Make: Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company
Model: 1853 Sporting Rifle
Serial Number: 11093
Year of Manufacture: 1854 – 1859
Caliber: The breech end of the barrel measures .498” and the muzzle end, between the grooves, measures about .398”.
Action Type: Falling Block, Single Shot, Breech Loading Percussion Rifle
Markings: The right lock plate is marked “Sharp’s / Patent / 185” The 5 and the last letter are illegible. The upper tang is marked “Sharps Patent / 1848” and “11093”. The top of the barrel is marked “Sharps Rifle / Manufg Co. / Hartford Conn”. The underside of the barrel, buttplate and patch box lid are marked with the matching serial number. The breech block is numbered “12453”. Note the misspelled lock plate.
Barrel Length: 26”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a dovetail set blade and the rear sight is a dovetail set flip-up sliding ladder. This sight can be seen on numerous rifles in Frank Seller’s book, including the Gustave Young engraved Left-Handed example.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are dark oil finished wood. There are many dings and marks, with a couple of gouges on the forearms and right side of the stock comb. The forearm cap has a few dings as well. There are no severe cracks, but one hairline crack on the right side of the stock at the heel. There is minor shrinking of the wood, but it looks natural. The stock looks to have the original finish. The furniture and patch box are brass, as is correct on early model 1853’s. The LOP measures about 13 5/8” from the front of the forward trigger to the back of the brass buttplate. The stock rates in about Fine overall condition for their age.
Type of Finish: The frame and lock plate are in the white, the barrel is brown and the furniture is brass.
Finish Originality: Factory Original.
Bore Condition: The bore is surprisingly almost bright and the rifling is strong the entire length. There is only mild frosting in the bore, but no severe pitting. This bore is definitely about the best one we have seen on a percussion sharps.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 60% of its metal finish. The balance of the finish shows edge wear and a few dings to the barrel edges. The frame is just a bit mottled with some evidence of an old cleaning. The metal is surprisingly smooth and the upper tang marking is crisp. The brass has a mild patina, with a few dings. This is an honest looking rifle, with original finish retained on the barrel. The screw heads are practically sharp, with some wear. The markings are legible, but for the right lock plate. Overall, this rifle rates in about Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The double set triggers work. We have not fired this rifle.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: This is an early production Sharps Model 1853 Sporting Rifle. The serial number, matching on the barrel, confirms this, as does the brass furniture and the misspelling of Sharps’ name on the right lock plate. That said, we cannot find reference to a .40 or .50 Caliber 1853… The Slanting Breech guns are some of the most desirable of all the Sharps, and this one with the double set triggers and odd caliber is certainly even more interesting to the collector!
Sold For: $2,526