Make: C. Sharps
Model: New Model 1863 Carbine Manufactured Without Patchbox
Serial Number: C 26060 (126060 – C was used to indicate 100,000)
Year of Manufacture: The rifle was made between 1863 and 1865.
Caliber: .52 Caliber
Action Type: Single Shot Lever Operated Falling Block Breach Loading Percussion Rifle
Markings: The upper tang is marked “C, 26060”. The lockplate is marked “R.S. LAWRENCE PAT / APRIL 12TH 1859” at the top, “C. SHARPS’ PAT / OCT 5TH 1852.” in the center and “S” at the rear. The left side of the barrel band is also marked “S”. The left side of the receiver is marked “C. SHARPS’ PAT. / SEPT. 12TH 1848” and near its front edge with “W”. The left side of the barrel at the receiver is marked “E.A.W.” ( E. A. Williams, sub-inspector at Springfield Armory) and the top of the barrel at the receiver is marked “NEW MODEL 1863”. The top of the barrel in front of the rear sight is marked “SHARPS RIFLE / MANUFG. CO. / HARTFORD, CONN.”. The lower tang in front of the trigger is marked “W” and the rear of the lower tang is marked “H”. The plate holding the rear of the sling bar on the left side of the wrist is marked “A.W.M.” (Unknown Inspector). The tang on the buttplate is marked “M”. The base of the rear sight is marked “R. S. LAWRENCE / PATENTED / FEB 15TH 1859”.
Barrel Length: 22”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a German silver blade held in a slotted base atop the barrel. The rear sight is a folding ladder sight screwed to the barrel. There is a “V” notch at the bottom/rear of the ladder’s base for use when the ladder is folded down. When the ladder is folded up, there is a “V” notch at the bottom of the ladder, another at the top edge of the slider and another on the very top edge of the ladder. The right side of the ladder is marked “2” through “7” with an “8” at the top.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two piece walnut with a straight grip and steel carbine style buttplate. The forend is approximately 10” in length and is held with a single barrel band. The stocks are dark with oil staining, but the wood to metal fit is excellent. There is a large compression mark on the left side of the wrist in front of the plate holding the sling bar with a few more dings on either side of the upper tang. The wood is abraded on the edges of the comb at the heel on either side of the buttplate’s tang and there is a small narrow surface chip on the right side of the forend at the receiver. There are several more tiny dings and light handling marks scattered over the buttstock and forend. The LOP measures 13 7/8” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate shows a dark patina with thinning in the patina and light pitting. The buttplate is in about Good Plus condition. The stocks are in about Fine overall condition.
Type of Finish: The barrel was blued and the receiver, hammer and lockplate were case colored.
Finish Originality: The finish is original.
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright, tending to gray at the muzzle. There is moderate wear in the rifling and spots of light to moderate erosion scattered around the bore from the muzzle back about two inches.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains traces of case coloring in the receiver and lockplate. The remainder of the surfaces shows surface loss with small to medium sized spots of patina, which give them a mottled appearance. The barrel shows several tiny dings. There are a few spots of solid erosion in the barrel and on the lever, with light erosion in the lower tang. There is a cluster of tiny dings in the center of the lockplate and a two larger dings on the right rear edge of the receiver just in front of the hammer. There are a few more light dings in the sides of the receiver. The screw heads are distressed and the markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good to Fine overall condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. This rifle retains provisions for the pellet primer system used on percussion rifles, and has a push-button lever lock on the lower tang. The action appears tight and locks open solidly. The hammer has a half-cock safety position. This carbine has a sling bar on the left side of the rifle, which is complete with saddle ring. We have not fired this rifle.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: The Sharps New Model rifles and carbines were made in three models: 1859, 1863 and 1865. From Flayderman’s, over 100,000 of the 1859 and 1863 models were purchased by the U.S. Army and Navy during the Civil War. The Sharps carbine was the most significantly utilized carbine of the Civil War. It was a single shot percussion breechloader using paper cartridge and revolutionized hand weaponry at the time. Serial numbers for the “New Model 1863” generally run from 75,000 to 140,000, with some overlap with other models. The Model 1863 reflected only minor improvements over the Model 1859, mostly elimination of the patchbox. Standard features include an iron buttplate, iron loading lever which serves as a trigger guard, one iron band, a percussion nipple designed to utilize a primer system, a hinged Sharps sight, saddle bar and ring on left side, and rifling with six lands and grooves. This carbine is in about Very Good to Fine overall condition. The markings are all clear with the appropriate inspection marks, the wood to metal fit is excellent, the action is tight and the carbine is complete with pellet priming systems, sling bar and saddle ring. The Sharps rifles and carbines represent a great period in the history of American firearms – they participated in the last great war in which percussion rifles were used, and many were converted to metallic cartridges soon after the war. These rifles are highly collected, primarily because there are so few still remaining in their original condition. This carbine should be no exception, and with its original finish and nice condition, we expect it to be fought over by the collectors.