NICE SECOND MODEL MERRILL CARBINE

$2,650.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 809-115

James Merrill of Baltimore had been involved in the small arms business since the 1840s. He will be familiar to collectors from his associations with the firm Merrill, Latrobe and Thomas, who supplied carbines to the US government in the 1850s. He was also involved in altering Jenks carbines to his breechloading system, and even M1841 rifles and M1842 muskets. His Civil War production carbines and rifles used a .54 caliber combustible cartridge loaded from the breech by a lever and plunger system. He supplied roughly 14,500 carbines during the war (as well as rifles.) This is his second pattern, brass-mounted like the first, but omitting the patchbox and improving the lever by using rounded, button-like latch. According to McAulay, this was the pattern of the 4,100 Merrill carbines delivered from August 1863 to July 1864. This puts them in the field in time for many of the major cavalry battles and expeditions of the war. Merrills were widely issued. Among the cavalry regiments armed with them were the NY 1, 5, and 18; the PA 11, 17, and 18; NJ 1; IN 7; MI 3; OH 3, 10, and 11; WI 1 and 3; KY 27; and DE 1.

This is the standard configuration second model, with brass mounts, including buttplate, triggerguard, and single barrel band. Both sights are in place, as is the side bar and sling ring. The lockplate has the date at the rear: 1863 (the first model had the serial number here.) Forward of the hammer is, “J.H. MERRILL BALTO. / PAT. JULY 1858 / APL. 9 MAY 21-28-61” along with a small American eagle, which is not on the first pattern, just in front of the hammer. The breech lever is marked, “J.H. MERRILL BALTO. / PAT. JULY 1858.”

The carbine rates very good for condition. The wood has nice mellow brown tones with some darker areas and very few handling marks, just one scratch on the right butt flat near the butt plate, one on the right, aft of the barrel band, and two three small divots on the underside just in front of the triggerguard tang. The wood has tight joins to the metal and there are two visible ink cartouches on the left flat. The metal is smooth. The iron shows a nice light-pewter color mixed with traces of thin blue turned plum on the barrel, slightly more muted silver on the loading assembly, and with some thin, faded case color on the lock. The brass has an untouched medium patina. The screw slots have not been chewed up. It is serial numbered 15431 on the rear of the loading lever. Mechanics and bore are good. Nipple and bolster area are clean and not battered.

This is very nice example of widely used Civil War Union cavalry carbine.   [sr]

DISCLAIMER: All firearms are sold as collector's items only - we do not accept responsibility as to the shooting safety or reliability of any antique firearm. All firearms are described as accurately as possible, given the restraints of a catalog listing length. We want satisfied customers & often "under" describe the weapons. Any city or state regulations regarding owning antique firearms are the responsibility of the purchaser. All firearms are "mechanically perfect" unless noted, but again, are NOT warranted as safe to fire!

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