Learned I'm new owner of a C. Sharps 1863 carbine

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ewmail15

Retired User
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Wow, thanks for all the posts. I couldn't believe my luck when I was able to remove all the necessary screws to figure out what's missing.

First to come out was the linch pin. Wiggled a bit and the breach block came out, with the lever still connected. don't understand yet the mechanics of a percussion firing system, but learn I will.

Next came the lockplate bolt on the left side. Was way easier by way of removing all the crud in this/other screws with a nice razor blade. Cheap/strong regular screw driver blade made loosening the screws easy indeed - no stripping at all on the heads.

Thought I had to also remove the bottom screw for the lockplate to separate it from the barrel body, but oh how happily surprised I was when out of the blue it just fell off, safely on a towel.. That bottom screw had strip marks all over it, along with a hammer effect from the side that would have been an obstacle to freely undoing that screw.

The inner screw that kept the saddle bar stub (nothing left- this is survivor of a piecing-out effort) again came out wit relative ease, given 150+ years. This screw and the lockplate screw were the only pieces with bluing.

With the lockplate off, I referenced an eBay pic and knew the main spring was missing. Why the heck would that be? That "wishbone" spring is on order from lodgewood.

Stlll not sure what other part(s) I'm missing. Saw a "firing pin" listed on eBay as maybe that mechanical piece needed to be operational. I'll check schematics, and cross my fingers that that's the piece that fits between the nipple and the hammer.

A third part is missing, which bolts to the top of the lockplate. Mine has an exposed track(oddly bent outward/to the left). Again, schematics should guide me there. Attached is the view from the rear.

Oh what fun I'm having!
 

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Patrick H

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Wow, thanks for all the posts. I couldn't believe my luck when I was able to remove all the necessary screws to figure out what's missing.

First to come out was the linch pin. Wiggled a bit and the breach block came out, with the lever still connected. don't understand yet the mechanics of a percussion firing system, but learn I will.

Next came the lockplate bolt on the left side. Was way easier by way of removing all the crud in this/other screws with a nice razor blade. Cheap/strong regular screw driver blade made loosening the screws easy indeed - no stripping at all on the heads.

Thought I had to also remove the bottom screw for the lockplate to separate it from the barrel body, but oh how happily surprised I was when out of the blue it just fell off, safely on a towel.. That bottom screw had strip marks all over it, along with a hammer effect from the side that would have been an obstacle to freely undoing that screw.

The inner screw that kept the saddle bar stub (nothing left- this is survivor of a piecing-out effort) again came out wit relative ease, given 150+ years. This screw and the lockplate screw were the only pieces with bluing.

With the lockplate off, I referenced an eBay pic and knew the main spring was missing. Why the heck would that be? That "wishbone" spring is on order from lodgewood.

Stlll not sure what other part(s) I'm missing. Saw a "firing pin" listed on eBay as maybe that mechanical piece needed to be operational. I'll check schematics, and cross my fingers that that's the piece that fits between the nipple and the hammer.

A third part is missing, which bolts to the top of the lockplate. Mine has an exposed track(oddly bent outward/to the left). Again, schematics should guide me there. Attached is the view from the rear.

Oh what fun I'm having!
Wow, you are having some terrific luck with that Sharps. Please post your progress as you work along. Sounds like we don't need to remind you to use great caution on those screws. You can still bungle them up if you get in a hurry. I personally hope you resist the urge to over-clean the carbine. Of course, you want to get any rusting arrested, but you know that.

Best of luck with this!
 

Jobe Holiday

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 1, 2010
Location
The Perpetually Frozen North
ewmail 15 - You mentioned the presence of a "nipple", there is nothing that goes in between the nipple and the hammer. If you do in fact have a nipple in place in the breech block then you will not have a "firing pin". These came into use only after the percussion models were converted to cartridge. Your latest photo shows the remnants of the Lawrence Pellet Priming System, which is part of the lock plate. It was a bit complicated and not popular, hence many of them were dis-assembled, like yours. I would doubt if any of those original Lawrence feed mechanism parts are available any longer. S&S may have a few left somewhere in their storage area, but I wouldn't count on it.
J.
 
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ewmail15

Retired User
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
I had some money to burn from my birthday (nice surprise from my dad), plus with Lodgewood being only an hour away in Whitewater, WI, I decided to make the road trip. I learned the "tang" was bent, plus the lever platform was also bent. I knew the platform had a stress fracture, but thought it was the right form. Didn't know it was supposed to be straight/flat. That set me back a reasonable $25. Much better condition than mine, but not too much nicer (no rust, slight bluing still there).

