Monday, January 05, 2009

Merrill Carbine

A poster on leverguns mentioned that he'd shot a Merrill carbine this past weekend. It sometimes pays to have one's chronograph out and working!

The one illustrated here comes from a listing at Sharpsburg Arsenal.
Merrill Carbine 2nd Model
Serial #156xx. 54 Caliber. All metal surfaces with the exception of the rear sight are void of any bluing. Markings are all sharp and clear. The rear sight has approx. 80% of original blue. The lock is dated "1863". The brass butt plate, trigger guard and barrel band do not appear to have ever been cleaned. Walnut stock is in good condition with the normal handling marks that come with issued carbines. There are 2 good visible cartouches on the stock flat. The bore is very good. All components are 100% original. Overall an above average example.
$3295.00 - DG101
I wanted to include a good close up so that you might have a better idea about appearance and function.

According to Rifles of the World, a metallic cartridge version was tested in 1865. By all accounts that I can find, the Federals didn't like the carbine (although it was considered "accurate") but the Confederate States soldiers did and used them throughout the war (after 1862) as they did many other captured arms.

This nattily dressed (probably in Jaguar skin pants and holsters) gentleman is Captain Samuel J. Richardson, commander of Company F, 2nd Texas Cavalry (2nd Mounted Rifles).  Captain Richardson's photograph is housed in the collections of the Museum of the Confederacy and was reproduced in The South Besieged; The Image of War 1861-1865 by the National Historical Society (1983). He appears to have a Merrill carbine!  While it is likely that the photo was taken early in the war, before he wore out the pants, it is possible that he has one of the carbines captured in the vicinity of Harpers Ferry.  Even if it isn't a Merrill, the photo is just too darn interesting due to his attire to not post.  You've got to admit, that man has a certain "style"! 

- Shooting Merrill's Carbines by Tony Beck

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