Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 171: N. P. Ames-Wm. Jenks 'Mule Ear' Navy Breech Loading

Auction Date: December 2, 2016

Exceptional N. P. Ames-Wm. Jenks "Mule Ear" Navy Breech Loading Carbine Dated 1844

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $5,500 - $8,000

Exceptional N. P. Ames-Wm. Jenks "Mule Ear" Navy Breech Loading Carbine Dated 1844

Manufacturer: Ames N P Pistols
Model: Jenks
Type: Carbine
Gauge: 54 percussion
Barrel: 24 1/4 inch round
Finish: brown/casehardened
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 840
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 72
Class: Antique

Ames manufactured only 4,250 of these distinctive "mule ear" carbines between 1843 and 1846. They are among the earliest percussion arms used by the U.S. Navy. "Wm. JENKS" is stamped in small letters on the top of the barrel parallel to the bore followed by "USN/RP/P/1844" perpendicular to the bore. Small "P" inspection marks are also on several components. "N.P. AMES/SPRINGFIELD/MASS" is marked in the center of the lock plate, and "Wm JENKS" is stamped on the rear of the lock plate. This carbine has the later production rifled barrel and oval loading aperture. The front sight is an integral part of the upper barrel band. A sling ring is mounted on the lower tang behind the trigger guard. Brown barrel, lock plate, hammer, breech lever and trigger are casehardened, and the barrel bands, trigger guard and buttplate are brass. Mounted with a smooth full length straight grip walnut stock with a sharp "RP" and "JL" cartouche on the left stock flat.

Rating Definition:

Excellent plus, as issued. The barrel retains 95% plus original brown finish with some wear on the muzzle end and a few small minor scratches. 98% of the original case colors remain on the lock while the hammer and breech lever have 95% plus dark original oil quenched case colors. The brass has a very attractive untouched aged patina. The stock is also excellent with a couple of moderate gouges on the upper edge near the breech and a small gouge on the left side between the barrel bands, and overall, there are some scattered minor dents and dings. The markings and cartouches are sharp and clear. The action is excellent.

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