SIGNED, KITTREDGE Marked FRANK WESSON 2-Trigger Issued to the Western Theater during Civil War!
Guns International #: 101326664 Seller's Inventory #: 190925
Category: Frank Wesson - Civil War Carbines
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SIGNED, KITTREDGE Marked FRANK WESSON 2-Trigger
Issued to the Western Theater during Civil War!
Here we present a Rare “B. KITTREDGE & CO./CINCINNATI O.” Marked Frank Wesson First Model Two-Trigger Military Carbine, made circa 1861 in Worcester, Massachusetts. Frank Wesson was the younger brother of Daniel B. Wesson, of Smith & Wesson, as well as Edwin Wesson, who was also a highly-esteemed gunsmith in the mid-to-late-1800s. The fame of his family’s name was not lost on Frank as he was, in fact, a prolific firearms designer and maker in his own right. He was granted patents in 1859 and began producing rifles of this two-trigger configuration. The Civil War was a fantastic opportunity for many different inventors and over 20 different carbines were used during the conflict on the Union side. Frank Wesson made a version of his rifle in a .44 caliber rimfire carbine format that was specifically geared for Cavalry troops. While it is unclear whether or not Federal troops used these carbines, it is known that Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, and Ohio purchased these for their state militias. As William B. Edwards puts it in his book, “they were more popular with the guerrillas and irregular troops in the border fighting.” It is truly amazing the diversity of carbines that were used during the American Civil War.
This carbine is particularly slim, light and handy. It has the early style frame with the slotted link on the right side near the breech and a low serial. The two-trigger design is perhaps the most eye-catching part of this carbine. The front trigger is pulled to open the breech after the hammer has been placed in half-cock. The slotted tab on the right side of the barrel is a stop that limits the travel of the barrel when pivoting. The trigger guard is a separate iron piece that can act somewhat like a pistol grip. The top of the barrel is marked “F. WESSON’S PATENT/OCT 25, 1859” as well as “B. KITTREDGE & CO./CINCINNATI O.” The Kittredge Company was a large firearms dealer based in Cincinnati, Ohio, through which many state militias acquired firearms for their men. Only about 2,000 of these are thought to be so marked and virtually all believed to have been issued to various state militias in the Western Theater, units in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas and Missouri.
This one has been signed on the left side of the butt stock, carved in large letters “H.B. BANK”. The carving is very old, dark with age and smooth with use. There are very few “H Bank” records for the Civil War listed by the National Park Service, both with a first name of Henry. No records could be located with a middle initial. However, if this carbine did belong to one of these two, it may very well have belonged to Henry Bank of F Company of the 10th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, who campaigned in the Western Theater early in the war.
One final personal touch to this carbine is the brass saddle ring that was attached to the left side of the gun. A neat little addition that makes this one unique to all the rest!
The overall condition is very good. The iron parts wear an old refinish that is nearly black in color. The markings are clear. The walnut stock is smooth and in very good shape. The bore is in good condition with strong rifling. The action remains excellent.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 24 inches.
Caliber: .44 Rimfire
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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