Antique Engraved JENNINGS .54 Caliber Single Shot Rifle Breechloading Henry
Serial Number “224” and Manufactured circa 1851; RARE
Here we present a rare antique Jennings Single Shot Breechloading Rifle, manufactured circa 1851 by Robbins and Lawrence. This is a rare opportunity to own a piece of American firearms developmental history. There were fewer than 1,000 of these rifles produced by Robbins & Lawrence under the supervision of Benjamin Tyler Henry. This is number 224.
Originally conceived as a repeating rifle, the design was modified to a single shot, pellet-primed breechloader and most came from the manufactory that way. The .54 caliber “Rocket Ball” cartridge was extremely influential in the scope of self-contained cartridges, though it was relatively anemic compared to what muzzleloading with a full charge could do at the time. While the Jennings rifle proved to be initially unsuccessful, they were a crucial piece of development that ultimately led to the evolution of the Volcanic, the Henry and then the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. In fact, Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson (later of Smith & Wesson) would put their efforts being the Jennings as well, a later iteration of this rifle being known as the Smith-Jennings. Because these were using a scarce and proprietary ammunition these are frequently seen as converted from breechloading to muzzleloading both by the factory and by other gunsmiths.
Though mostly obfuscated, the left side of the receiver is marked in the middle of one of the scrolls “ROBBINS & LAWRENCE / MAKERS / WINDSOR VT.” ahead of “C.P. DIXON AGENT / NEW YORK / PATENTED 1849”.
The overall condition is good. The entirety has a very old coat of oil that has turned plum. The action of the hammer and trigger are good and functional. By pushing the ring trigger forward one is supposed to be able to open the breech but we have not been able to get the breech to open and would not like to force it. The bore is in good condition with strong rifling and being pretty clean and free of pitting. The stock is solid and smooth. This is a handsome piece for the collector who values evolutionary links, rarity, and ties to some of the biggest innovators of the day—B. Tyler Henry and Smith & Wesson among them.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 26 inches.
Caliber: .54 Percussion
Overall condition as seen in photos.
Very Fast. Very Safe. FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE. Delivered directly to your door by express mail!
Guaranteed AUTHENTIC & Includes CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY.