That’s a sharp Sharps

Sharps New Model 1863 with 47 badges spar

This modified Sharps New Model 1863 falling block in .52 caliber (475-grain) with a tang rear sight was donated to the Springfield Armory Museum in 1936, but as you can tell, the former owner likely saw a lot of service during the Civil War.

Mr. Sharps made over 120,000 of these quick-firing breech loaders in some of the most powerful black powder cartridges ever made. The wood on this gun has a series of German silver and mother-of-pearl adornments including seven major inlays on the forearm and 40 major inlays on the butt stock– most being Union Army Corps badges and insignia.

When acquired, it was cleaned and waxed to preserve it, though the curators had a fit with the gun.

“One of the dirtiest, rustiest and generally cruddy pieces we’ve worked on! Slowly and with great care (and difficulty) the weapon was completely disassembled with no harm done. Each metal part was washed, scrubbed with 0000 steel wool. The stock was carefully wiped down with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits. Everything was dried and waxed, internal parts lightly greased, and the weapon reassembled. Great wax as an adhesive for his inlays. The only thing not cleaned was the interior of the patch box which contained considerable traced of old dried patch grease. This appeared stable and because of its historic interest was left. Also we found the rotted remains of a coarse weave greased patch stuffed into the cavity of the breech block – anyone who has done much shooting with a percussion Sharps will know what this was for!”

More on the Sharps in question, which is on display at Springfield Armory National Historic Site, here 

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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