Old sharps rifle

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by mikiec, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. mikiec

    mikiec New Member

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    1863 sharps I think.


    [​IMG]


    Here is what is stamped on the rifle.

    R.S. Lawrence Pat. april 12, 1859
    Sharps Pat. October 5, 1852

    s/n 73269

    This has been converted to accept metalic cartridges

    Any info about this rifle would be appreciated.

    Mike
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2010
  2. Danny

    Danny Member

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    :)Hello Mike,
    Indeed it is a early Sharps carbine & from the photo it looks in good condition. Lawrence was the company that made the rear sight assembly. The Sharps were later on converted to fire the 50/70 cf and eventually to the 45/70. A super weapon, even in todays standards. A good value in 90-95% condition would fetch 4-5 thousand dollars to the right collector. Hope this helps?
    Kind Regards
    Danny:):)
  3. mikiec

    mikiec New Member

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    Thanks Danny. This piece will be going into a museum replicating an 1881 office.

    Any idea when it was produced? It has been in my boss' family for over 100 years.

    Mike
  4. ofitg

    ofitg New Member

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    According to Flayderman's Guide, serial numbers of the New Model 1859 ranged from approximately 30,000 to 75,000. Serial numbers of the New Model 1863 ranged from approximately 75,000 to 140,000.

    Based upon the markings and the serial number, I would guess that it was manufactured in the 1862-1863 time frame. Starting in 1867, a lot of these percussion carbines were converted to fire metallic cartidges.
  5. mikiec

    mikiec New Member

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    Thank you for the info.

    So according to the Serial Number this is an 1859 model.

    I just looked at it again. It has a smooth barrel so I'm guessing it has not been converted to metalic cartridge.

    Mike
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  6. Danny

    Danny Member

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    No Mike that just implies the weapon was shoot to death & no riflings are present. It still would remain a percussion to metallic conversion.
    If you wanted the history on the weapon, Frank Sellers, who wrote a book on Sharps, may have the info & there is a doctor up north that has the complete Sharps factoty records also.Hope this helps?
    Danny:)
  7. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Lack of a patchbox indicates it probably is a factory conversion:
    "When condition of the original stock required that it be replaced, a stock with no patchbox was used in all cases" (Flayderman)

    Flayderman also states some were relined with three-groove rifling, which might appear smooth bore at first, especially if worn. And an even later conversion to a shotgun is also conceivable.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2010
  8. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    The patents originally mentioned are for the Sharps pellet primer, which was invented by Sharps and improved (to provide a cutoff) by Lawrence. The Lawrence sight patent was Feb. 15, 1859.

    I am willing to be educated, but that looks to me like a plain old Sharps 1863 model, which didn't have patch boxes. (Those serial number ranges in Flayderman are, at best, approximations.) The conversion might significantly reduce the value, depending on who converted it to what and when, since cartridge breechblocks and chamber bushings are readily available.

    Jim
  9. mikiec

    mikiec New Member

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    Here are additional pics:

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  10. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    The muzzle view shows what appears to be very wide rifling lands and grooves, maybe the three-groove liner that Flayderman mentions.
  11. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    The barrel has definitely been lined and that is 3-groove rifling, plus the cartridge appears to be center fire. A chamber cast would show the caliber. If it is .50-70, then it is very likely to be an old (c. 1867) conversion.

    I really think we can rule out a modern conversion, assuming the statement is true that it has been in the man's family for over 100 years. It may well have been a "bringback" or bought (Bannerman?) long after those guns were sold off when the Model 1873 was adopted.

    Jim
  12. mikiec

    mikiec New Member

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    OK, What is a chamber cast?

    Mike
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