Original U.S. Civil War M-1864 Triplett & Scott Repeating Carbine - Short Version
Original Item: One Only. Developed by LOUIS TRIPLETT and WILLIAM SCOTT of Columbia, Kentucky and manufactured under contract by the Meriden Manufacturing Company of Meriden, Ct. This is a Repeating Carbine enclosing a 7 Shot tubular magazine inside the wood butt. It is loaded from the front once the swivel breach of the action is fully opened. These were all chambered for the .56-50 Spencer cartridge, referred to a .50 caliber. The serial number on this example is 2114. They were made in two lengths, a long 44 inch carbine, and a short carbine such as this, which is just under 40 inches long.
The breech tang is marked with the patent information : TRIPLETT & SCOTT / PATENT DEC. 6, 1864, while the left side is marked with the manufacturer information, which has partly worn off: MERIDEN MANU... / MERIDEN CONN. The condition of this example is good, though it definitely does show wear to the exterior surfaces, as well as powder corrosion around the breech. Early breech loading firearms were notorious for having a poor gas seal, which resulted in powder fouling around the breech. The bore however is actually quite nice, with a mostly bright finish and clear lands and grooves. There are a few areas of corrosion, but that is typical during the age of corrosive powder. The stock has the expected wear of age, though it is not cracked, as many are.
The Triplett & Scott was a rather unusual piece during its era, as virtually all of its contemporaries were single shot firearms. The Triplett & Scott, on the other hand, was a repeating carbine holding seven shots in the magazine. The design itself consisted of a two parts, where the entire barrel, breech etc. would be attached to the stock (and other components) via a revolving hinge, which allowed the barrel to be twisted clockwise in order to allow the spent cartridge to be ejected. When this cartridge was ejected the barrel would be twisted further towards clockwise, releasing a spring latch which loaded the next cartridge. The barrel was then twisted anti-clockwise, locking the barrel in position for firing.
This design required the magazine, tubular in design, to be mounted within the buttstock. This presented two problems: firstly that the magazine could not be removed, meaning the shooter would have to reload the magazine with each cartridge one at a time; and secondly this design severely weakened the buttstock. The area around the wrist of the stock was almost entirely taken up by the magazine, leaving little wood joining it to rest of the stock, often causing the stock to snap under little stress.
Otherwise the Triplett & Scott was rather uniform to any other carbine of the era, with a blued, five groove rifled barrel and basic iron sights. The action resembled the familiar percussion lock design, although it had been modified so that the hammer would strike a firing pin, meaning that the Triplett & Scott could use metallic rimfire cartridges instead of the more familiar paper cartridges.
Records show the initial customer was the Kentucky National Guard but quickly followed by a 5,000 gun contract from the U.S. War Department. All 5,000 of these carbines were delivered before the War ended in April 1865. According to the records accessed on the Internet most of the initial Government delivery were issued to General Sherman's troops for their Campaign through the South when they burned ATLANTA.
Sadly interest waned once the Civil War concluded making this most interesting forward thinking Repeating Carbine hard to find today. In nice condition ready to display. An extremely interesting piece!
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