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Old March 15, 2013, 11:08 AM   #1
ctbob
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Sharps Carbine

I inherited this Sharps Rifle recently. I don't have much information on its background. Can anyone give me any idea of the history of this type of rifle? There are several things stamped on the barrel, including patents Sharps (1852), Lawrence (1859), serial number C20800 (I think), and "New Model 803" (I think. it's tough to read). It seems to be in pretty good shape. All of the moving parts operate freely, including hammer, trigger, breech loading mechanism, etc. I don't know how it's condition compares with others of its vintage. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old March 15, 2013, 01:21 PM   #2
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Wow...
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Old March 15, 2013, 03:16 PM   #3
Ozzieman
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That’s not a WOW!
That is an OMG!! You lucky dog!
The following web site is what I use for Sharps. Hope it helps.
http://relicman.com/weapons/zArchive...bineSharps.htm
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Old March 15, 2013, 03:51 PM   #4
ctbob
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Thank you! I'll try to figure out which one I have.
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Old March 15, 2013, 06:15 PM   #5
McShooty
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It is a nice looking Sharps carbine. It would appear to be a model of 1863 and, since it has no patchbox on the right side of the stock, it would be one of the later 1863s, as is shown by the serial number. A "C" in front of the number stands for 100,000, so your serial number is actually 120800. The New Model 803 I suspect is "New Model 1863." The Lawrence patent is for the priming system. It used an automatic pellet primer system which did not work very well. The first 1863 carbines were shipped in late 1863, I think, too late for Gettysburg, but some were used in the last year and a half of the Civil War. Following the war, many Sharps were converted to cartridge arms and used on the western frontier. When found, they generally look quite a bit worse than yours, but generally bring good prices because foks associate them with buffalo hunting and the plains indian wars. Yours is not so converted. These are valuable arms, especially so if you can find some Civil War connection for that serial number.
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Old March 16, 2013, 09:18 AM   #6
ctbob
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Thank you very much. Would you have any idea where i could research the civil war history of the rifle?
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Old March 16, 2013, 12:48 PM   #7
McShooty
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Amazon sells a book "Civil War Sharps Carbines and Rifles" by Coates and McAuly. It has a lot of information on Sharps arms and the regiments they were issued to, according to serial number. You may or may not find your number in this reference but it is worth a look. Even if your rifle is not listed, this is a good book to have for someone interested in the Sharps, and you have a good start on that. It is an important part of firearms history and American history.

Last edited by McShooty; March 16, 2013 at 12:54 PM.
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Old March 16, 2013, 02:55 PM   #8
PetahW
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There's no need, to re-invent the wheel.

A Sharps Carbine, with a SN 1,000 below yours, was previously covered (about 8 weeks ago) - with better pics:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...sharps+carbine

You would be well advised to inspect your specimen, for various inspection/inspector's & other marks/stampings, and take/post some close/clear/bright pics, as well.



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Old March 17, 2013, 10:34 AM   #9
ctbob
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Here are a few more photos of the marks/stampings.
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File Type: jpg 2013-03-16 17.48.35.jpg (250.8 KB, 8 views)
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Old March 17, 2013, 10:35 AM   #10
ctbob
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And a few more...
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Old March 17, 2013, 10:36 AM   #11
ctbob
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and last marking that I could find - the serial number.

Thanks to all for your help with this!
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Old March 17, 2013, 12:27 PM   #12
PetahW
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You have a New Model Sharps 1863 Carbine, w/o the iron patchbox on the RH side of the buttstock (they were made both with/without).

The Sharps New Model SN's started around Sharps SN30000 (The first/earlier Sharps started at SN1 in 1849)

There were approx 65,000 made from SN75000 to SN100000 & From C00001 to C140000.

The "J.E.C." stamped into the sling ring base is a Civil War Era inspector's mark for J.E. Cummings, 1862-63 - who was AFAIK a US Gov't inspector for 1862 Colt and Whitney revolvers; Spencer rifles; Sharps & Hankins
carbines; and who knows what else................



.

Last edited by PetahW; March 17, 2013 at 12:32 PM.
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