Original U.S. Navy W.J. Jenks Side Hammer "Mule-Ear" Breech Loading Percussion Carbine - dated 1845

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. From the Civil War era this is one of the hardest Carbines to find, and this is indeed the only example we have ever had of a W.J. Jenks "Mule-Ear" Carbine. It is in rifled .54 caliber. Access to the breech is accomplished by lifting bolt lever, and a paper cartridge would be inserted and rammed forward when the breech is closed. The carbine is then discharged with the use of a SIDE HAMMER percussion system, the so-called "Mule-Ear".

Adopted by the U.S. Navy in 1845, these carbines were far from a success, and once the new SHARP'S system was introduced in 1853, its days were numbered. The general condition shows every day of its age. The metalwork is covered in old pit marks but many of the markings are still visible. The Lock is marked across the tail with W.J.JENKS very clearly when using a loop magnifier. There are also remnants of the manufacturer markings, which are towards the middle of the lock plate. Originally they would have read:


Unfortunately due to the pitting, this is only partly legible. The markings on the rear top barrel flat are in a similar condition, however U.S.N. and 1845 can still be made out with a magnifier. The other markings have been obliterated by wear and age.

The fittings are all of brass: trigger guard, two barrel bands and butt plate. The stock is very sound and in very good condition still showing the GHOSTS of TWO Inspector Cartouches on the left side under the breech. Correctly, the butt plate and both brass barrel bands are still secured using the original brass screws. Carbine retains its original iron suspension ring, attached directly behind the trigger guard on the under side.

A very rare Carbine, and if not for the worn and pitted ironwork a gem.  Offered very reasonably and ready to display.


Year of Manufacture: 1845
Caliber: .54"
Cartridge Type: Cap and ball
Barrel Length: 24 1/4 Inches

Overall Length: 41 Inches
Action type: Lever Loading
Feed System: Single Shot

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