Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 8: Jennings Breech Loading Rifle

Auction Date: September 11, 2020

Scarce Engraved Jennings Breech Loading Smoothbore Conversion Rifle

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $3,000 - $4,000

Scarce Engraved Jennings Breech Loading Smoothbore Conversion Rifle

Manufacturer: Robbins & Lawrence
Model: Jennings
Type: Musket
Gauge: 54 percussion
Barrel: 26 1/2 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1112
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 14
Class: Antique

Only a small number of the Jennings rifles were manufactured by Robbins and Lawrence in 1848-1852. The Jennings rifles mark the important second step in the evolution of what eventually became the Volcanic, Henry, and Winchester lever actions. Work on the Jennings rifles at Robbins and Lawrence is credited with bringing together B. Tyler Henry, Horace Smith, and Daniel Wesson under the same roof and thus helped lead to what became both the highly successful Winchester lever action series and the iconic Smith & Wesson partnership. Beginning in 1852, Robbins and Lawrence abandoned the underpowered rocket ball cartridge in favor of building muzzle loading variants. Many of the original breech loaders were altered by outside gunsmiths into muzzle loaders as well. It still has the round pill primer on top and a rectangular loading cut out. The ring trigger that originally pushed the breechblock into place and operated the automatic pill primer on the breech loading versions now functions simply as a trigger for the hammer. The only visible markings are "WINDSOR VT." on the left side of the receiver, "465" on the lower tang, and a scroll engraving on the receiver and buttplate. It has fixed blade and notch sights, a smooth straight wrist stock, and a rifle buttplate.

Rating Definition:

Fair, showing mostly a smooth dark brown patina with some minor pitting scattered throughout and visible engraving. The wood has minor dings and scratches throughout. Mechanically fine.

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