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RARE & POSSIBLY UNIQUE HENRY MODEL 1860 LEVER ACTION CARBINE. SN 241 7723. Cal. 44 RF Henry. Extremely rare & important Henry with 19-1/8″ oct bbl that has integral magazine tube, thin German silver front sight with rounded front edge and 900 yard Henry ladder rear sight. Top flat has the early style small bbl markings. Rear sight is located 1/2″ from the front edge of the frame vs. the standard 1″, as found on full size rifles indicating that this bbl was reduced in length from both ends. SN “241” is found in the usual place between the rear sight & receiver. Just forward of the rear sight dovetail are found two small punch dots. Left side of lower tang, under the wood, is marked with SN “7723” along with “241” which matches the bbl number and there are some unusual markings consisting of two small crosses and three punch dots. Outside face of bottom tang, just above the large screw hole, is stamped with an “E”. Round part of bbl, under loading sleeve, is marked with assembly number “360” which number is also found on rear face of loading sleeve. In addition rnd part of bbl is also marked with matching two crosses and three punch dots. Rear face of sight sleeve is, most unusually, marked with a single cross & single punch dot. Left side plate is very nicely engraved in period script “AHPacker”. Inside left side plate is hand scratched “A H PACKER”. Mounted with very nicely figured, uncheckered, straight grain American walnut with straight stock and gun metal buttplate with small trap containing a 3-pc brass & steel cleaning rod. Buttstock has matching SN “7723” in top tang channel which is also found inside toe of buttplate. Left side of stock has a shallow “Henry bump”. The book The First Winchester, Parsons, on p. 31 discusses Ordnance Dept. purchases of Henry rifles and shows that on Nov. 7, 1865 there was a purchase of one Henry carbine for $35.00. In the following paragraph Mr. Parsons states “The recorder mentioned three rifles and two carbines presented by Mr. Winchester and later shows that the Henry carbine magazine contained eleven charges.” He further discusses the testing of the carbines and on p. 42 in a letter dated May, 1863 to the Acting Chief of Ordnance who had ordered a sample of Henry’s Patent carbine, Mr. Winchester had written “We send you today by Adams & Co. Express one of the only size that we have made except to order.” Later in the letter Mr. Winchester states “Should it be desired exclusive for the latter purpose (mounted infantry or for cavalry) it can be made shorter to advantage.” And the last sentence states that “It can be reduced to 19-1/4″ and still carry 12 charges in the magazine without any loss of power.” The fact that Mr. Winchester had stated in this letter “except to order” implies that Henry rifles could be ordered with other than standard length bbls. Consignor states that records which appear in the National Archives, record group #156, “Ordinance (sic) purchase 7 November 1865 – one carbine. House Doc 89, 42nd Cong. 2nd Sess., Serial 1511 Page 9.” and “Board of Officers were convened on 10 March 1866 to test rifles and carbine (test lasted 52 days). Number 10861 Henry carbine barrel length 21”. Accompanied by a 6-page letter from renowned Winchester historian & author, George Madis, wherein he discusses the features & history of Henry carbines and specifically this carbine. Mr. Madis states that “While there are field records remaining for the guns made for the trials, it is known five Henry carbines were made and entered into these trials. Records show four of the guns were returned to the New Haven Arms Co. and one gun was purchased by the U.S. Ordnance Dept.” He further states that he believes the “241” serial number found on lower tang was applied by the factory and speculates that the shortened bbl is factory work and that this carbine was one of the four returned to the company. He states that it is likely the bbl was replaced at that time with a bbl that was on hand in the factory. He also states that the crosses & punch marks “usually means special care was to be given to the fit & finish of the gun”. He further states that the “E” marking on the lower tang “has been observed on special guns, such as martial guns or those which were returned to the company”. Mr. Madis also states that the name on the sideplate is believed to be that of Alonzo Hamilton Packer, the orig owner of the carbine. And finally states that this is a unique Henry, one of a kind, and in his opinion, made for the Army trials. CONDITION: Very fine plus. Bbl & magazine tube retain a smooth, even, artificially aged patina; loading sleeve retains matching patina with traces of orig blue; receiver & buttplate have sharp edges with a few scratches and retain a wonderful, even dark mustard patina. Stock is sound with a few small nicks and retains most of its orig finish with some light flaking on right side. Mechanics are a little balky, strong bore with moderate pitting. Cleaning rod is fine. 4-47609 JR136 (10,000-15,000)

Auction: Firearms - Fall 2013
Please Note: All prices include the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium, which is paid by the buyer as part of the purchase price. The prices noted here after the auction are considered unofficial and do not become official until after the 46th day.