2nd model Merrill Breechloading Carbine
The Merrill breechloading firearms first patent was in 1858. J H Merrill converted 100 each 1841 Rifles, 1842 Muskets and Carbines to the Merrill breechloading system and submitted them to the US Military Small Arm Trials of 1860. They were reviewed favorably enough he was able to get contracts for rifles and carbines at the start of the war. He secured an additional patent in 1861. His plant was located in Baltimore Maryland. The carbine was 54 caliber and produced in 2 models. The government purchased a total of 14,495 carbines. There were issued to a number of units including the: 27 Kentucky; 1, 5 & 18 New York; 1st New Jersey; 1st & 3rd Wisconsin. Some companies of the 17 Pa Cav were armed with Merrill carbines at Gettysburg. The were generally not well liked.
This example is complete and all original. This one has the second model rear sight and lever catch but not the eagle stamp on the lock plate. This example has a brass patchbox. This one has details from both the first model and second model, so it could be a transitional between the models. Raising the lever opens the breech. The lever latches into the base of the rear sight. The metal has a grey patina with some areas of light pitting. The markings are all present, sharp and readable. The action is solid and strong. The stock is solid with some dings and scratches. One cartouche is visible above the sling ring bar. There are some initials carved in the stock. A nice example of a scarce carbine.