Monday, October 3, 2016

Frank Wesson #2 Rifle

Frank Wesson is best known for the 3000 or more carbines that were used by the military during the Civil War. Over 2000 Wesson rifles were sold to militia in the states of Kentucky and Illinois. A number of the .44 caliber rimfire carbines were purchased by individuals and state governments during the Civil War. Many of these weapons were sold through a company called Kittredge & Co, of Cincinnati, Ohio, who have their name stamped on the barrel of these weapons.

After the War, Wesson turned his attention to the sporting market and the #2 model was one of his offerings and offered as a custom, made to order rifle.
Exact manufacture dates for the Frank Wesson #2 rifles have been lost to time, but experts believe that Wesson manufactured under lever falling block rifles from the early or mid-1870s through the 1880s with total production of the No. 2 standing at less than 100. (Others have suggested that Wesson manufactured less than 75 No. 2s. A very rare single action rifle.

This rifle is listed by serial number in James Grant's book "Moore Single Shot Rifles," pages 64-65 and pictured and described in Grant's book on pages 60-61. This is a very interesting variation of the No. 2 in that the rifle has a factory engraving, pistol grip stock and left handed action. According to Grant, this rifle was the only Wesson under lever falling block rifle with a left handed action found.

Blue barrel and case hardened hammer and breechblock with the remaining metal surfaces nickel plated, including the grip cap and buttplate. The barrel is chambered for the 40-70 Wesson case. The rifle is equipped with a wind gauge/spirit level front sight and a tang Vernier peep sight. There are correctly no provisions for a rear sight on the barrel or on the frame. Mounted with a nicely figured and checkered forearm and pistol grip stock with a checkered shotgun style buttplate.

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