NEW MODEL 1863 SHARPS CARBINE – WELL INSPECTED
SPECIMEN IN VERY NICE CONDITION: Introduced
midway through the Civil war, this Model 1863 Sharps
Carbine has survived the passage of time in very nice
Serial number 77571 is tightly within the range of
Sharps Carbines issued to Company C of the 16TH
Pennsylvania Cavalry and Company D of the 10TH
In spite of showing some evidence of issue and use in
the field, the metal and wood surfaces have survived in
very nice condition. The receiver, breech block and
lever, trigger plate, butt plate and barrel band all
retain trace levels of the case colors.
The barrel retains some of
the original blue finish on the underside, with clear
smooth surfaces overall.
All of the screw heads
retain clean undamaged slots and some retain some traces
of the original blue finish.
The lock mechanism and
breech block function as crisp as the day it was
manufactured and the percussion cone is full form and
has not been peened by careless dry firing. The bore
features strong rifling with distinct lands and grooves
throughout, with only minimal darkening which could be
cleared with some time spent polishing the bore.
All of the Sharps manufacturing and patent information
stamps are present and legible on the lock plate and
receiver. The serial number on the upper receiver tang
is present and fully legible. The face of the breech
block is legibly stamped with both of the correct patent
stamps. The butt plate tang, sidebar plate, and the
inside of the breech block lever are all stamped with
the government sub-inspectors’ initials.
The barrel does not bear the Sharps Company stamps,
however the model stamp is characteristically lightly
stamped and partially legible on the top of the barrel
between the rear sight and breech where it is normally
found. At first thought, the absence of the company
stamp might indicate the barrel has been polished,
resulting in the removal of these stamps. However,
there is no change to the top profile of the barrel that
would result from the removal of such deep stampings.
In his description of the Civil War Sharps Carbines,
Sellers does state on page 75, referring to the barrel
markings, “Occasionally this marking does not appear”.
Perhaps due to the pressing needs of war manufacture
these stampings were omitted, but there is no doubt this
barrel is a Sharp’s barrel and is original to this
carbine. The front and rear sights are both present and
fully intact, to include the rear sight ladder and
The butt stock and forearm are in remarkable condition
showing only the slightest handling marks and no
damage. This is particularly notable as there is the
characteristic arc of wear on the left side of the
buttstock caused where the soldier’s carbine shoulder
strap snap swivel wore against the wood. Solid evidence
that this carbine was indeed carried by a mounted
soldier over a period of time, however the balance of
the stocks show none of the damage which normally
accompanies this level of use. There is a trace of the
outline of the government inspector’s cartouche still
visible on the left side of the stock under the sling
bar. The cartouche was subjected to constant wear from
the carbine sling snap swivel and it did not survive
long once the carbine was issued.
This is a very nice example of one of the most famous
and highly respected cavalry carbines employed during
the Civil War. Showing signs of having been issued, yet
not abused, this carbine is of a quality that is seldom
encountered specifically because most Sharps Carbines
were used so extensively during their period of issue.
This is a good opportunity to add a respectable example
of the Model 1863 Sharps Carbine to your collection at a
very reasonable price.