My previous post about the Springfield M-1855 with the Maynard priming system created a lot of interest and comments about the system. A good many readers never knew it existed. This is not surprising as the tape priming system only enjoyed a short life span.
Dr. Edward Maynard, a dentist, patented the system in 1845 but it wasn’t until the late 1840’s that saw the use of the system and not until the early 1850’s that it was seen on production firearms.
Daniel Nippes of Mill Creek, PA received a contract on February 9, 1848 to alter 1,000 M-1840 flintlock muskets to this priming system. A second contract for an additional 1,000 muskets was subsequently let to Nippes on November 20, 1848. All of Nippes musket deliveries were received by the Ordnance Department between February 3, 1849 and August 27, 1849.
Nippes also converted a number M-1836 pistols to the Maynard system.
In the 1850’s the US Ordnance Department was so impressed by the system that the US Government paid Maynard $75,000 for the use of his priming system on the US M-1855 series of arms. Somewhere around this time, Remington received a government a contract to convert 20,000 flintlock M1816 smoothbored muskets to percussion using the new US government standard Maynard percussion lock after it's adoption in 1855.
The complete line of Dr. Maynard's rifles were of course equipped with his system until the second models of the early 1860's.
Between May of 1856 and July of 1857, 6,796 Sharps M-1855 Carbines were produced with the Maynard system. Of those guns, 6,000 were sold to the British on a military contract, 600 were sold to the US Army, 101 were sold to the US Navy and 95 were sold commercially.
Somewhere around the late 1850's a few of the Jenks Naval carbines were also equipped.
Now you can bet money that I have missed some but you can see that the Maynard Priming had a rather short life span even though it was found on a wide assortment of arms.
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