Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 134: Prototype Barton H. Jenks Model 1867 Rolling Block Rifle

Auction Date: June 5, 2020

Prototype Barton H. Jenks Model 1867 Rolling Block Military Rifle

Estimated Price: $2,000 - $3,000

Prototype Barton H. Jenks Model 1867 Rolling Block Military Rifle

Manufacturer: American
Model: Single Shot
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 50 RF
Barrel: 33 3/8 inch round
Finish: bright
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1502
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 107
Class: Antique

Relatively little is known about these post-war breech loading rifles. Only a few prototypes/trials rifles and carbines are known and were likely produced around 1867. Some of the components on this prototype and the later rifles and carbines are clearly adapted from the Bridesburg Civil War rifle-muskets. During the Civil War, Alfred Jenks & Son ran the Bridesburg Armory and manufactured around 200 rifle-muskets a day for the Union war effort. Barton Howard Jenks (1824-1896), son of Alfred Jenks and nephew of fellow arms inventor William Jenks, also raised and armed the "Bridesburg Volunteers" to defend his home state of Pennsylvania. The operation is somewhat similar to the Remington rolling block design. Pulling the breech block open also cocks the hammer. "The Men Behind the Guns" by John Walter in "Classic Arms & Militaria" from June/July 2016 has patent diagrams and images of the carbine version submitted to trials in 1867 as well as information about Barton H. Jenks. The front sight is the usual 19th century military style that doubles as a the bayonet lug, and the rear sight is adapted from the three-leaf rear sights used on the Civil War era rifle-muskets but has a notch and folding ladder setup. There are no visible markings aside from "V/P/eagle head" proofs on the left side of the barrel at the breech.

Rating Definition:

Fine with gray and brown patina, extensive patches of mild dark oxidation and pitting, and general moderate age and storage related wear on the wood and metal such as scrapes and dings. Mechanically needs work (doesn't have a working mainspring). This rifle would certainly add interest to any 19th century U.S. martial arms collection.

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