North American Auction Company
Timed Auction

Last Chance September Passed Lots Auction

Mon, Sep 25, 2023 02:00AM EDT - Fri, Sep 29, 2023 03:00PM EDT
Lot 74

RARE Sharps Model 1863 3 Band .52 Percussion Rifle

Estimate: $4,600 - $5,500

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$50 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$35,000 $2,500
Rare unaltered Sharps New Model 1863 three-band .52 caliber percussion military rifle. Only 6,150 of these long military breech loaders were produced for the Union forces during the Civil War. Considering that nearly 100,000 Sharps Carbines were produced, the rarity of these three-band rifles comes into focus. Additionally, a good number of these rifles were converted to cartridge after the Civil War, making an unaltered percussion example even more scarce. All of these rifles were issued and most saw very heavy use during the war. They were coveted by infantry soldiers fortunate enough to be issued a Sharps rifle when most were issued muzzle loading rifles. The Sharps breechloading system was fast and efficient. One simply dropped the lever to expose the chamber, insert a pre-wrapped paper cartridge containing powder and bullet, lift the lever, cock the hammer and either use the automatic disc priming mechanism or place a percussion cap on the nipple and fire. The rapidity of fire combined with the legendary Sharps accuracy made this one of the most formidable weapons of the Civil War. The famed Berdan’s Sharpshooters regiment, one of America’s first team of snipers, was armed with a variant of this rifle. Featuring an iron patchbox in the stock and 30” barrel that would accept a socket bayonet, the Sharps New Model Rifle was also one of the most handsome and best balanced rifles of the North-South Conflict. Because of their noted power and accuracy, most of these rifles went West after the Civil War where they were used for both protection and hunting of large game like bison, elk and grizzly bear. The New Model 1863 three-band rifles were serial numbered in the C30,000 to C40,000 range (the “C” stood for the numeral “1”) and this rifle falls right in the middle with correct number C34380. While it has seen typical Civil War battle usage, this rifle is in fine condition. The stock, which retains a light wrist inspection cartouche, and forearm are both solid, without cracks or chips. The barrel shows good very aged blue with fine three line Sharps Rifle Manufg, Co. Hartford, Conn markings along with the New Model 1863 stamping. Complete with correct sling swivels and lever catch. The barrel also retains the original Lawrence marked ladder rear sight with slide intact. All screw heads are good. The receiver shows a dark aged patina with all the correct Sharps and patent markings. The action is tight with strong springs and solid safety half-cock on the hammer. The bore still retains good rifling. One of the most sought after of the Civil War rifles, and one of the most difficult to obtain due to their limited production. Many never survived the harsh conditions of the war and of those that did, many never survived the equally harsh conditions of the Post-War Westward expansion. These do not come up for sale often. Serial Number: C34380. This firearm qualifies as an Antique, and does not require FFL Transfer or NICS Background Check.

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