Thursday, May 12, 2016

Jenks Naval Carbine

Jenks Naval Carbine was originally manufactured in 1845 by N.P. Ames of Springfield, Massachusetts with a total production of approximately 4,250. The vast majority of these were made for the U.S. Navy and they were the only "mule ear" type arm that was officially accepted by U.S. armed forces.




In 1846, the final contract was purchased from Ames and Jenks along with most of the carbine making equipment by E. Remington of Herkimer N.Y. who completed the contract obligations. Remington then filled the contract of September 22, 1845 calling for 1,000 “improved” Jenks with Maynard Tape Priming system.

These additional carbines were delivered in 1847 and 1848. Both the Ames and Remington versions of the carbine had 24.5” barrels, walnut stocks and brass furniture. All were originally manufactured as .54 smoothbore guns, with a round loading aperture in the breech.

With the coming of the Civil War, nearly all of the carbines were recalled and subsequently altered to accept paper cartridges.
The round loading aperture, which was designed for loose powder and a round ball, was enlarged to an oval opening which allowed the loading of the paper cartridges.


At that time the majority of the carbines were also rifled during the alteration process.

Today, it is very difficult to find a smoothbore Jenks carbine and nearly impossible to find an original configuration smoothbore Jenks with the round loading hole.
The Remington made, Maynard primed “Round Hole” Jenks carbines are so scarce that their prices usually start at double the price of a comparable oval hole, tape primed Jenks. In fact, only a handful of the original configuration smoothbore, “round hole”, tape primer Jenks carbines are known to exist.


My blog is filled with interesting weapons from the 19th Century so be sure to search the "Blog Archive".