Got me a "REAL" 1859 SHARPS!

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rbertalotto
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Got me a "REAL" 1859 SHARPS!

#1 Post by rbertalotto » Wed May 16, 2018 7:33 pm

Hey....It's got a lever!

Finally got me a REAL Sharps. Bought it from a fantastic guy on the CAS forum...THANKS DOUG!

The condition is fantastic. Much better than I expected! The barrel will be relined as the bore is trash. It is currently a 50-70 and will stay in this caliber. Barrel liner, dies, brass and bullet mold are on their way from Track Of The Wolf.

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Now I have a million questions about it. Mostly about the mechanism that lives under the hammer. Anyone know what this all about.

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Also, where can I research the serial number and maybe find a bit of history about this rifle?

Loads of pictures here:

http://public.fotki.com/Rbertalotto/thi ... s-carbine/
Roy B
Dartmouth, MA
www.rvbprecision.com

missionary5155
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Re: Got me a "REAL" 1859 SHARPS!

#2 Post by missionary5155 » Wed May 16, 2018 8:28 pm

Good evening
That is a nice looking 1859 ! 50-70 is one fine caliber for popping whatever gets in the way. A round ball works real well on smaller critters.
Have one also but our's is still with the original barrel. That "mechanism" was the "auto tape primer". Each time the hammer was cocked a small lever advanced the primer tape for the next shot. Think of the old cap pistols many of us grew up with and you have the idea. Worked OK when everything was good.
So open the side plate off and on and grease the parts (if they are present) as moisture / crud will get in there. But otherwise it is a piece of history past for rapid priming.
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rbertalotto
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Re: Got me a "REAL" 1859 SHARPS!

#3 Post by rbertalotto » Wed May 16, 2018 9:06 pm

Actually, I did some research and the mechanism is the “Lawrence Pelley Primer System”. A far superior system to the Maynard Tape System. And the Army bought a number of rifles for th3 Berdan Sharp Shooters with this system. Could this possibly be a Berdan Sharpshooter Rifle!
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ollogger
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Re: Got me a "REAL" 1859 SHARPS!

#4 Post by ollogger » Wed May 16, 2018 9:29 pm

Wish I knew some thing about them but don't, cool gun for Shure!!!


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Re: Got me a "REAL" 1859 SHARPS!

#5 Post by Lefty Dude » Wed May 16, 2018 11:30 pm

Most likely it was 57 Sharps cal. that shot a Christmas tree bullet. It was a paper cartridge or you could loose fill the chamber after breech seating the bullet. back in the middle 1980's I had a Pedersolli , exact replica. Mine was the civilian sports model, the piece had a tapered octagon barrel 1" across the flats. It also had the priming system on the piece. I shot loose fill in the chamber, it came with a single cavity Christmas Tree bullet mold. The Rifle I had was a heavy piece, was close to 10 pounds or more in weight.

My bad, I sold it 20 years ago.
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Re: Got me a "REAL" 1859 SHARPS!

#6 Post by gamekeeper » Thu May 17, 2018 3:17 am

Congratulations, that sure is a very interesting firearm......... :mrgreen:
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rbertalotto
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Re: Got me a "REAL" 1859 SHARPS!

#7 Post by rbertalotto » Thu May 17, 2018 4:28 am

A few other folks have informed me that it is a M1863 converted to 50-70 and is now an M1868 with a Lawrence Priming System. More research will tell where and when it went into service.
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Re: Got me a "REAL" 1859 SHARPS!

#8 Post by Pitchy » Thu May 17, 2018 6:27 am

Very nice congrats. 8)
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Re: Got me a "REAL" 1859 SHARPS!

#9 Post by Malamute » Thu May 17, 2018 9:59 am

Very nice! It should give good service.

There were quite a lot of them converted from percussion to 50-70 cartridge by government arsenals after the Civil War. They did the minimal amount of work, and left the old pellet primer system lockplates on them with internal parts intact in most cases I believe. The barrel was relined, the breech block replaced, and the hammer replaced.

Being a carbine, its unlikely it was a sharpshooters rifle. They used 3 band rifles as far as i know. I think the pellet primer system was fairly common.

Something many dont realize, a great many of the Sharps buffalo guns were built from converted percussion carbines, before the 1874 came out, and likely even afterwards, by the factory and by individual gunsmiths. The carbines were fairly cheap and made a good starting point, or were all that was easily available before the 74s came out. Most just assume all cartridge Sharps buffalo guns were 1874s.

The conversion guns are easy to spot once one knows the things to look for. The 74 type hammers were most commonly used on sporting rifles/buffalo guns, not the taller, percussion-esque shape replacement hammer on this conversion gun, but the lower, sleeker looking 74 type hammers, and the lock plate was ground down and filled as needed. The percussion lock plates are thicker, and the conversion guns usually still have the screw on the bottom of the lockplate. The military carbine stocks are also usually retained, and the sling ring bar (usually called a saddle ring today) is normally cut off, the the long oval plate left, instead of the small escutcheon for the lockplate screw of later guns. The front end of the sling bar is also ground off flush with the frame, and usually shoes if you look closely. Once the carbine barrels were replaced with either an octagon, or heavy round Business Rifle type barrel and sporter fore end, they cease looking like converted percussion carbines, and get lumped in with the 74s in most peoples minds. The conversion guns have tons of history, both in military carbine form, and as rebuilt buffalo guns.
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Isnt it amazing how many people post without reading the thread?

rbertalotto
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Re: Got me a "REAL" 1859 SHARPS!

#10 Post by rbertalotto » Thu May 17, 2018 10:33 am

Great information. Thanks!
Roy B
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Bill in Oregon
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Re: Got me a "REAL" 1859 SHARPS!

#11 Post by Bill in Oregon » Fri May 18, 2018 6:49 am

Roy, great find. You owe yourself a copy of Frank Sellers' "Sharps Firearms" if you don't already have one.

rbertalotto
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Re: Got me a "REAL" 1859 SHARPS!

#12 Post by rbertalotto » Fri May 18, 2018 7:25 am

Great book. I have a well read copy. Been a Sharps fan for years. I have a 74 and a 75. Both reproductions. 45-70 and 38-55 respectively. I ordered three more Sharps books from Amazon. Now need a rainy day to read them.
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Re: Got me a "REAL" 1859 SHARPS!

#13 Post by rbertalotto » Sat May 19, 2018 6:29 pm

Took the butt plate off th3 Sharps to da6 to see if it had a serial number. No serial number but someone, long ago, put a leaf under th3 butt plate. No way it could have gotten in ther3 on its own. The leaf material was just dust, but the veins were still there. Interesting! I wonder what tha5 was all about?
Roy B
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Re: Got me a "REAL" 1859 SHARPS!

#14 Post by Pitchy » Sat May 19, 2018 7:02 pm

4 leaf clover. ?
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Re: Got me a "REAL" 1859 SHARPS!

#15 Post by rbertalotto » Sat May 19, 2018 7:39 pm

Nope, some kind of long leaf disiduous (sp?) leaf
Roy B
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www.rvbprecision.com

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