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Original U.S. Brown Mfg Co. Merrill-Patent M-1871 Bolt-Action Rifle with Birmingham Markings - c.1872

Item Description

Original Item. Only One Available. Extremely rare, this was manufactured by the BROWN MANUFACTURING COMPANY of NEWBURYPORT, MASS . by John Hamilton BROWN, using George MERRILL's Patent of OCTOBER 17th 1871. The rifle started life as a .577 caliber Pattern of 1853 percussion Rifle Musket supplied to the United States during the Civil War, and was an attempt to convert these surplus rifles to breech loading.

The Company only lasted from 1869 until 1873, when it went bankrupt and its machinery was all sold to a former COLT ARMS employee, one JOHN MARLIN. He then used it to start the MARLIN FIREARMS COMPANY, which is still in business today.

Often referred to as the first Bolt Action Rifle of the U.S. Army, this model got little past the trial stages and was mainly sold off to State Militias. Consequently these are very rare. The bolt assembly bears the manufacturer and patent information:

PATENTED OCT. 17. 1871

Our example is is stamped on the underside of the butt PRYSE & REDMAN who worked from 1840 until 1888 in Birmingham, England indicating that they were the originating Stock Makers. On the upper corner of the right side of the Butt Stock there is the official stamp of the BIRMINGHAM SMALL ARMS TRADE around their Crown over B.S.A.T. which indicates that this Rifle and any other bearing this stamp were NOT INTENDED for British Government Ownership. In other words this rifle was for an EXPORT CUSTOMER.

The most prominent at that time was of course the C.S.A. Directly in front of the butt plate tang one can make out what could be a partial ANCHOR Stamp
which was a well known Confederate Inspection and Acceptance mark.

The Rifle is in fine condition, now fully cleaned, and appears to be totally complete. Exceptionally rare and ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: c.1872
Caliber: .58"
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge.
Barrel Length: 33 1/2 Inches

Overall Length: 54 Inches
Action type: Bolt Action with External Hammer
Feed System: Single Shot

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