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 Post subject: De-Farbing?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:35 am 
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Location: Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA
Just out of curiousity, has anyone thought or have actually got their Sharps Rifle De-Farbed?

Since I have a Armi-Sport DST Sharps Rifle it has all the modern markings as well I'm sure the same with the Pedersoli Model. Now since the Shiloh Sharps are made here in the USA, I don't know what kind of markings it has.

But what do you guys think about this? What all would they do to de-farb the Rifle? Trying to step up your impression? Many questions can be asked here.

The truth is I have thought about getting it done and calling up one of the best to do it, John Zimmerman. If he is able to de-farb a Sharps. But with paying just over $1,000 for my Sharps, so I'm a little hesitant to get this done.

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Joseph Edwards
The Deadeye Mess
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 Post subject: Re: De-Farbing?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:37 am 
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Location: Bethlehem, PA
There are other places that do it, cheaper than Zimmerman. He can have a real bad attitude at times.

I solved the issue and bought an original DST Sharps with Collins & Co Bayonet a few weeks back, nice piece of history. Serial #56,664. I will post some pictures soon.

Check with Tom Winter, he might have some more names of those who would do it.

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 Post subject: Re: De-Farbing?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:42 am 
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Thanks Dave,

I have heard that John does get unhappy easy. I'll talk to Tom when I'm in town for the meeting. But do you think it would be a good idea to have it done?

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Joseph Edwards
The Deadeye Mess
Company C 2nd United States Sharp Shooters


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 Post subject: Re: De-Farbing?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:34 pm 
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I would not spend the money..

Some of the Wesson Target Rifles that have --BLACK POWDER ONLY-- in 1/4" high letters on the side of the barrel, look bad, but not the Sharps.

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David Rider
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Company “C” 2nd Regt. U.S. Sharpshooters
http://www.berdansharpshooters.com


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 Post subject: Re: De-Farbing?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:39 pm 
There was a guy who was running an operation called James River Armory that did defarbed ArmiSport Sharps, he was supplying some to Regt Quartermaster. He would reshape the buttstock refinish the butt and forestock to appropriate finish and remove farb writing from the lockplate etc except of course for the SN. I have one of the first he did.


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 Post subject: Re: De-Farbing?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:51 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:33 pm
Posts: 252
Location: Old Northwest (Michigan)
Fellow Sharpshooters;

Unfortunately, there are daunting, and from my experience, nearly hopeless steps required to elevate one’s humble Italian Armi-Sport or Pederosoli to approach an original Sharps rifle. I began my own quest to ‘authenticize’ my Pederosoli shortly after I purchased it. In 1996 I discovered a fellow at the Malvern Hill preservation march who was removing Italian manufacturer and ‘Black Powder Only’ marks from repop Springfield and Enfield rifles and then restamping them with period correct stamps. I was very impressed with his work, but unfortunately he only had a single ‘Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Co.' stamp for my rifle-I declined.

I also talked with Mr. Zimmerman at the 140th Antietam event. He gave me his own take on what would be required to defarb an Italian Sharps. His first comment was that he could not stamp a rifle with all the period correct markings because he would be violating copyright laws (which I found curious since the Sharps Company has been out of business for over a century). Now if you consider the economic equation of ‘supply and demand’ then Mr. Zimmerman (and other defarbers) reluctance to make up a complete set of Sharps stamps is well placed. For every Sharps out there, there is probably close to 2-300 Springfield/Enfields. It is far more economical for Mr. Z. to serve the larger pool of prospective customers. For those of you who do not own an original Sharps, below are number of identification stamps required to upgrade your rifle:

Obverse side receiver:
RS Lawrence
April 12th 1859

On lock plate tang:
C Sharps’ Pat
Oct 5th 1852

Reverse receiver:
C Sharps Pat
Sept 12th 1848

Upper tang: Serial # (faux serial number in 55000 range for Berdan contract range)

Barrel-located fore of the ‘haus’ or rear sight mount:
Sharps Rifle
Manufacturing Co.
Hartford, Conn

Barrel-located aft of the ‘haus’ or rear mount: New Model 1859

Keep in mind that you also have to use the same font and type size as the original stampings to make new ones.

Another problem with all modern reproduction Sharps (other than the Garrett) is that the lock plate does not feature the Lawrence Pellet Primer system. Instead, there is a large, square-ish block that approximates it's general shape/outline. If you compare each of the reproductions to the profile of an original Sharps lock plate, this becomes very apparent. The only option is to grind down the modern lock plates to 'kinda sorta' fit the original profile. For those of you who consider just swapping out your modern lock plate for an original—excellent idea. I’ve already tried it with my Ped and was unsuccessful. There are just too many differences (because of the European conversion of original Sharps dimensions to metric) to make the lockplate and other original parts fit.

