New Model 1859 Sharps Rifle With Original Scope
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Author:  Regimental Colours [ Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:17 pm ]
Post subject:  New Model 1859 Sharps Rifle With Original Scope

Did anyone see this Sharps listed on The Horse Soldier website? A know it's a long shot, but does anyone think this might be a wartime piece and not a postwar put together? Thank you.

http://www.horsesoldier.com/products/fi ... garms/4360

Author:  Bill Skillman [ Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Model 1859 Sharps Rifle With Original Scope


This same question was posted on the Authentic Campaigner website earlier this week. The consensus by researchers (who are close friends and know their USSS weapons and material culture stuff) was that the telescope mounts were post-War. The post has been taken down, but if you are registered on the AC you can use the 'search' feature to call it up.

Sharps rifles and other Ordnance equipment was issued by the U.S. Govt' and as such was considered 'public property'. During inspections, if you lost or damaged 'public property' the Orderly Sgt. would note this and pass along the info to the C.O. Before being paid, your monthly pay would be docked for the cost of the item. Adding a telescope to public property is definitely 'non-military'. Besides, there were 2 dozen much better target rifles that were retained for 'special service' operations. You can read the Regulations regarding issue equipments in Kautz's book The Company Clerk. If the Sharps was private purchase, the scope could have been added--but again, those pesky post-War mounts change the equation.

There has been 150 years for people to purchase NM1859 Sharps and tinker with them; early buffalo hunters (who may have used it until Sharps manufactured the 1874 center fire/cartridge arms); veteran soldiers who took theirs home but due to aging eyes added the telescope to compete in local shooting competitions (members of Co. 'C' and 'I' Michigan USSS held informal shooting contests during their annual reunions in the 1890's--there is no mention if they used Sharps or other arms--the Hudson, MI property that used to be the local shooting club is in private hands and I haven't been able to get permission to sweep the area with my son's metal dectector finder to see if .52 cal. Sharps rds turn up); up to the 1950-60's where NSSA or collectors may have decided to add the scope for more 'bling' effect.

I have a reprint of Bannerman's Surplus Military Arms cataloge from 1903. They had on hand over 100K Sharps linen cartridges not to mention dozens of Sharps rifles. Once again, lots of time and reasons to convert a NM1859 to suite the tastes of a public citizen or collector.

Bill Skillman
Randolph Mess-USSS

Author:  Regimental Colours [ Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Model 1859 Sharps Rifle With Original Scope

Thanks for your response Bill.

I'm the person who also listed the question/thread on the Authentic Campaigner website.

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