On October 9, 1860 John Parker Lindsay of New York City received US Patent #30,332 for “improvement in locks for fire-arms.” The patent covered a unique, superimposed muzzleloading percussion firearms action that combined two hammers, a single trigger and two loads, fired from a single barrel. Lindsay’s mechanism allowed two hammers to be fired sequentially from a single trigger. The auto-selecting single trigger would always release the right hammer first and the left hammer second on two consecutive pulls. Using his superimposed chamber concept, with one load on top of the other in the breech, the first hammer would fire the front chamber of the gun, and the second hammer would fire the rear chamber. Due to various delays, the guns were not available for delivery in April of 1864, as had been specified in the contract. The production issues were resolved, and the entire order of 1,000 guns was delivered and accepted on August 16, 1864. Less than one month later, on September 12, 1864, half of the muskets were issued for field trials. Lindsay Double Rifle Muskets were issued to the 5th, 16th & 23rd Michigan Volunteer Infantry regiments, as well as to the 9th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry. The 16th Michigan received 166 of the guns, and used them at the battle of Peebles’ Farm, which was fought at part of the Petersburg Campaign from September 30 through October 2, 1864. The other regiments all received 83 guns each. Reports from both the 16th MI and 9th NH indicate that some catastrophic failures occurred in the field, causing both injuries and deaths.
This example remains in very good, possibly unissued condition. All metal surfaces are bright with some very light, scattered pitting. The bore has sharp rifling with areas of light rust that would clean up very well if desired. The stock is in wonderful condition, unsanded, with sharp edges and contours. A crack at the wrist has been professionally repaired and is hardly noticeable. The breech is deeply marked “LINDSAY / PATENT’D OCT 9, 1860. A scarce Civil War longarm that proved to be better in concept than function.
Inventory Number: RIF 156