Wednesday, November 2, 2016

1st Model Sharps

Christian Sharps was issued a patent for his design of a breech-loading rifle on September 12, 1848. It would become known as the Model 1849 Rifle (a.k.a. 1st Model Sharps). 
The rifle was manufactured by Albert S. Nippes of Mill Creek, Pennsylvania, for Christian Sharps in 1849.

It was a breech loader that used paper cartridges. The rifle features the distinctive brass circular disk automatic capping device on the right side of the breech. To operate, the hammer was set at half cock and the lever lowered which dropped the breech block. When the breech block, which also contained the nipple, was dropped the capping device would automatically cap the nipple, cartridge would be inserted, breech closed and you were ready to full cock and fire.

Very few Sharps Model 1849 Rifles were manufactured; estimates of total production range from 50-150 rifles.

The top of the barrel is roll-stamped: "MANUFACTURED/BY/A.S. NIPPES/ PHILADA PA" in four lines behind the rear sight. "C.SHARPS/PATENT/1848" is stamped in three lines on the top of the breech.



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