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Old February 3, 2013, 12:44 AM   #1
tylerstg
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Sharps 1863 carbine help

i just inherited this and can't say i know much about it. from what i gather online it hasn't been reworked i was wondering if anyone could give me information on the serial number c19158. pictures will be added soon cheers

-Tyler
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Old February 3, 2013, 01:40 AM   #2
Scorch
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Hi Tyler, and welcome to TFL.

What is the make of your Sharps carbine? Is it a replica? Can you post pictures? Helpful things are any proofmarks, descriptive marks, names, etc anywhere on the barrel or action.
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Old February 3, 2013, 10:31 AM   #3
tylerstg
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it's not a reproduction the firearms is made by sharps
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Last edited by tylerstg; February 3, 2013 at 10:59 AM.
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Old February 3, 2013, 12:22 PM   #4
PetahW
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WOW ! A nice & rare rifle - worth considerable ka-ching.

SN C19156 would have been one of the latest Sharps New Model 1863 built as a .52cal breechloader using paper cartridges.

AFAIK after 100,000 were built a "C" prefix was used in the SN - so SN C19156 represents the 119,156th New Model built.

The Sharps carbine was the most significantly utilized carbine of the Civil War, it was a single shot percussion breechloader using paper cartridge and and revolutionized hand weaponry at the time.
As manufactured by Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Co., Hartford, Connecticut, serial numbers for the "New Model 1863" generally run 75,000 to 140,000, 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 serves as a trigger guard, one iron band, percussion nipple was designed to utilize a tape primer system that did not work very well and was usually disabled, but conventional cap served effectively, hinged Sharps sight, saddle bar and riding ring on left side, rifling with six lands and grooves

The "E.A.W." is a Civil War era Inspector's mark.

.

Last edited by PetahW; February 3, 2013 at 12:28 PM.
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Old February 3, 2013, 01:16 PM   #5
James K
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E.A.W. was E. A. Williams, a Springfield Armory sub-inspector.

While a few early Sharps rifles were made (at government request) for the Maynard tape primer, the priming mechanisms of most Sharps rifles and carbines, including the one seen here, was the Lawrence primer system, which was not a tape primer. It used pellet primers that consisted of two thin copper cups, one fitting into the other, with the priming compound between them. Inside the mechanism there is a plunger or feed arm with one end having a lug that fits into grooves in the inside of the hammer. When the hammer fell, it moved the feed arm forward, shoving a primer pellet out the front and into the path of the hammer. When things worked right, the free-flying pellet was crossing the nipple just as the hammer fell and crushed it.

It seems like something we would later associate with Rube Goldberg, but it did work most of the time. (I have seen one work, using dummy primers.) But the thing was complex and needed to be kept clean, plus the primers were often unavailable, so ordinary musket caps were usually used.

The primers came in tubes containing 20 0r 30 primers, packed in flat sleeves or tin containers holding up to 50 tubes. In spite of problems, there was enough use that the Ordnance Department purchased some 2.5 million of the primer pellets through the war. An original tube of primers will cost well over a hundred dollars today.

Jim
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Old February 3, 2013, 01:53 PM   #6
tylerstg
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another photo

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Old February 3, 2013, 02:07 PM   #7
tylerstg
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in addition any idea as to what the value may be?
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Old February 3, 2013, 02:18 PM   #8
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I'll WAG at about $6-7000.

Jim
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Old February 3, 2013, 06:25 PM   #9
tylerstg
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$6,000???? dollars??????
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Old February 4, 2013, 10:48 AM   #10
PetahW
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Yep - That's what "ka-ching !" meant....... . .

It's not a gun that I'd advise to just leave hanging around - IMO it needs to be under lock/key.



.
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Old February 4, 2013, 08:43 PM   #11
tylerstg
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this isn't under firearms laws is it?
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Old February 4, 2013, 09:34 PM   #12
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Not likely that a 150 year old rifle would fall under any firearms laws. According to the BATFE, it is not a firearm, it is an antique.
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Old February 4, 2013, 10:11 PM   #13
Jim Watson
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Are you in the USA?

It is not a "firearm" under US federal laws.
Some states may restrict it but no more than any other rifle at most.
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Old February 4, 2013, 10:24 PM   #14
James K
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It could bring more; I am going by the photos. Just don't do anything dumb and try to "clean it up". Please. Really cleaning it up could make it worth $500.

I can't find H.G.S. in my list of Army inspectors; he might have been a Sharps company inspector.

Jim
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Old February 4, 2013, 10:53 PM   #15
tylerstg
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judging by the pictures what would you rate the condition at like 30%ish?
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Old February 6, 2013, 09:39 AM   #16
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Quote:
$6,000???? dollars??????
I love it when this site becomes "Antiques Roadshow."
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Old February 6, 2013, 03:49 PM   #17
mete
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Don't mess with it !! It's a fine piece !

Someone in this area , Orange Co NY, wrote a book about Civil War Carbines .Written in the 1970s ? Can someone ID the book ?
There were a very large number of carbines used in the war plenty enough to fill a book !
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Old February 6, 2013, 05:44 PM   #18
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"I love it when this site becomes 'Antiques Roadshow.' "

Makes up for the times when you have to tell someone that his "genuine Revolutionary War pistol owned by George Washington" is a piece of mid-east tourist crap with a lock all cast in one piece and is worth a little bit less than the $25,000 he paid for it.

Jim
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Old February 6, 2013, 06:29 PM   #19
PetahW
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FWIW, on pp 240 of The Standard Catalog of Civil War Firearms by John F. Graf, inspector "H.G.S." is listed as "unknown", with the mark found also on early Starr Carbines - which suggests to me that "H.G.S." was a Gov't arsenal inspector or sub-inspector.

http://books.google.com/books?id=GXC...h.g.s.&f=false


.
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Old February 6, 2013, 11:25 PM   #20
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Your 1863 Sharps carbine is a significant piece of American history. With the arsenal inspectors stamp on it and near certainty of it having been used in the War Of Northern Aggression (as the Southerners called it) it has quite a bit of value. Don't let the lack of finish fool you, antique guns are judged differently than modern firearms are, and yours is in very good to excellent condition.

Don't let someone talk you out of it for less than 5-6K. That's right, it's worth that much. If it was mine I would keep it and cherish the memory of the relative or friend that thought enough of you to leave such a special piece of history.
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Old February 9, 2013, 01:12 AM   #21
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I think the values quoted are a bit high. Very nice carbine though.

Check some of the known dealers in antique arms. I just looked at a couple online, and decent carbines can be had for much less then $6k. Very good Buffalo Sharps can be had for much less than that. That doesn't detract from your gun, just be realistic in expectations.
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Old February 9, 2013, 02:46 PM   #22
tylerstg
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i want to thank everyone you've all been extraordinarily helpful
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Old April 1, 2014, 11:03 PM   #23
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5 to 6k? That is way too high. Its a 2500 to 3k gun. I just bought one in fine condition for 2500 shipped to my door. I turned one down for 4200 that made this one look like it was rode hard and put away wet. 90 percent on the blue and 60 on the case colors. It was a very nice gun but for the difference I can now look for my 1858 Remington.
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Old April 7, 2014, 01:56 PM   #24
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I don't have any idea about the fair market value but that is a hell of a nice Sharps carbine! Research and contacting the high end dealers and auction houses will get you a good handle on its market value.
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Old April 10, 2014, 12:23 AM   #25
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Last post Tylerstg made was August 2013 but hey, he still might be lurking...

If you are still around what did you do with the Sharps?
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