Original U.S. Civil War J.H. Merrill M1858 2nd Model Saddle Ring Breech Loading Carbine – Serial 10126


Category: Product ID: 7603


Original U.S. Civil War J.H. Merrill M1858 2nd Model Saddle Ring Breech Loading Carbine – Serial 10126

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice single shot percussion breech loading Civil War Saddle Ring Carbine. As they use both a cap and a type of breech loaded cartridge, they are often referred to as “capping breech loaders”. 14,500 were made by J.H. Merrill of Baltimore for the Union Cavalry, mostly between 1863 and 1865. These carbines are known to have been allocated to the following Union cavalry regiments: NY 1st, 5th and 18th; Pennsylvania 11th, 17th, and 18th; NJ 1st; Indiana 7th; Wisconsin 1st and 3rd; Kentucky 27th; and finally the Delaware 1st.

They were however available before the war started, so the Confederate forces also had some, and also would capture them when possible. The breech loading design is somewhat unique: a breech loading percussion system with a large breech lever / loading rammer. Percussion cartridges were loaded, pushed forward into the breech by the rammer, and then ignited by a percussion cap.

This fine example bears serial number 10126 on the lock and the breech lever, and is very good used condition. The lock plate still has the original markings, which are still crisp:

PAT JULY 1858.
APL. 9. MAY 21-28-61

The top of the breech lever also still

has a partial two line patent marking 

PAT. JULY 1858

The breech components themselves all bear assembly number 69, even on the copper covered end of the breech plug.

The metal components still show some of the original finish, with the rest faded to a worn blued patina. There are also areas of light peppering and past pitting but the carbine is complete, and still retains the rear sight, with all three leaves, which move easily. The bore is in very good condition, with clear lands and grooves, and a partly bright finish. There is a bit of wear and some light corrosion in the grooves. The action still opens correctly, and locks into place, and the lock is functional, holding correct at half cock and firing at full.

The saddle ring bar is still attached, with one ring, and this early example has a brass cap box on the right side, which also has a space to store a spare nipple cone. The stock does show quite a bit of wear, and has cracking on both sides in multiple places. The large amount of wood removed for the breech loading system unfortunately made the stock very prone to cracking. There are also some gouges on both sides, and some missing chunks on the wood line.

This is a very nice example of a rare and historical civil war capping breech loader carbine, and would be a great addition to any collection. Ready to display!


Years of Manufacture: mid 1864
Caliber:  .54
Ammunition Type: Percussion Cartridge
Barrel Length: 21 inches
Overall Length: 37 inches
Action: Breech Rammer with Manual Percussion Hammer
Feed System: Single Shot

NOTE: International orders of antique firearms MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services (courier). USPS Priority Mail international will not accept these. International customers should always consult their country’s antique gun laws prior to ordering.


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