A .55 BRITISH CONTRACT GREENE'S PATENT CAPPING BREECH LOADING CARBINE, CIRCA 1856, serial no. 847,
with heavy 18in. barrel rifled with three grooves and having a sixteen sided hand grasp section, block and blade front-sight and small carbine pattern ladder-sight to 600 yards, the barrel bears the crown over 'A/2' stamp for the War Department American inspectorate, the carbine is fitted with a back-action lock incorporating Maynard tape primer, marked with the Crown V.R. cypher to the centre and signed by the maker 'MASS. ARMS CO. / CHICOPEE FALLS / USA 1856' on the tail, the primer cover marked 'MAYNARD'S PATENT', iron mounted one piece walnut stock with butt-plate and patchbox, the butt stamped for 1st class, much original finish to barrel, small patch of pitting near breech
Provenance: This interesting carbine is one of 2000 purchased in America after extensive trials by the British War Department. Legend has it that due to problems with the ammunition they were never issued but new research has revealed that some were issued to select yeomanry regiments in 1865. When obsolete they remained in store in W.D. store at Weedon until 1919, then sold to Greener's. For the full story of these rare and interesting carbines see 'The Capping Breech Loader in British & Colonial Service, Vol One', by Brian C. Knapp
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