Sold For: $1,830.99
Make: C. Sharps
Model: 1868 Cartridge Conversion of New Model 1863 Carbine
Serial Number: C25517
Year of Manufacture: The rifle was originally manufactured between 1863 and 1865. It was converted to cartridge use in 1868-1869.
Caliber: .50-70 Government
Action Type: Single Shot Lever Operated Falling Block Breach Loading Rifle
Markings: The lockplate is marked “R??L????? / APR????????” at the top and “C. SHARPS’ PAT / OCT 5TH 1852.” in the center. The left side of the receiver is marked “C. SHARPS’ PAT. / OCT. 5TH 1859”. The upper tang is marked “C25517”. The top of the barrel at the receiver has a double-stamped “NEW MODE????”. There are two boxed cartouches on the left of the buttstock, but we can’t make out the letters.
Barrel Length: 22”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a silver-colored blade pinned into a slotted base atop barrel. The rear sight is a folding ladder sight that presents a small “V” notch when the ladder is folded down. There is a “V” notch in the top of the slider, another at the bottom of the ladder, and a ”U” notch at the top edge of the ladder for use when the ladder is raised. The right side of the ladder is marked “2” at the bottom and “3” through “7” for use with the slider, and “8” at the very top. The base of the sight is marked “R.S. LAWRENCE / PATENTED / FEB 15TH 1869”.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece walnut with a straight grip and steel crescent shaped buttplate. The forend is approximately 10” in length and is held with a single barrel band and a screw at the bottom-rear. There is a sling bar inlet into the left side of the wrist with saddle ring attached. The stocks have several scattered nicks, dings, bruises, scuffs, scratches and scrapes. There are a few scattered minor losses at edges. The LOP measures 13 3/4” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate is going to a light patina with pitting toward the toe. Overall, the stocks are in about Very Good condition as Antique.
Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color
Finish Originality: We know that the rifle was refinished when it underwent cartridge conversion, but believe it has not been refinished, since.
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright and its three-groove rifling is sharp where not interrupted by erosion. There are patches of moderate erosion just in front of the chamber and patches of pitting near the muzzle.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 55% of its current metal finish. The barrel has generally strong finish with scattered spots of light surface oxidation and some infrequent minor pitting. The receiver, lockplate, lever, and sling bar have more notable pitting and the surfaces have mostly gone to a light patina or been scrubbed bright. There is some case-color still showing in the loading groove and on the left of the receiver. There are some scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. The markings range from clear to worn and incomplete. The screw heads generally range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The lockplate screw in front of the sling bar is disfigured with a questionably useable slot. Overall, this rifle is in about Very Good condition as converted and Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The hammer has a half-cock safety position. There is a push-button lever lock on the lower tang. The action is tight, and the lever locks up well. We have not fired this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: The Sharps New Model rifles and carbines were made in three models: 1859, 1863 and 1865. From Flayderman’s, over 100,000 of the 1859 and 1863 models were purchased by the U.S. Army and Navy during the Civil War. The Sharps carbine was the most significantly utilized carbine of the Civil War: it was a single shot percussion breechloader using paper cartridge and revolutionized hand weaponry at the time. After the war, a little over 31,000 carbines were converted to fire centerfire ammunition. Some used the original .52 caliber barrels, and those that had worn barrels were relined and chambered for .50-70 C.F. This is one of the New Model 1863 carbines that was relined and converted to cartridge use as a Model 1869. This carbine is in about Very Good overall condition as Antique with about 55% of its current finish remaining. The action is tight and functions correctly, and the bore is decent for a 150 year old black powder rifle. The sling bar is present, along with its saddle ring. The Sharps rifles and carbines represent a great period in the history of American firearms – they participated in the last great war in which percussion rifles were used, and their post-war conversions were among the first rifles to use metallic cartridges. These rifles are highly collected, primarily because there are so few still remaining. This M1869 cartridge conversion will be a nice addition to any collection of Civil War or early cartridge firearms. Please see our photos and good luck!
CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable: This Antique rifle can be transferred/sold in California.