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James Merrill of Baltimore had his hands in several Civil War era firearms – rifles built from scratch, conversions of the Jenks carbines, and also conversions of 1841 Mississippi rifles done by the Harpers Ferry Arsenal. Merrill’s conversion involved a knee-joint type lever which could be opened to allow loading of a rifle from the breech. The system was relatively simple, and it was one of three (the others were the Lindner and Montstorm) made in small numbers for testing by Harpers Ferry. It appears that 300 Merrill conversions were done, 100 each of the 1841 Mississippi Rifle, 1842 musket, and 1847 musketoon.
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At Forgotten Weapons I think the most interesting guns out there are the most obscure ones. I try to search out experimental and prototype weapons and show you how they work, in addition to more conventional guns that you may not have heard of before. You’re much more likely to find a video on the Cei Rigotti or Webley-Fosbery here than an AR or Glock. So, do you want to learn about something new today? Then stick around!