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

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ewmail15

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Sep 14, 2017
Isn't it the 1855 carbine with both side links? Either way, I think the patch-box stock is what I need.

I lucked out with that drill tip. Half hour of drilling and fine pick prying and it just fell out. Two hours work after that on all three openings and air finally passed thru. I wonder if it's been clogged for all these 150+ years. What a relief. Now I need to clear out the old screw remains and pick up another screw.
 

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ewmail15

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Sep 14, 2017
I learned the former gun owner's last name, and it was Rodd. Checked a great national civil war soldiers site, entered the name and Wisconsin, and only one showed - George Rodd. Couldn't believe the luck, but after signing up for a trial period at ancestry.com, I couldn't find the link either from George, or from the owner Bernie. I did trace Bernie back to around the Civil War era, but his great, great grandfather Ole emigrated from Europe.

George's info came from "Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers: War of the Rebellion". He was a member of the 33 regiment, Wisconsin infantry out of Racine (company F). Went in as private and survived, married and had only son Reuben, who married and had two daughters. That's where the second lead went cold.

I tried to find any siblings in the generations that might have provided the rifle, but no luck. Bummer.
 
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ewmail15

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Sep 14, 2017
Had the most fun in a long time last night. bolted on and aligned all my '67 Cougar primered parts, then started on those pesky screws and busted ends. Started with the rear lock plate screw and my old craftsman drill press. The drill was having trouble staying in the center, and when it did start digging into that old busted screw end, it was off center. Forged ahead all the way through and then brought out the screw extractor set from Ace that I tried unsuccessfully previously to extract the breech block clear-out screw. Took about 15 minutes, but sure enough that little bugger screw residue came out from the lock plate - how relieved I was. The original replacement screw I picked up from Lodgewood screwed in place just fine.

Next, I tackled the lock plate bottom screw for the pellet feed tube. Used a larger drill bit, to give the extractor bit better traction, and again with patience it came out. Thirdly was the successful extraction of the breech block clear-out screw, at least the part that was screw thread-related. I still need to drill out the extra metal that is still inside the channel.

Lastly, I took care of removing the busted screw end that was in the receiver bottom where the trigger plate screwed into place.

Went to the Greenbush, WI Civil War re-enactment event, but it was too hot, missed the morning battle, and there really wasn't anyone I could see as being a really good additional contact for the parts I still need. The hard stuff is all done, and now it's finding the right poor/fair condition parts to match what I have.

What caught me by surprise was the little spring pin that keeps the hinge pin in place. Prior times when I've removed the pin, it was flush with the base. Must have been that the soft hammering on the barrel to minimize the appearance of vice marks in the barrel sides loosened up that little spring. All the great little functionalities I've found have been so worth the effort.

Going to investigate the specs on those pellets, as in materials used to generate spark when they're smashed between the hammer and nipple, and how they were stamped.
 

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mofederal

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Jun 27, 2017
Location
Southeast Missouri
Thanks again for the updates. I am enjoying the work. I used to take care of various muskets and pistols for people when I was younger. I have always liked to fix and repair firearms of all types.
 

ewmail15

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Sep 14, 2017
Here are some all-parts-assembled pics. So nice to see everything working as it should. Still need the cut-off arm for the pellet feeder plus the pellets.

I had an idea about the bullets and the paper casing. Why can't a custom brass(?) casing be made, where the bottom would be indented, have cutout areas away from the center, with the center being brass. The spark would ignite at those rear/side openings and fire the bullet, and would also minimize the blow-back of debris that would clog up the breech block channel.
 

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frankconrad

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Sep 19, 2009
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Basicly you are doing what the government did to many Sharps when they chambered them to 50-70 except they put a rim and internal primer in the case, and added a ejector and firing pin. Without a primer to seal the case you would still have a fair amount of fouling to contend with.
 

mofederal

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Jun 27, 2017
Location
Southeast Missouri
I know they recreated a rubber type of cases for reuse in the Smith and a ring to use in a Burnside. Dixie Gun Works used to sell both. I don't know if they do anymore. Maybe they have other such casing or devices for firing them today. It's been awhile since I have looked at DGW catalog or site. Thank you for the updates.
 

ewmail15

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Sep 14, 2017
Frank and Mo, thanks for the feedback. I did send an email to the DWG folks, asking if they could keep an eye out for parts.
 
