AN EXCEPTIONALLY RARE AND GOOD .73 FIRST PATTERN PERCUSSION VICTORIA CARBINE, CIRCA 1838, serial no. 17,
with 26in. twist iron barrel profusely Ordnance marked at breech, fixed vee rear-sight and a swivel rammer hinged at muzzle, back-action lock engraved with the Crown 'V.R. TOWER' cypher dated 1838, regulation brass mounted full walnut stock the right butt stamped 'I.C.R' for Ist class reserve, and on the left the broad arrow 'W.D', brass mounts with Brunswick type scroll trigger-guard, unusual flat type nose-cap incorporating a rammer pipe, which was also used on the short lived Manton or Pattern 1833 carbine, side rib and ring, all parts numbered 17
Provenance: This is without doubt one of the rarest of all British military carbines of the 19th century, it was the first percussion carbine produced for cavalry and the first carbine to be intended for issue to both heavy and light cavalry in British service. It was designed by George Lovell and combines a number of interesting old and new features, the short swivel on the rammer, fore-end plate with rammer pipe and scroll trigger-guard are all features of the Pattern 1833 flintlock carbine. The back-action lock and means of fixing the side-bar were all Lovell's idea, the butt-plate, break-off breech and breech snail are all Brunswick pattern. It is not known how many were made, approx. 600 or 700 were issued to one regiment that was posted to India, the balance were in store in the Tower when in 1841 a great fire broke out that consumed the grand storehouse destroying large quantities of new and old arms including these Victoria carbines. No more were made as due to complaints, the carbine was redesigned resulting in the 2nd Model
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