VIRGINIA Manufactory 2nd Model Rifle, rarest lock variation. Altered for Virginia by Merrill of Baltimore, 1861. Best of three such known
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Rarity of rarities: Virginia made, Virginia-altered, Virginia-used. The Virginia Manufactory made only 2,093 rifles. Only 1760 of this Second Model were produced, and this one has the rarest of the lock variations. Only in the first few months of 1817 were both “RICHMOND” AND “VIRGINIA” stamped in front of the cock; thereafter “RICHMOND” was eliminated. With only 292 rifles made in 1817, there can have been no more than a hundred of this marking variation. This double rarity became a triple rarity when altered to percussion in 1861 as one of the first Confederate rifles! Three days after she seceded, Virginia paid Baltimore contractor Merrill, Thomas, & Co for modernizing 172 of these Virginia rifles. This is the best one of only three known Merrill-altered Virginia rifles. These were immediately issued to Virginia troops, including the 10th and 14th Infantry.