandem in a gun carriage.. two balls connected by a chain loaded.. for tearing up rigging in ships..

Only problem seemed to be getting both barrels to fire at the same time.. didn't seem like they could ever get gun crews to try a second round...:eek:

October 22, 2003, 05:37 PM
I checked in Murphy & Madaus's Confederate Rifles and Muskets and it doesn't list Tredegar as making small arms during the war.
Hi Gary,
My books all list 2 "arsenals" in Richmond manufacturing copies of various Springfield Arms. I've got pics of rifled muskets on the 1855 pattern (w/ and w/o Maynard tape primer) that are stamped CS, and Richmond. My suspicion is that, due to the NPS info that the Harpers Ferry machinery was transfered to Tredegar, that Tredegar's armory was where the 1855 Springfield copies were turned out from.
Check this article from the 1861 Richmond Enquirer about the Tredegar Iron Works:,_10_1_1861.htm
Scroll down to the 5th paragraph from the bottom. It mentions as part of Tredegar: "The armory, designed for the manufacture of rifled muskets, but not in operation;"
So apparently, this armory is one of the two in Richmond that made firearms. It makes sense, as Tredegar was the best iron & steel stamping mill in the Confederacy at the time.

4v50 Gary
October 22, 2003, 09:47 PM
Richmond Armory & Tredegar the same?

I know that Tredegar had a contract to make 5k long arms and know that there's a Richmond Armory that operated during the war.

BTW, for those who haven't been to Richmond, it's easily a two day trip. When you visit the Museum of the Confederacy, park in adjacent hospital parking lot and they'll validate it with admission. You also get to see the Executive Mansion (White House of the Confederacy). A few miles down towards the James River is Tredegar Iron Works and they have a few foundry items on display and some good interpretative maps of the battles around Richmond. You may want to walk down the street along the James to cross the footbridge that takes to you Bellesile, site of a PoW camp. Don't miss out on the Chimborazo Medical Museum either. Makes you happy we have modern medicine & dentistry.

Thanks Poodleshooter.

Jim K
October 26, 2003, 10:46 PM
In a book, I can have U.S. Grant firing an M621 (adopted 2042) at Julius Caesar at the battle of Bunker Hill in the North African Republic.

Why waste time trying to explain flights of imagination by ignorant authors?


November 17, 2004, 12:02 PM
Since I just started "How Few Remain" I had to ressurect this thread. :)

Why waste time trying to explain flights of imagination by ignorant authors?

Tutledove may be many things, but he most assuredly is NOT an ignorant author. I grew up steeped in Civil War trivia by a father who has always been quite the amateur historian, and his extrapolations are exceedly plausible from everything I've read so far.

The man knows his stuff. :)

Incidentally, now I'm wondering how feasible it would be to scrounge an old M-H action, get a fresh barrel and wood, some stamping tools, and make a "Tredegar Ironworks" cavalry carbine.

Wonder what all the proofmarks and such would be like? :D

captain obvious
November 29, 2004, 05:23 AM
M-H pattern Tredegar?

Forget that - I want a SMLE with Confederate Tredegar markings, as in The Great War series. :evil:

Reading that series caused me to purchase my second Enfield (No.1 Mk. III, 1915 date, mag cut-off), which caused my current obsession with Enfields...damn you Harry Turtledove!

4v50 Gary
November 30, 2004, 12:04 AM
Kaylee, if I get a chance, I'll xerox what I have out of Musgrove's book on Cornfed Carbines. I'll see what else I can find on proofmarks.

Proofmarks can be made if you know how to chisel relief engrave. My instructor (Jack Brooks) made a British Crown proofmark with which we "proofed" our Trade Guns with. Naughty naughty, but how else do you get "phake" period products? :p

December 1, 2004, 09:04 PM
Kaylee: Email and ask Turtledove what the proof marks look like. :) That would be entertaining. (I'm a closet turtledove fan)
I'm still curious about the Richmond Arsenal/Tredegar connection.
I ought to go there again,since I only live about 50 minutes away!

captain obvious
December 2, 2004, 10:03 AM
If we could get a group buy of those things, i'd definately be in...someone ought to E-Mail Turtledove and ask his advise on it

Johnny Guest
December 15, 2004, 04:16 PM
How about - - -

"In 1871, when James Arthur Browning, nephew to riflemaker Jonathan Browning, was urged to leave Utah for unspecified acts contrary to the tenants of his erstwhile religion, he relocated in Tascosa, Texas. After a lengthy stint as a corral builder and blacksmith's assistant, James A. and his young cousin, John M., set up a small gunsmithing business. Their main business, repair and reconditioning of buffalo hunters' arms, dwindled with the demise of the Panhandle herds, and they expanded their business into manufacturing.

"B&B Arms Company specialized for a time in converting Winchester rifles to semiautomatic operation by use of a primitive gas operation. This arrangement trapped gas at the muzzle in a small funnel which extended the modified lever. An unfortunate tendency to pinch the fingers of the shooter reduced the popularity of this modification.

"More successful was the company's machine carbine, a better-conceived gas actuated design which fed .38-55 cartridges from a hopper holding 27 rounds. The United States government and the Japanese empire both expressed interest, and each purchased small lots for field evaluation.

"James A. Browning died in a tragic accident while on a sales trip to Japan. Young John M. experimented for a time with further development of the automatic rifle concept, but found a measure of success iin converting the design to a cloth belt feed. The rather clumsy assembly was most manageable when mounted on a tripod. The company contemplates expanding production to include cartridges from one-third to one-half-inch bore, assuming adequate financial support can be secured."

- - -- From A Short History of the Texas Arms Industry, 1902 edition, J. Parris Guest, editor, Fort Worth.

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