Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 178: U.S. Navy Jenks-Merrill Breech Loading Percussion Carbine

Auction Date: September 10, 2021

Very Scarce One of Only 300 U.S. Navy Jenks-Merrill Breech Loading Percussion Carbine

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $5,000 - $7,500

Very Scarce One of Only 300 U.S. Navy Jenks-Merrill Breech Loading Percussion Carbine

Manufacturer: Jenks Merrill
Model: Navy-Carbine
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 54
Barrel: 24 1/4 inch round
Finish: brown/casehardened
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 438
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 132
Class: Antique

Only an estimated 300 Jenks carbines were altered by James H. Merrill to the Merrill system for the U.S. Navy in the late 1850s to 1860 in order to test the practicality of the Merrill combustible paper cartridge as opposed to William Jenks' system, which required loading with loose powder and ball. It has a blade front sight on the upper barrel band, and combination folding leaf rear sight graduated up to 500 yards with its base acting as a catch for the front of the breech lever. The breech lever has the two-line marking "J.H. MERRILL BALTO/PAT. JULY, 1858.", the lock is marked (very faint) "N.P. AMES/SPRINGFIELD/MASS." behind the hammer, and the top of the barrel at the breech is marked (faint) "Wm JENKS/USN/RC/P/1846". "GDM" (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

Fine, retaining 70% period refinished brown finish on the barrel with some light scratches. Case colored lock and breech lever showing patterns of muted case colors with some light surface pitting. Brass fittings polished bright. Stock is also fine as lightly sanded and re-oiled with a few light scratches and a few minor dents underneath the buttstock. Mechanically excellent.

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