Scarce BROWN MFG. Company MERRILL PATENT .58 Caliber CF Bolt Action Rifle
Converted from a BRITISH PATTERN 1853 Enfield Rifle
Here we present an antique Brown Manufacturing Company Merrill Patent Bolt Action Rifle made circa 1871 to 1873 in Newburyport, Massachusetts. The firm started in 1861 as Ball and Williams in Worchester, Massachusetts, which produced Ballard rifles and carbines. In 1865 Williams retired from Ball and Williams causing the firm to struggle along until Joseph Merwin and Edward Bray (the sales agents for Ballards) purchased it in 1866. After the purchase, they moved the factory to Newburyport, Massachusetts, provided new machinery, and changed the firm’s name to the Merrimack Arms and Manufacturing Company. Merrimack continued to produce Ballard rifles as well as “Southerner” Deringers. In 1869 John Hamilton Brown of Maine purchased the company and changed the name to Brown Manufacturing Company and continued to manufacture Ballard Sporting and Target rifles, along with the “Southerner” deringer. They tried to market the Brown-Merrill rifle, but faced still competition in a market that was flooded with surplus conversions and newly built arms.
Almost all Brown-Merrill rifles seen today are converted from British Pattern 1853 single shot muzzle loading weapons. This example is a single shot, bolt action breech loader that fired a .58 caliber Berdan-Primer centerfire cartridge. The turn bolt mechanism is similar to the Prussian Dreyse rifle and the French Chassepot rifle.
The overall condition is very good. Gray patina. The action is excellent. The bore is shiny bright with sharp rifling. The stock is nicely figured. It has been hand checkered at some point. The original stocker marking is visible behind the trigger guard tang. The stock flats on either side of the receiver area have been grafted on. A very rare and nice example of an interesting developmental American bolt action rifle!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 35 inches.
Caliber: .58 Centerfire
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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