Italian MFD Palmetto Gemmer Sharps / Hawken 32″ 45/70 BP Black Powder Falling Block Rifle MFD 1986
Model: Gemmer Sharps/Hawken Rifle
Serial Number: 020019
Year of Manufacture: 1986
Caliber: .45-70 Government
Action Type: Single Shot Lever Actuated Falling Block
Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “45/70”. The left side of the barrel is marked with “MADE IN ITALY BY Palmetto”, an Italian Star over “PSF” black powder proof, an Italian “AP” date stamp and an Italian Star over Crest “Gardone” proof. The top tang is marked “020019”. The underside of the frame is marked with the Gardone proof.
Barrel Length: 32” Octagonal
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a large brass blade with a ramped front face dovetail set to the barrel and the rear sight is a “V” notched buckhorn leaf dovetailed into the barrel.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The two piece smooth straight grip walnut Hawken style stocks sport a cheek piece for right handed shooters and an alloy forend tip, which mimics the pewter fittings found on original Hawken rifles. The forend is 1/3 length and double keyed. A mark into the wood is visible on the front right of the forend, a cluster of marks and a notable mark can be seen on the left side of the grip, three marks are present along the right edge of the belly and several marks reside on the right side of the buttstock. The LOP measures 14 1/8” from the front of the forward trigger to the back of the crescent rollover rifle style alloy buttplate, which has a smooth rear surface sporting a case colored finish. The buttplate has an antiqued look, exhibits little evidence of use and is in Excellent condition. The stocks rate in about Fine overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue with Case Colored Receiver
Finish Originality: All Original
Bore Condition: The bore is gray and the rifling is moderately worn. There is a ring of erosion in the bore about 1” from the muzzle.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 99% of its metal finish. Only scattered shallow handling marks are visible along the barrel and on the receiver. The case coloring is strong. The screw heads are mildly distressed. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly and is tight and firm. After the set trigger is engaged, the trigger pull is set to a feather light 1 pound, 12 ounces. The action is stamped with the Italian BLACK POWDER proof. Caution should be exercised before using smokeless powder loads. We have not fired this rifle.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: Hawken Rifles have been American classics since brothers Jacob and Samuel Hawken began manufacturing flintlock rifles in St. Louis in the 1820s. By the 1830s, they changed over to percussion rifles, which became the mainstay weapon of the American Plains. About 1860, Samuel passed the company to his son-in-law, J.P. Gemmer. With the invention of metallic cartridges, Gemmer turned his business to fitting Spencer, Sharp, Springfield and other popular cartridge rifle receivers to Hawken barrels and fitting them to double keyed, Hawken style stocks, a business model which survived until the early 1900s. This is a faithful Italian made Palmetto reproduction of a Geller Sharps/Hawken rifle. The receiver is unmistakably a sharps clone, but the rifle reflects the classic Hawken look. The short, double keyed forend and musket style buttstock, along with the presence of a wooden ramrod, are authentic Gemmer elements. Rifles like this would have been favored by buffalo hunters in the late 1800s. Well balanced and light, the Geller Hawken rifles were sought after for over 40 years. This Palmetto reproduction of the Gemmer Sharps/Hawken was purchased from the Richard Hacker collection and is in Excellent condition, exhibiting some marks on the stocks, but very little evidence of use on the metal surfaces. As a special bonus, a signed copy of Richard Hacker’s “The Ultimate Cigar Book” is included with the rifle. Though a common customization in the 1800s, modern reproductions are unusual and built to order with multi-year wait times reported. Chambered in the powerful.45-70 Government and sporting the Italian BLACK POWDER proof, this beautiful rifle will give you the exact look and feel of the genuine article, and is a perfect addition to the collection of a black powder enthusiast or re-enactor.