Help Identifying My Sharps Model 1869


July 31, 2006, 10:18 PM

I have a Sharps New Model 1869 and I was wondering how to identify exactly which version/caliber this rifle is.

It has the following markings on top of the barrel:




It is marked "E.A.W." on the side of the barrel all the way back by the action.

It has the following markings on one side of the action:

SEPT 12th 1846

And this on the other side of the action:

APRIL 12th 1859


(Something Illegible)
OCT 5th 1832

There does not seem to be any sign of a serial number on the bottom plate by the action lever as I have seen in some photos online.

The barrel is about 20 inches long and is rifled. It has a front fixed sight and rear "pop-up" sight marked " R.S. LAWRENCE, PATENTED, FEB 15th 1869"

It is well used and the butt stock is beat up (but not loose). It looks like it could have seen some pretty serious action in the Civil War.

This is a family heirloom and any help identifying it would be appreciated.

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Jim K
August 1, 2006, 03:41 PM
Twenty lashes for not paying attention in history class. A New Model 1869 didn't see action, serious or not, in the Civil War.

The New Model 1869 is one of the rarer Sharps products as only about 1000 were made, most of them for Army consideration. There was a sporting rifle, plus a rifle and carbine made for the Army. Yours was military, as indicated by the mark of E.A. Williams, a Springfield Armory sub-inspector in the 1870's. It should be .50-70 CF caliber. The carbine was made in three barrel lengths, 22", 24", and 26", so check the length again. A 20" barrel would have been cut down, which would reduce the value a lot.

The New Model 1869 is easily distinguished from earlier models by the absence of the primer pellet magazine and mechanism.

Condition is all, but a NM 1869 Sharps carbine in good condition would bring around $1500. In top shape, value would go well over $3200.


August 4, 2006, 04:36 PM
I found the Serial number C16849 (see photo). Based on information I could find online, I have determined that is is actually a model 1863. I looked at the markings on the barrel and confirmed that it actually says New Model 1863 and NOT New Model 1869. I used a piece of paper and pencil to do a rubbing of the marking which made it very clear what it says.

The barrel is 22" long.

Any info is appreciated regarding this piece of history.


August 4, 2006, 07:56 PM
Looking at last year's Blue Book: Model 1863 Carbine, 22" barrel (rifles were 30"), made with (worth a premium) and without an iron patchbox, serial number range 75,000-140,000. After they got to number 100,000 they put a C in front. IOW, C500=100,500.



P.S. - Does it have the experimental coffee bean grinding gizmo in the buttstock? ("Many fakes exist") $10k, $50k, ???

Learn something new everyday.

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