A .54 MERRILL PATENT FIRST MODEL CAPPING BREECH LOADING CARBINE OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR, CIRCA 1863, serial no. 11,916,
22in. barrel fitted with a blade front-sight and leaf battle-sights to 500 yards, rearward hinged lift-up breech lever signed 'J. H. MERRILL, BALTO, PAT. JULY 1858 APL 9', lock with bevelled edge and stamped 'J. H. MERRILL, BALTO. PAT. JULY 1858 APL 9, MAY 21-28-61' and on the tail with the serial number 11,916, brass mounted walnut half stock, with brass butt-plate, trigger guard and butt-trap (the identifying feature of these first models) and one screw retained brass barrel band, sling bar fitted to the counter lock side, barrel to a grey / brown patina
Provenance: The Merrill design is basically an improved version of the earlier Jenks system, substantial quantities were purchased by the U.S. Government, the first being as early as November 1862. They were widely issued seeing extensive action in many theaters including Gettysburg
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