Ames manufactured 4,250 of these distinctive "mule ear" breech loading carbines between 1843-1846. The Jenks carbines were originally smoothbores with a round loading aperture. Around 1861 most Jenks carbines were rifled and had the loading aperture enlarged to an oval shape to accept a paper cartridge rather than loose balls and powder; with this example escaping said alteration and still retaining its original round loading aperture and smoothbore. "Wm JENKS" and "U.S.N./JCB/P/1843" marked on the top of the barrel at the breech ahead of the round loading aperture. Small "B" inspection marks are on several components. The lock plate has the Ames three-line marking in the center and "Wm JENKS" towards the rear. This example does not have a fixture for a sling ring as usually seen on the lower tang. Oval script "JCB" (likely John C. Beaumont, possibly Joseph C. Bragg) ahead of "WAT" (William A. Thornton) cartouches on the left of the stock opposite the lock; very uncommon to see these inspector marks on a Jenks carbine. "GDM" (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Provenance: The George Moller Collection
Very good plus, retaining strong traces of original brown finish in protected areas with mostly a smooth gray patina on the barrel, crisp markings in the metal, 30% plus original case colors strongest on the hammer and front of the lock with smooth gray patina on the balance. Stock is fine as re-oiled with nice cartouches, some scattered light scratches and scrapes, and a few hairline cracks above and below the lock. Mechanically excellent.
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