SOLD FOR: $4324
Make: Sharps Rifle Mfg. Co.
Model: Sharps New Model 1863 Carbine
Year of Manufacture: Circa 1863-1865, Antique
Caliber: .50-70 Govt. – Arsenal Conversion
Action Type: Single Shot, Lever-Action Falling Block Rifle
Barrel Length: 22”
Sights/ Optics: There is a fixed base with a fixed metal blade and a folding ladder which presents a V-notch in the down position and when raised presents a fixed V at the top, an aperture, a V-notch slider and a V-notch at the bottom.
Stock Configuration & Condition/ Grip: The stocks are two piece wood featuring a forend secured by a barrel band and retaining screw, a straight wrist, a straight comb and a semi-crescent butt-plate. A sling bar with a saddle ring is also present. The stock has light handling marks, nicks and scuffs. Notably, there are some light handling marks around the fore end of the stock. The LOP is 13.75” from the trigger to the rear of the butt plate. The butt plate retains some of the case color. Overall, the stocks are in Fine condition for an antique.
Type of Finish: Case Color and Blued
Finish Originality: Original to Arsenal Conversion
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright with light frosting and mostly sharp rifling. There is scattered light erosion at the muzzle. In this writer’s opinion and for the age, this bore rates a 8.5 out of 10.
Most antique firearms have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the use of black powder. When fired, black powder reacts corrosively. NRA Antique Firearm Conditions Standards are quite lenient for bores. In some cases the NRA standards disregarded the bore’s condition for collectors firearms.
Overall Condition: The rifle retains about 75% of its metal finish. There is still strong bluing on the barrel under the forend and overall. There is a small amount of surface oxidation and finish loss at the muzzle. There are some light handling marks, nicks and scuffs. The case coloring on the receiver and bottom metal is still good, with minor scratches. The screwheads are tooled but remain serviceable. The markings are somewhat faded in some areas and faded completely in others. Overall, the rifle is in Very Good Plus condition for an antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements,
Box Paperwork and Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: The Sharps Carbine was a percussion ignition breech-loader that was carried by cavalrymen during the American Civil War. By the end of the four-year conflict the superiority of breech-loaded weaponry had become clear, but the percussion ignition system was showing its obsolescence and new firing mechanisms were developed. Among a number of Civil-War vintage surplus, a number of Sharps Carbines were converted with firing pins and rechambered for several calibers. These conversions were both carried out at Springfield Armory and also done by private companies.
This particular specimen appears to have had its barrel relined as the serials match on the receiver and barrel. The rifles Lawrence pellet primer is still in place. There are government inspection marks on all of the guns metal parts, a “Z” on the bottom near the tang and a cartouche on the left side of the butt. The gun is chambered for .50-70 Govt and despite some superficial wear it remains both aesthetically pleasing and mechanically sound. This is a solid option for historical firearms collectors and quite rare to find one of these rifles with such a good bore and finish remaining. Good luck on your bid!