Tell me more! Model 1863 Sharps Carbine Questions

Johnny676767

Private
Joined
Nov 30, 2020
Hello,

I am looking at a Model 1863 Sharps carbine for possible purchase online. I was reading about how some of these were conversions to metallic cartridges. I can’t find how to recognize this conversion, though. I read the description in Flayderman but can’t picture it. Can anyone help me with that?

Also, were all of the Model 1863s produced for the military or did some go private? The serial number on this particular one is 98757.

Did The Model 1865 signal actual production beginning in 65, and I guess the end of production for the 63?

Actually, here’s a better question: What Sharps book should I buy as a new collector?

By the way, I trust this seller- I have dealt with him before (and was recommended here).

What does everyone think?


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poorjack

Corporal
Joined
Jul 17, 2015
Location
NC
Easy way to recognize a cartridge conversion, there is a firing pin instead of a nipple and the block has a firing pin instead of a flash channel.
 

mrockwell

Private
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Location
12021 Birch Dr., Corning, NY
I agree with the others that the Sharps that is pictured is the percussion version. The hammer being cupped over the nipple gives it away. The Model 1859, 1863 and 1865 indicate a contract year rather than a model change. I would assume (and this could be dangerous) that after the government contract was filled there could have been time for private purchases. Your question of which Sharps should you buy depends solely on your area of interest. If you are interested in the John Brown era then a Model 1853 would be the model to seek. Civil war cavalry I would lean towards the Model you are interested in buying at the present. If the infantry tickles your fancy that you might want to go after a New Model 1859 with or with out double set triggers. I've been told that the double set trigger variation was for Berdans Sharpshooters, but I can't be sure of that. If the Confederate side is of interest that a Robinson or Richmond Sharps could be a choice. Lastly if post Civil War is a factor you have a wide range from military to buffalo hunting to target shooters. The choice is up to you, but I can honestly say that the era you chose can be rewarding. As for books Flayderman is as good as any for a start and then check Mowbray Publishing for books on the Sharps Company.
 
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mrockwell

Private
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Location
12021 Birch Dr., Corning, NY
Just picked up this months "Men at Arms" and there is a nice article on the Model 1859 Sharps, but also in the Article the author states that there is a new book series being written on the Sharps firearms. Apparently it will be a four volume set covering the Sharps from its beginning until the 1880's. The first volume, Sharps Firearms, The Percussion Era Vol. 1, has recently been published. This might be of help to you.
 
Joined
May 1, 2015
Location
Upstate N.Y.
I would suggest just looking at listings in dealer and auction sites. The search feature here may also show you photos. There are good books, but they don't go into photos showing the two side by side. After looking at a bunch you will see what you are after. A common cartouche on the stock of converted is DAP
 

limberbox

Private
Joined
Apr 25, 2020
Sharps Firearms, The Percussion Era 1848-1865 , Roy Marcot, Ron Paxton, Edward Marron (2019 Northwood Heritage Press) is excellent! Civil War Sharps Carbines & Rifles, Earl J. Coates & John D. McAulay (1996 Thomas Publications) is also very good but much, much shorter.

I bought and read both before settling on a nicely worn but good-looking New Model 1859 carbine in the low 50000s. I'm slowly collecting plausible examples (right manufacturing times or serial numbers) of the arms of my ancestor's cavalry regiment. Finding the right NM 1859 took me well over a year. They are not as available as NM 1863s. Both books end right before the cartridge era and conversions.
 

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