1859 SHARPS CARBINE -NAVY
This is a 1859 carbine produced in 1861. With the start of the Civil War there was a scramble for weapons. The navy bought 1859 rifles and carbines. They specified that the carbines NOT have the sling bar. This example was never fitted for the sling bar. The sling bar screws into the left side of the frame and this frame was never drilled for the sling bar hole. Flayderman and other references mention the navy order occurring in the 40,000 to 44,000 serial number range. This one is in the 44,000 range. The number ordered is not known, but suspected to be several hundred. Of those some were turned back into the army at the end of the war and ended up being converted to centerfire.cartridge
The carbine itself is in very good condition. While there is no finish left, the markings are sharp, clear and readable. The barrel address , the "NEW MODEL 1859" and the patent information on the rear sight are all deep, clear and readable. The serial number matches between the frame and barrel. The is only scattered areas of light pitting and most of the metal is a smooth grey color. The action works well and the rifling is distinct. The wood is complete with some staining from what looks like cleaning. There are the usual small nicks and bumps and bruises, but no splits or cracks.
There are no inspectors marks in the wood. It has a iron patchbox. A sling swivel has been added to the left side near where the sling bar would be. This carbine shows wear of being carried on a sling. The sling swivel that was added to the left side of the stock allowed the carbine to be hooked to a sling and carried. there is evidence of wear patterns on the but showing that this was carried on the wide sling used by mounted soldiers.