Tell me more! Help with markings on firearms

JW in SC

Private
Joined
Mar 20, 2021
Below is my intial posting on this site. I was referred to this forum for some possible help. Thank you.

Good evening from the cradle of the Confederacy. I look forward to learning from your posts and participating when I think I have something of interest. One of the first items I'd like to get your assistance is information on a couple firearms I have in my modest collection. I've got a pretty good handle on the following two:
Model 1842 U.S. Percussion Musket 69cal made in Harper's Ferry. Barrel was rifled between 1856-1859
Model 1868 U.S. Springfield Rifle 50 cal "Trapdoor". Lock plate with 1863 date.

I just acquired and need help with the following:

Sharps New Model 1863 Carbine 52 cal with serial number 37984. Converted to cartridge in 1867. Has all correct inspector marks and cartouches however there is a single capital F stamped under the sling bar. Any idea what this signifies?

Spencer Repeating Carbine 52 cal with serial number 43960. The Spencer is in good shape and all correct markings on metal. But I can't find a cartouche that is supposedly just behind the sling bar. Do any of you have an example of the oval shaped cartouche?

I would appreciate any suggestions where I may be able to find more info on these firearms.

I will forward photos of each gun in a separate post. Thanks again.

Sharps 1.JPG


Sharps 2.JPG


Sharps 3.JPG


Sharps 4.JPG
 

bayonet

Private
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Whoa Buddy, is there a capitol letter "C" in front of your Sharps serial #? I believe that serial # is too low for a New Model 1863 if I'm correct. There is no Cartouche on my Spencer either. Want a laugh, when I brought it the Numnuts said and advertised it as serial #39321 but when I got it home and cleaned it up a bit it was Serial #47262. He was reading it upside down. He had to refund me back $400 or take the deal back.
 

JW in SC

Private
Joined
Mar 20, 2021
Whoa Buddy, is there a capitol letter "C" in front of your Sharps serial #? I believe that serial # is too low for a New Model 1863 if I'm correct. There is no Cartouche on my Spencer either. Want a laugh, when I brought it the Numnuts said and advertised it as serial #39321 but when I got it home and cleaned it up a bit it was Serial #47262. He was reading it upside down. He had to refund me back $400 or take the deal back.
No C (which I know designates over the number 100,000) and I am not reading the serial number upside down. Very clear on the tang of the breech. What I have been able to find is the serial number appears to have been used during the period of time manufacturing the New Model 1859. Sometime during it's life a New Model 63 barrell was married to the 1859 stock and breech? All other markings are consistent with the carbines being produced for all three New Model 1859, 1863 and 1865. Inspection mark on twist (I assume during original manufacture) and the second inspection mark (DCW) shown to reflect the 1867 metallic cartridge conversion. Maybe a New Model 1863 barrell was added then? Your thoughts?
 

bayonet

Private
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Didn't mean you were reading the serial # upside down, I added that as a story that happened to me on my Spencer but we are talking about your Sharps. So you have a parts gun? To tell you the truth it looks brand new, are you sure its's not a repo? I stopped reenacting over 10 years ago as Union Infantry. Running around in 100% wool in 100 degree heat after age 50 ain't smart. I got tired of hauling around heat casualties of guys in their 60s & 70s. Can't remember if the Cavalry guys had repo Sharps. There are more wiser guys here than me on the subject if they jump in. To me it looks like it never left the Armory (except for that small ding in the stock). The color of the barrel to the rest of the gun is different plus some of the screws are different shades so yeah looks like a parts gun.
 

bayonet

Private
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Actually I was at a Range once and a guy had a repo percussion Sharps and for a dollar a shot would let you shoot it. I took 2 or 3 shots. Nice
 

ucvrelics

Colonel
Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Joined
May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
No C (which I know designates over the number 100,000) and I am not reading the serial number upside down. Very clear on the tang of the breech. What I have been able to find is the serial number appears to have been used during the period of time manufacturing the New Model 1859. Sometime during it's life a New Model 63 barrell was married to the 1859 stock and breech? All other markings are consistent with the carbines being produced for all three New Model 1859, 1863 and 1865. Inspection mark on twist (I assume during original manufacture) and the second inspection mark (DCW) shown to reflect the 1867 metallic cartridge conversion. Maybe a New Model 1863 barrell was added then? Your thoughts?
I believe that the wood has been refinished post conversion so that would have eliminated any cartouche's Below is a link that will help answer some of you questions.
http://www.relicman.com/weapons/Weapon2427-Breechloader-Sharps-Carbine-Model-1863-v4 .html
 

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
When the percussion Sharps were converted, they were given new parts as needed, and most have the back stock replaced. The wood on this has been sanded in recent times - you can see how the sanded surfaces are below the surfaces of the metal, and there are gaps between metal and wood. This is not now old wood was cleaned / sanded at the arsenal, and so was done by some collector to make the gun look nicer.
 

