Jenks Naval Carbine - 4,250 of the Jenks breech loading percussion carbines were produced for the US Navy by the NP Ames Company of Springfield, MA between 1843 and 1846. All of the Jenks carbines were originally manufactured as .52 smoothbore guns, with a round loading aperture in the breech of the 24.5" barrel, walnut stocks and brass furniture. With the coming of the Civil War, nearly all the carbines were subsequently altered. 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 paper cartridges and 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.
This example exhibits the original configuration smoothbore, "round hole". The top breech flat is marked: Wm JENKS / USN / RC (Rufus Chandler) / P (Proved) / date difficult to read. Carbine has brass mountings including the buttplate, trigger guard, and two barrel bands.
Lockplate tang stamped with "N. P. AMES / SPRINGFIELD / MASS.". Left end of the lock tang marked "Wm. JENKS". Major components are stamped with sub-inspector marks. Carbine has no patchbox. Stock is very good walnut, one-piece, straight grip stock and a buttplate that is flat.
Inventory Number: RIF 040