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ewmail15

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Sep 14, 2017
Made my connection with Dennis Brooks in WA. He bought out a Sharps author's parts collection years back, and will be searching over the next few weeks for condition-matching parts.

I'm trying to get a good picture of the rifling from inside the barrel. I point the barrel towards the clouds and can indeed see some of the rifling. There is some rust erosion/depression inside on the bottom of the bore where the barrel screws into the receiver. That I can see rifling, however worn down, is an accomplishment, given how much rust was in there before.

I had bought a USB camera scope some years back, and have the cable, but must have deleted the software. I'll keep searching for downloadable software for that scope. It's cheap, but I'd rather download free software. Normally plugging any USB cable into the laptop should prompt for some action to be taken, but not with this cable.
 

ewmail15

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Sep 14, 2017
Had the software after all, but the resolution inside the barrel was ****. Maybe I can tweak the resolution settings.

Went ahead and took some shots with back/front lighting. Some pics show the erosion back towards the receiver/barrel. That's a failure point, should I try to fire it, right?

Could anyone post some good condition rifling for comparison? I've been happily surprised so far with the level of machining precision. The three rings on the bullets must have worn the **** out of the rifling. Add to that the soldiers making bullets in the field with their molds and less precise diameters than at the factories, and goodbye rifling.

Go
 

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ewmail15

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Sep 14, 2017
One lesson I learned - when using apple cider vinegar and a copper material (pre-82 penny, copper wool), you WILL produce a "coppering" effect wherever you rub.

Also just happened as well with naval jelly and my brass bore cleaner. Didn't do much brushing outside the bore, but it did change color. I just use magic oil and steel wool 4-0 and it rubs off.

If there was just a blue soft metal, I'd like to see if that with the vinegar would look more natural than the DIY bluing products at gun shops.
 

ewmail15

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Sep 14, 2017
I ordered an lb of black iron oxide pellets ($8 shipped). Gonna test the combo pellets and vinegar on some acetone'd pipe, then if positive results try it on a few underside/hidden areas.

I read tonight that Sharps serials were on the tang AND on the bottom of the barrel. Is this correct? Can't see anything as that area under the forend is still pretty much caked with the black stuff - oxide?
 
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ewmail15

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Sep 14, 2017
First pic shows the effect of a brass bore cleaner and naval jelly becoming a glaze on the steel. Was more defined with the vinegar and copper wool.

On the breech block, I read Lawrence on one side and H Conant on the other. I just ordered a clear-out screw and front trigger bar screw from S&S, and noticed a $45 breech block gas seal. This must be between the face and the main block piece? Don't see how to separate the pieces to learn if the seal is any good. Any test I could run with block pieces all together?

After a few hours letting the rustoleum dissolver do its work on the block face recessed area (facing the bore) I will drop it in my pb blaster micro tub and see if that will loosen up with the wool to show clear patent marks. Fun, fun, fun.
 

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ewmail15

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Sep 14, 2017
Here is a (the?) site that states the matching serial on the barrel. I read elsewhere that the early 1859 Sharps carbines had brass fittings. First time I've seen an image of the left side with the saddle bar connecting to the forend band. I take it the amount of play the rifle would have while the soldier was riding on his horse, plus less support with the lock plate, necessitated the design of a new saddle bar.

I think I'll head down to the Kenosha Civil War Museum tomorrow to continue my research.

http://www.nramuseum.com/the-museum/the-galleries/a-nation-asunder/case-36-arms-for-the-union-union-carbines/john-brown-sharps-carbine.aspx
 
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ewmail15

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Found a great site on the Sharps rifle history, and took some pics of the ancestry research links paper I received at the Kenosha CW Museum - specific to the midwest states. Had some other paper pics, but they didn't turn out well. I'll try again later today and upload those.

https://www.ortnergraphics.com/services/civil-war-firearms/sharps-carbine.html (strip off the "sharps-carbine.html and you'll be at the index page, where there are several other rifle/revolver write-ups)


There was a statement about the sharps bullet being able to penetrate the hide of the buffalo, whereas the Henry could not. Are there any bullet velocity numbers for the famous civil war era rifles?
 

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