Couldn't afford one of Dave's NOS forearm wood pieces ($75) or the band ($125 - ouch). He also had stocks, but I was out of dough and wanted the two wood pieces to match, so I passed. Dave used to work at the company while going to UW Whitewater, and after marrying he talked his wife into buying the business from the former owner. What a way to keep the history rolling.

Below are what I did pick up:

Pellet feeder stuff - another bleeping ouch, but it's all in having fun and educumating myself on these old beautiful pieces of history...
Barrel Band Spring - $35
Pellet Cover (Original) - $25
Pellet Feeder Arm (Feed Slide) (Original) - $35
Pellet Feeder Cover Spring (Cut off Primer Spring) - $25
Pellet Feeder Magazine Spring - $27

Saddle Bar - $35 (would like ring)
Rear Tang Screw - $12 (didn't have front)
Main Spring - $20
Rear Lock Plate Screw - $12 (had front)

Once I figure out how the four pellet pieces fit together along the lockplate track, I'll hopefully the dough spent was worth it. I believe the barrel band spring is part of the four pieces. The one attached jpg above didn't have those pieces.
Q - anyone have a Lawrence feeder diagram?
Dave talked thru the assembly, but I wasn't mentally recording. The spring is only going to do its thing if I can remove that bottom lockplate screw, which I'll try tonight.

The hammer is also bent, so Dave mentioned to use an acetylene style heat for this and the tang part of the barrel rear, where it's bolted to the stock). I don't have that equipment.
Q - Anyone have an idea on how best I should straighten out the two parts? What's the right kind of shop to even take them to be straightened?

He gave me a gold-colored piece of cut metal (?) for the front sight, and said to check pics online and grind down accordingly, drill out the pin that's already in one side. Not sure the metal, but maybe I'll put that off til the end.

Q - Anyone have these parts in useable condition:
Front tang screw (Dave n/a)
Front lever platform screw (screws into barrel base; Dave n/a)
Rear sight (Dave's was $250)
Saddle bar ring (Dave n/a)
Forearm/screw/band and stock/butt/screws - beat up would be fine; matching wood color and type preferable

Dave called it an attic grade, and said the remaining parts would run me another $700-800. That's just not an option. In one trip I already spent too much on this attic grade rifle. I need a barn or garage sale find like the one last week, only with the wood & such...
 
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Jobe Holiday

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 1, 2010
Location
The Perpetually Frozen North
Whatever you do with the bent upper frame tang......be extremely careful, for that is THE weakest part of a Sharps and is prone to snapping in half through the screw hole. The reason is because the frame was case-hardened. Believe me, I have had several of them repaired, and it is neither cheap nor fun!
J.
 

ewmail15

Retired User
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Jobe, what level of heat is enough to allow for straightening? I'm afraid that without the stock I or whoever with the right equipment would possibly have to do a re-heat.

On my first post today, I went dense on that barrel band spring. Just figured out Dave threw that piece in as part of the pellet feeder system. It's not part of the system, but now I need the cut off arm. The other three parts are fine, and when I remove that bottom lock plate screw, insert the spring and plunger, AND fix the hammer so its inner pattern contacts the pellet feeder arm, I'll be in the clouds.

Next on the agenda tonight is swapping the parts off the deformed trigger plate, if all the screws cooperate.

That main spring was nasty, but it's all in place, and simulating the pull on the trigger pulled the hammer down nicely. I had to wedge my screw driver between the lower bar of the main spring, then put the screw driver handle in the vice and torqued it so I had enough space to install the locking screw.

Here are some pics...
 

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Jobe Holiday

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 1, 2010
Location
The Perpetually Frozen North
As for heating the bent tang, too hot to touch, and then straighten it between two flat metal plates because the bottom should be straight, but I would wait until you get a butt stock to fit it to. I have noticed that the lower arm of your main spring does not touch the sear bar, which it has to do so as to double as the sear spring so to put pressure on the sear so it will engage the full and half cock notches under pressure.
J.
 

ewmail15

Retired User
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
That was an easy 5-minute effort to swap over the trigger plate parts to the new one.

On the breach block, I did remove the nipple, let the whole thing soak again in a pool of the pb blaster for a few hours, but after minutes at 90 psi blowing into both ends, I still couldn't feel the air flowing out the other end. The straight down (nipple) and straight in (barrel end) are clean as I can make them. I see a screw that's very worn that's right in line with where the horizontal connection between both routes would be. If I was able to remove that screw, would that give me the ability to clean it out completely?

