Make: Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Co.
Model: New Model 1865
Serial Number: C44634
Year of Manufacture: 1865-1866 Antique
Caliber: .50-70 Government Conversion
Action Type: Falling Block Single Shot Rifle
Markings: The base of the rear sight is marked “R. S. LAWRENCE / PATENTED / FEB. 15th 1859”. The lock plate is marked “C. SHARPS’ PAT. / OCT. 5th 1859”. Above that, rear of the hammer, is marked “R.S. LAWRENCE PAT. / APRIL 12th 1859.”. The left side of the receiver is marked “C. SHARPS’ PAT. / SEPT. 12th 1848”. The top of the barrel is marked “SHARP’S RIFLE / MANUFG. CO. / HARTFORD, CONN.” and “NEW MODEL 1865” near the receiver.
Barrel Length: 22”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a rounded blade slotted in a base that is fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is a fixed V-notch when flipped down. In the up position, there is a V-notch glider that graduates from 200-800 yards. The very top of the rear sight has a fixed V-notch when flipped up.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two piece smooth wood with a banded forearm, straight grip and comb, and a carbine buttplate. The wood appears to have been refinished. There are scattered nicks, scratches, and compressions. There are a couple small gashes in the belly. There is a split in the wood on the right side of the wood. The LOP measures 13 7/8” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate, which shows erosion and light pitting. The stocks rate in about Very Good overall condition as Antique.
Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright and the rifling is well defined. There is scattered erosion and pitting in the bore.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 10% of its metal finish. The balance of the finish shows little nicks, dongs and scratches throughout the metal surfaces. The case coloring has muted entirely. There is light erosion scattered on the receiver and bottom metal. There are trace amounts of blue on the barrel. The screw heads are Serviceable. The markings are mostly clear, some are faded but legible. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good condition as Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The action closes tightly. We did not fire this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: From the NRA Museum Website, “During the Civil War, the Federal government bought over 80,000 Sharps carbines and nearly 10,000 Sharps Rifles. These arms were highly regarded by the troops who used them. Sharps Carbines found favor with Federal cavalry troopers, and New Model 1859 Rifles were used with great success by famous infantry units such as Colonel Hiram Berdan’s U.S. SharpShooters, perhaps the first specialty troops in the history of modern warfare, as well as the 5th New York (Duryea’s Zouaves) and the 13th Pennsylvania Reserves (Bucktails). Even the Confederate government recognized the superiority of the New Model 1859 Carbine, contracting with the Richmond firm of S.C. Robinson for the production of 5,000 copies. The New Model 1859 was followed by the New Model 1863 and New Model 1865 Carbines and Rifles. These were nearly identical to the New Model 1859, differing primarily in barrel stampings, the omission of buttstock patchboxes, and in the design or absence of bayonet lugs. Many versions of all three arms were later converted for use with .50-70 and .52-70 caliber metallic cartridge ammunition in the years following the Civil War.” This is a New Model 1865 converted for use with .50-70 rounds. It is in about Very Good condition as Antique and would make an excellent addition to a civil war era collection.