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Jennings, Lewis

Name Street Town State From To
Jennings, Lewis   New York New York 1849 1850
Jennings, Lewis   Windsor Vermont 1850 1852

Patent Date Remarks
6,973 December 25, 1849 Improvement in Breech-Loading Fire-Arms (of Hunt's rifle)
Patent drawing
Specification 2nd page
Specification 3rd page
Specification 4th page

Contract for

see Hunt, Smith & Jennings, New Haven Arms Co. and Winchester

.54 caliber Jennings Magzine Rifle with pill lock ignition, about 1849, contract with Robbins & Lawrence, Windsor, Vermont for 5000 rifles. The number of rifles manufactured is unknown but estimated at about 1000.

Most of the Jennings rifles were single shot brech loaders.

1st Model
.54 caliber, breechloading single shot rifle, ring trigger, 26" barrel with ramrod, manufactured form 1850 to 1851

right side

2nd Model, see Smith & Jennings (with Smith's improvement)
.54 caliber, ring trigger but without trigger guard, 25" barrel, manufactured from 1851 to 1852

right side

3rd Model, made of remaining parts
.54 caliber, muzzleloading rifle, trigger with trigger guard, 26 1/2" barrel with ramrod mounted, manufactured in 1852.

right side

On January 1, 1852 the following article was published in the International Magazine

The efforts of scientific men and mechanics have been constantly directed towards the invention of a gun which should fire, with the greatest possible rapidity, a number of times without reloading, and which should possess the indispensable requisites of safety, durability, and simplicity, both in construction and in use. Hitherto no invention has combined these advantages in a sufficient degree to supplant the common rifle.

In our opinion, these ends are all most simply and beautifully attained by the invention of Mr. Jennings. But of this our readers will be able to judge for themselves, by the engravings and the directions for its use.

Fill the magazine, on the top of the breech, with percussion pills or primings, and the tube, under the barrel, with the hollow cartridges containing gunpowder. Of these cartridges the tube will hold twenty-four. Place the forefinger in the ring which forms the end of the lever, e, and the thumb on the hammer, elevating the muzzle sufficiently to let the cartridge nearest the breech slip, by its gravity, into the carrier d; swing the lever forward, and raise the hammer which moves the breech-pin back, and the carrier up, placing the cartridge into the barrel, by which motion a percussion priming is taken from the magazine by means of the priming-rack c, revolving the pinion which forms the bottom of the magazine, and it also throws up the toggle a, behind the breech-pin, thus placing the piece in the condition to be discharged by a simple upward pressure of the finger in the ring. After the discharge release the pressure and repeat the process.

Lock and cartridge
whole rifle