Make: Frank Wesson
Model: Two-Trigger Sporting Rifle, 2nd Type
Serial Number: 1439
Year of Manufacture: According to Flayderman's guide, about 5,000 were produced from 1862 to 1875, the serial numbering system is not sequential, making it difficult to extract the correct date, we believe this is an earlier 2nd model made sometime in the mid to late 1860's.
Caliber: .32 Rimfire
Action Type: Single Shot Rifle with Tip-Up Barrel Released with Front Trigger on Underside of Receiver
Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “FRANK WESSON WORCHESTER MASS. / PAT’D OCT. 25 1859 & NOV. 11 1862”. The bottom of the trigger guard behind the rear trigger is marked “1439”, found again on the inside of the receiver.
Barrel Length: The octagon barrel is 24” in length.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a German silver blade, slotted fore to aft in a base that is dovetailed onto the barrel. The barrel has a rear "V" shaped sight that is dovetailed onto the barrel and can micro-adjust for elevation. The tang has a flip-up aperture sight that is screwed through the wrist portion. The aperture base flops up and down freely.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stock consists of a walnut buttstock with a straight grip and a crescent shaped steel buttplate that has a lacquered finish. There are no provisions for a forend. The lower tang is long and extends almost half way down the belly. The buttstock is dark with oil staining, the surfaces have a few scrape and gouge marks, the fit to metal is very nice, there are surface cracks on the wrist and at the roll-over inlet of the butt plate. The LOP measures 13 3/4” from the front of the rear trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate shows little wear, but has a thick dark patina mottled with spots of erosion. The buttplate is in about Fair to Good condition. The stock rates in about Good condition.
Type of Finish: The barrel is blue, the receiver may have been case colored.
Finish Originality: The finish appears original.
Bore Condition: The bore is gray, tending to dark at the muzzle. The rifling shows heavy wear. There is moderate erosion from the muzzle back several inches. The rifling is almost circular and has a very fast twist rate.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 15% of its metal finish, seen as bluing on the barrel near the muzzle. The surfaces all show a thick, dark patina that is mottled with tiny spots of erosion. The blue has mostly shifted to brown cocoa patina, telling a tale of frequent handling wear. The hinge screw slot is disfigured, the others are highly serviceable. The underside of the barrel has a dovetailed slot, we believe this once held the front swivel bar. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Good overall condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The hammer has a half-cock safety position. The front “trigger” is not a trigger, but a device for release the barrel and allowing it to tip up for loading. There is a manual extractor located on the right side of the barrel and a slot for a tab that would usually retain the barrel from over-extending, the barrel stops moving by its own and is limited in range, the extractor works properly. The hammer has a strong mainspring and smooth trigger. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: This is a Frank Wesson Two Trigger Sporting Rifle, Second Type. There were several variants of the Double Trigger rifles, made between 1859 and 1888. The early models were made in standard rimfire chamberings: 22, 32 38 and 44, but sometime in the mid to late 1870’s (Third and Fourth types), a two position striker was added to the hammer to allow the rifle to be used with either rimfire or center fire cartridges. Although the rifle was equipped and named for having two “triggers”, the front trigger wasn’t a trigger but a release that allowed the barrel to tip-up at the rear. The Second Type was characterized by having a manual extractor on the left side of the barrel and a slotted link in the right side of the receiver that acted limit the opening of the barrel (missing from this rifle). This rifle was chambered in .32 Rimfire and has a 24” octagon barrel. The rifle is in about Good condition with 15% of its original finish remaining, seen as faint blue on the barrel. The bore has odd rifling that is almost circular, more than 'spiraled', which would have stabilized cartridges pretty well. There were only about 5,000 of the Second Type rifle manufactured, which should make this a very collectible rifle. While tip-up actions aren’t unique, we don’t see very many that use a trigger to release the barrel or barrels. All in all, this rifle is sure to find a home in a collection of early American cartridge rifles and was most likely produced during the end of the Civil War era.
CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable: This Antique rifle can be transferred/sold in California.
LSB#: 161128LV47 Make: Frank Wesson Model: Two-Trigger Sporting Rifle, 2nd Type Serial Number: 1439 Year of Manufacture: According to Flayderman's guide, abo
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