JW in SC

Private
Joined
Mar 20, 2021
When the percussion Sharps were converted, they were given new parts as needed, and most have the back stock replaced. The wood on this has been sanded in recent times - you can see how the sanded surfaces are below the surfaces of the metal, and there are gaps between metal and wood. This is not now old wood was cleaned / sanded at the arsenal, and so was done by some collector to make the gun look nicer.
Thanks
 

JW in SC

Private
Joined
Mar 20, 2021
Didn't mean you were reading the serial # upside down, I added that as a story that happened to me on my Spencer but we are talking about your Sharps. So you have a parts gun? To tell you the truth it looks brand new, are you sure its's not a repo? I stopped reenacting over 10 years ago as Union Infantry. Running around in 100% wool in 100 degree heat after age 50 ain't smart. I got tired of hauling around heat casualties of guys in their 60s & 70s. Can't remember if the Cavalry guys had repo Sharps. There are more wiser guys here than me on the subject if they jump in. To me it looks like it never left the Armory (except for that small ding in the stock). The color of the barrel to the rest of the gun is different plus some of the screws are different shades so yeah looks like a parts gun.
Thanks.
 

JW in SC

Private
Joined
Mar 20, 2021
Didn't mean you were reading the serial # upside down, I added that as a story that happened to me on my Spencer but we are talking about your Sharps. So you have a parts gun? To tell you the truth it looks brand new, are you sure its's not a repo? I stopped reenacting over 10 years ago as Union Infantry. Running around in 100% wool in 100 degree heat after age 50 ain't smart. I got tired of hauling around heat casualties of guys in their 60s & 70s. Can't remember if the Cavalry guys had repo Sharps. There are more wiser guys here than me on the subject if they jump in. To me it looks like it never left the Armory (except for that small ding in the stock). The color of the barrel to the rest of the gun is different plus some of the screws are different shades so yeah looks like a parts gun.
Thanks. Yes there is no doubt the carbine has been refurbished at least the sanding and cleaning of the stock. (The missing cartouche was on my Spencer. I may have made it unclear on my initial post.) I don't mind cleaning/sanding of the wood because I seek out arsenal refurbs on certain models. I love the design, fit and finish of the wood and hardware on older guns. I am still attempting to reconcile the 1859 serial number to the New Model 1863 marking

The last thing I want is something that looks like it should be hung over the fireplace at Cracker Barrel. I do have an 1870's Belgium made Damascus double barrel rifle-shot (52 cal rifle and 28 gauge shotgun) and an 1861 Colt that would look good at Cracker Barrel Most of my collection are firearms made between 1878 and 1955. Colts, Brownings, Winchesters, Marlins, Savage, etc. I have modern firearms as well but I am not a big fan of composites or chasing the latest trend in firearms. Thanks again.
 

JW in SC

Private
Joined
Mar 20, 2021
I believe that the wood has been refinished post conversion so that would have eliminated any cartouche's Below is a link that will help answer some of you questions.
http://www.relicman.com/weapons/Weapon2427-Breechloader-Sharps-Carbine-Model-1863-v4 .html
Thank you for the referral to that site. The markings and cartuouche on my gun are idential to the examples on this site. My stock has been refurbished but that is okay with me. Thanks again.

The missing cartouche is on my Spencer. I may have not made that clear on my original post.
 

ucvrelics

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Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Joined
May 7, 2016
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JW in SC

Private
Joined
Mar 20, 2021
This is a shot of my 1865 Spencer.
View attachment 395467
Do you know the approximate manufacturing date of your gun? I may be looking for something that doesn't exist on guns with the same serial number range of my gun. My source of information, Flayderman, only makes reference to inspector marks on "post war alteration" guns. I know he was not the only source for information so I'm sure there are others you could recommend to get such info? Thanks.
 

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