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Old July 8, 2012, 09:29 PM   #1
dreamweaver
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?? Palmetto Sharps???

Just picked up a 45-70 sharps replica made by Palmetto in italy in 1984.
one of 50 guns made for allen firearms of sante fe new mexico. no others were ever made.
it's a "Gemmer" model, whatever that means. I thought Gemmer was a gunsmith for Hawken Rifles (?).
there's only one other of these currently listed for sale online, for $2495.00, which is much more than i paid.
if anyone has any info on these, it would be greatly appreciated.
thanks!
tom
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Old July 9, 2012, 09:12 AM   #2
Jim Watson
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All I know is that Palmetto was an Italian repro maker who built the highly regarded Garrett Sharps rifles. Unfavorable exchange rates hurt sales and Frank Garrett quit dealing in them. Some Palmetto rifles were sold here for a while by other importers Like Allen, but apparently not for long. Mr Garrett said that Palmetto sold their tooling to Pedersoli who still does a good business in Sharps copies.

$2495 sounds like a lot, even for a low production item, but when you consider that a plain vanilla Pedersoli runs from $1150 up to $2250 for one with some engraving, it might not be too far out of line.

As to the Gemmer Sharps itself, Mr Gemmer bought the Hawken shop in 1865 and kept it in business for some time. The muzzleloaders that made the Hawkens famous were becoming obsolete, so Gemmer turned to breechloaders. He used factory actions but barrelled and stocked them in the same style as the Hawkens' well known muzzleloaders.
I have seen Gemmer Sharps original and reproduction pictured and shot alongside a Gemmer Trapdoor reproduction.
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Old July 9, 2012, 02:40 PM   #3
dreamweaver
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thanks for the info!
i was told the palmetto/allen sharps retailed for $600 in 1984.
the one i have has the pedesoli front and mid range back peep site set.
i'm guessing they were added later.
(they are still available for around $300/set.)
any idea what is different about a "Gemmer" sharps?
the foreword stock on mine comes off after removing 2 decorative slide pins.
i didn't notice that on a shiloh sharps i looked at.
thanks again
tom
btw, i paid $850 for mine OTD and its "as new"
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Old July 9, 2012, 04:23 PM   #4
Jim Watson
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Quote:
any idea what is different about a "Gemmer" sharps?
the foreword stock on mine comes off after removing 2 decorative slide pins.
i didn't notice that on a shiloh sharps i looked at.
I thought I said that: "He used factory actions but barrelled and stocked them in the same style as the Hawkens' well known muzzleloaders."

Piece by piece:
Gemmer put on an octagon barrel if the rifle did not come with one, like a Trapdoor Springfield.
He retained the foreend by a key or keys like a muzzleloader, as you mention, where Sharps used a screw and Springfield used bands.
He installed a barrel underrib and loops for a cleaning rod like a muzzleloader ramrod.
He put on a buttstock with a lot of drop and with a crescent buttplate, like a Hawken muzzleloader, where a Sharps came with either a military buttplate or a shotgun butt.
He often installed a patchbox and an iron pistol grip curl, again like a Hawken muzzleloader, where a breechloader did not much need a patchbox and was likely to have a plain straight grip or a true pistol grip.
He often used a buckhorn rear sight instead of the Sharps Lawrence patent sight.

I don't know how much of this stuff your Palmetto/Allen has, but I have seen it one time or another on Gemmers and reproductions. Probably some other things I don't remember. He would have put double set triggers on an Army surplus Trapdoor Springfield, for example.
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Old July 9, 2012, 07:36 PM   #5
dreamweaver
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thanks again!
i've never looked closely at the other variations, so your explanation of the Gemmer version is very helpful.
did any other versions have the double trigger?
sorry for all the dumb questions, but i'm fascinated with the history.
tom
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Old July 9, 2012, 09:09 PM   #6
Jim Watson
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I expect more of them had double set triggers than not.
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