One expensive proposition would be to buy a Farmingdale Shiloh, take it to the Mansfield Ohio or similar large collectors show, remove the lockplate from your rifle and then start trying to fit originals into the mortise. Keep in mind you might have to buy a complete lockplate and works-I found that some Shiloh and original Sharps parts are interchangeable, but others do not. And how many people are going to re-line the barrels to .52 caliber? It all comes down to how far do you go with the 'defarbing' gig???

I agree with Dave. Instead of driving yourself crazy trying to ‘defarb’ your modern rifle, save your money and buy an original.

P.S. when viewing this post I discovered that the formatting of the Sharps markings are out of alignment-sorry. You need to line up the second and third lines beneath the initial entry to recreate the original stamping.

Bill Skillman
Randolf Mess-USSS


Last edited by Bill Skillman on Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: De-Farbing?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:35 pm
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Location: Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA
That sound like a good idea of just buying an original Sharps. I was thinking of saving a good chunk of change and go to the Ohio Civil War Show in Mansfield. With me living by Toledo, Ohio Mansfield is only about an hour drive. Actual that was my first event 6 years ago with my old artillery group.
But there are always some good looking sharps there and this year might be the year that I buy my first part of history. Wish me Luck!

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Joseph Edwards
The Deadeye Mess
Company C 2nd United States Sharp Shooters


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 Post subject: Re: De-Farbing?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:19 am
Posts: 12
Location: worcester, uk
you lucky ****
over here were luky to ge a second hand civilian Zolli that we have to to put a fore stock on

Regards Carl
Co E 1st USSS


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 Post subject: Re: De-Farbing?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:09 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:33 pm
Posts: 252
Location: Old Northwest (Michigan)
Carl,

I can sympathsize with your delimma. My first reproduction Sharps was purchased through Dixie Gun Works (Christmas 1992 'present to myself'). Initially, I asked DGW if they had enough original parts in stock that I could convert my original NM 1863 carbine into a NM 1859 rifle. They had never heard of anybody doing that before and after calculating the cost of the parts they did have in stock, I decided to buy the repo instead. Building a Sharps rifle from scratch was too expensive.

The Pederosoli/DGW rifle was a .54 percussion civilan model; the barrel was only 28 inch barrel (2 inches shorter than the military model), it featured a checkered forestock (no barrel bands) and wrist grips, forestock was screwed to the barrel, and no patchbox either.

The DGW folks hadn't heard of anybody adding original parts to a Ped, but with confidence in my Yankee tinkering skills, I purchased an original lockplate, original screws, and most of the Lawrence pellet primer parts. I quickly found out that the metric Ped would not accept the original lockplate or other parts. I put them in my armors box for future use.

I loaded up some cartridges and took my new rifle out to shoot at the local range. Dropped the block, slid the cartridge inside and closed the block, cap on the cone and aimed. After nearly 20 years of waiting I lined up the rear/front sights and squeezed the trigger--pop. I spent the next 1 hour scratching my head trying to figure out how to get the gun to shoot. I concluded that the # 11 caps were simply too underpowered to ignite the powder charge. They work fine with Colt/Remington pistols-but not a Sharps.

I called Dixie and I first learned of the infamous 'drill out the cone (nipple) vent' recommnendation. Visited my uncle's basement machine shop and we enlarged the vent, cleaned out the block, etc. Another day at the range and the rifle continued to impotently 'pop'. I sent the block back to them where the drilled and retapped to accept a musket cone (nipple). I tried firing the reconfigured weapon with no more success. Dixie let me return the rifle and refunded my money.

When I fell in with Co. B. at Fairfield event (1995) I discovered John Carey toting a civilian Sharps rifle that had been reconfigured with the correct forestock and barrel bands, but retained the checkering. I can't say for certain, but I suspect Dave Fulcher may have had a hand of converting it-since he was the Company armorer. From what I was told, Co. B. was one of the first groups to get the Pederosoli Sharps military/Berdan contract rifles. Dave informed me that it took nearly two years before they were able to work all the kinks out of the rifles so they would function consistently on the 'battlefield'.

I purchased my Berdan contract NM1859 through Navy Arms (another importer of Davide Pedersoli firearms) in December 1994. Sold it to Chad Fuller (of the Randolf Mess) in 2005. I now carry a Farmingdale Shiloh NM159 military model (single trigger). I remove the trigger guard latch to make the rifle look similar in apparence to the Berdan contract model.

Bill Skillman
Randolf Mess-USSS


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