SOLD FOR: $3625
Make: Shiloh Rifle Mfg. Co. (Big Timber, Montana)
Model: New Model 1863 / Berdan
Serial Number: 1412B
Year of Manufacture: 1992 – 2010’s, ATF Antique
Caliber: .54 Caliber Paper or Linen Cartridges
Action Type: Single Shot, Double Set Trigger w/ Lever Operated Falling Block Percussion Rifle
Barrel Length: 30”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a silver colored dovetailed blade with orange paint on the rear for eye visibility. The rear sight is a large Buckhorn design with fine adjustments.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are a two piece hardwood with a channel for the included cleaning rod, three ramrod pipes, a nose cap, two barrel wedge keys, straight grip straight comb, cheek rest, case colored patch box and metal crescent butt plate. The wood shows light handling and storage marks. There are no cracks or chips. The LOP measures 14.25” and 13.5” from the faces of the triggers to the back of the butt plate. The stocks rate in about Fine Plus overall condition.
Type of Finish: Matte Blue, Case Color
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is light grey and the rifling is sharp. There is no discernible erosion in the bore. In this writer’s opinion and for the age, this bore rates a 9 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: This rifle retains about 96% of its metal finish. The metal is not shiny blued, but more of a matte bluing. The metal shows light scratches on the barrel and scuffs on the lock plate. The action shows minimal wear. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are deep. Overall, this rifle rates in about Fine – Fine Plus condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The rifle features a half-cock safety. The rifle will fire with either the set trigger being set before, or after cocking. The front trigger will also fire the rifle if the set trigger is not engaged. We did not fire this firearm. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This rifle comes with one hundred (100) .54 caliber Sharps minie balls, a number of stiff paper tubes and tissue paper for paper cartridges.
Our Assessment: The Model 1863 Sharps is a breech loading rifle that was widely used during the American Civil War. It was manufactured by the Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company and was known for its accuracy and reliability. The carbine used paper or linen cartridges that contained a bullet and powder charge, and the breech mechanism was operated by a lever which allowed the breech to open and another cartridge to be loaded. The Sharps line of rifles were also used by buffalo hunters and other frontiersmen after the Civil War.
This example is a modern Shiloh Sharps “New Model” 1863 chambered for .54 caliber with a rounded matte blued 30” barrel. The rifle was made in Big Timber, Montana after the Shiloh company moved from Farmingdale, New York. This Sharps is a modern interpretation of a “Berdan” model Sharps rifle. The original models were chambered in .52 caliber and were M1859 Sharps rifles, but to save Shiloh the explanation of why this rifle isn’t 100% accurate is to keep the same tooling and save a consumer the trouble of getting a custom mold make for the .52 caliber Minie balls. The Hiram Berdan was The Top Shot of the United States for 15 years before the Civil War and was to lead Union Sharpshooters during the Civil War. After the war he made many firearms patents including the perfected version of a cartridge primer that we all still use today. Overall, this is a very impressive looking rifle and a rare one at that. Being that Shiloh Sharps are very collectible and with a long waiting line and the very low production numbers of these reproductions, you bet even I will be bidding on this one. Place your bid today on this gem and good luck!