RARE US M1870 Springfield-Sharps Cartridge Conversion Trials Rifle, Antique

SOLD FOR: $2275

LSB#: 220322SH012

Make: Springfield/Sharps

Model: 1870 Cartridge Conversion

Serial Number: C33548

Year of Manufacture: 1870-1881 Antique

Caliber: .50-70 Government Conversion

Action Type: Falling Block Single Shot Rifle

Markings: The lock plate is marked “C. SHARPS’ PAT. / OCT. 5th 1852”. 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 upper tang of is marked “C, 33548”. The left side of the barrel at the rear is marked “33548”. Both of the barrel bands are marked “U” on the right. The lower tang is marked “H” at the rear. There is a cartouche mark on the left side of the wrist, “ESA” (Erskin A. Allen). The top of the buttplate is marked “US”.

Barrel Length: 35”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade slotted in a base that is fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is a fixed U-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 U-notch when flipped up.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two piece smooth wood with a capped and double banded forearm, straight grip and comb, and a carbine buttplate. There is a groove in the forearm for the included cleaning rod. There is a sling swivel in the belly and the bottom of the front barrel band. There is a small split in the left side of the wrist at the top. There are scattered nicks, scratches, and compressions. There are a couple more notable gashes on the right side of the forearm. The LOP measures 14” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate, which shows erosion and light pitting. The stocks rate in about Good overall condition as Antique.

Type of Finish: Case Color Receiver

Finish Originality: Lacquer has been applied to the barrel and barrel bands and part of the receiver.

Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is well defined. There is some light erosion near the muzzle.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 10% of its metal finish. There is some trace case coloring visible on the right side of the receiver. The majority of the rest of the metal has been covered in wood lacquer. The balance of the finish shows little nicks, dings, and scratches throughout the metal surfaces. There is erosion scattered under the lacquer. There is some scabbing near the muzzle and on the lever. The screw heads are serviceable, the rear forend screw is missing. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about 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: Stated fantastically by College Hill Arsenal, “At the end of the American Civil War, the US Ordnance department found itself with stores of hundreds of thousands of obsolete muzzle loading muskets, as well as thousands of obsolete, percussion ignition breech loading rifles and carbines. The comparison of costs between using Sharps to perform the alterations or doing the work at Springfield probably weighed heavily on the decision to produce what would be known as the US Model 1870 Springfield-Sharps Trials Rifles at Springfield. The majority of the cartridge alterations performed between 1867 and 1869 had been to carbines, with very few rifles altered. However, the Army decided that it wanted to issue the .50-70 Sharps rifled musket for infantry field trials in 1870. A minimum of 1,300 of these rifles were required for the Army field trials. Springfield undertook the alteration process, converting approximately 1,000 older percussion rifles and obtaining 300 new cartridge actions from Sharps for the last 300 guns. These cartridge receivers were the direct predecessor to what would become the Sharps Model 1874 Rifle.” This is a Good example of a Springfield-Sharps 1870 conversion rifle with clear metal markings and cartouches. This is a great find for a Sharps rifle collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

RARE US M1870 Springfield-Sharps Cartridge Conversion Trials Rifle, Antique
RARE US M1870 Springfield-Sharps Cartridge Conversion Trials Rifle, Antique