I could try drilling it out and after completely cleaning the route, maybe I could just weld it back up after it's clean. I didn't check the lodgewood site for this type screw, but gotta believe it's a very rarely available screw.

I did pick up a three-piece (for different size screws) extraction tool set. Tomorrow I'll try the set out on this screw, as well as on the broken screw that's in the barrel unit where the trigger plate front screws into place.
 

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Jobe Holiday

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 1, 2010
Location
The Perpetually Frozen North
The clean-out screw, which you have properly identified with the buggered slot, is fully hardened all the way to the center of the screw. Be very careful, for even though it shows evidence of having been removed numerous times in the past it is most likely frozen up solid now. And speaking of evidence, the frame tang and the trigger plate show all the characteristics of the carbine having been swung by the barrel, against a tree or some such thing, and having smashed the stock off of it.
J.
 

ewmail15

Retired User
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Jobe, I see what you stated about the lower arm of the main spring. It was tough as heck to fit the spring in place with the stud in the lock plate side. Everything looked flush until I had to install the retaining screw. The sear does engage the tumbler first tooth, but only because there's gravity at play. I just checked other lock plate assemblies online and indeed the lower end of that spring is bent upwards but should not be. I'll see if I can bend it any, by maybe using a small vice grip on the middle of the spring, and bend downward the end with a screw driver.

I also tried every tool I had to loosen up the clean out screw, but nothing gripped securely. I tried the screw extruder set but that was pure wasted effort. It did get me down close to the thread, so with patience I should be able to remove the remaining screw material. What set me back was a small part of my drill bit breaking off. I tried some larger/stronger(?) drill bits but no go. For now, I'm just trying to see if apple cider vinegar in the hole where the nipple was screwed in will loosen up the material. Both routes are completely clean. Just must be that horizontal path that I can't get to. If there was some way to have enough suction power at both ends, instead of blowing air into one end at a time, maybe that'd clean it out.

I'll head out to the garage shortly to drill out the busted screw end on the lock plate and on the bottom of the barrel assembly, and heat/bend the tang and hammer with my propane torch to see if that does the trick. Crossing my fingers it all works out.
 
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Story

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Location
SE PA
Here's a really nice site I just found - http://www.relicman.com/weapons/Weapon2000.html. About halfway down will be six Sharps links. Lots of excellent photos and write-ups.

Here ya go, Peanut Gallery

Breechloader, Sharps single shot percussion carbine, Model 1852, "slanting breech", .52cal.
Weapon2423 Breechloader Sharps Carbine Model 1852
Manufactured by Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Co., Hartford, Connecticut.
W0800D.JPG

Details click: http://relicman.com/weapons/Weapon2423.html.


Breechloader, Sharps single shot percussion, Model 1853, "slanting breech", .52cal.
Weapon2424 Breechloader Sharps Rifle Model 1853
Manufactured by Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Co., Hartford, Connecticut.
W1101A.JPG
W1101B.JPG
W1101E.JPG

Details click: http://relicman.com/weapons/Weapon2424.html.

Breechloader, Sharps single shot percussion carbine, New Model 1859, .52cal.
Weapon2425 Breechloader Sharps Carbine Model 1859
Manufactured by Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Co., Hartford, Connecticut.
W1435A.JPG
W1435B.JPG
W1435E.JPG

Details click: http://relicman.com/weapons/Weapon2425.html.

Breechloader, Sharps single shot percussion rifle, New Model 1859, .52cal.
Weapon2426 Breechloader Sharps Rifle Model 1859
Manufactured by Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Co., Hartford, Connecticut.
W1457A.JPG
W1457B.JPG
W1457C.JPG

Details click: http://relicman.com/weapons/Weapon2426.html.

Breechloader, Sharps single shot percussion carbine, New Model 1863, .52cal.
Weapon2427 Breechloader Sharps Carbine Model 1863
Manufactured by Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Co., Hartford, Connecticut.
W1482A.JPG
W1482C.JPG
W1482K.JPG

Details click: http://relicman.com/weapons/Weapon2427.html.

Breechloader, Sharps single shot percussion rifle, New Model 1863, .52cal.
Weapon2428 Breechloader Sharps Rifle Model 1863
Manufactured by Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Co., Hartford, Connecticut.
W1349A.JPG
W1349B.JPG
W1349E.JPG

Details click: http://relicman.com/weapons/Weapon2428.html.
 

ewmail15

Retired User
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Torch worked very well on the tang and a bit better on the hammer. Was also able to bend down a bit the spring, so there's just a slightest gap now with the sear. Hammer could use another heat-up as it's still not quite flush with the feeder piece.
 

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