Metallic rimfire Sharps Rifle


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4v50 Gary
August 6, 2014, 04:45 AM
I was looking at a Sharps 1859/64 style receiver with the Lawrence Pellet Primer. Did Sharps take surplus 59/64 receivers and rebuild them as metallic cartridge firearms?

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Curator
August 6, 2014, 08:04 AM
Many 1859 and 1863 Sharps carbines were "converted" to .50-70 Government center fire cartridges for the US military. This entailed modifications to the hammer and a new breech block and extractor. 5-groove Barrels with a tight bore were simply chambered while those over a certain size were relined with a 3-groove liner, brazed in place.

Jim Watson
August 6, 2014, 09:30 AM
A friend has a cartridge conversion 1863 Sharps. It is about minute of Commanche accurate.
They stayed with the percussion barrel if it was not larger than .5225", which is darned generous for a .515" bullet even soft lead with black powder to bump it up. Larger barrels were lined to Trapdoor specs.

As to the heading, yes, some were converted to .52 rimfire before the .50 central fire was standard.

But it wasn't surplus receivers, they converted whole guns. Mostly carbines but a few rifles.

4v50 Gary
August 6, 2014, 11:19 AM
Thanks everyone. I was looking for a source and checked through Sellers' The Sharps Rifle and didn't see anything about conversions. The rifle itself has a buttplate cut out for a patchbox, but there is no patchbox. That also suggested that it was assembled from Civil War parts.

Don McDowell
August 6, 2014, 06:08 PM
Thanks everyone. I was looking for a source and checked through Sellers' The Sharps Rifle and didn't see anything about conversions. The rifle itself has a buttplate cut out for a patchbox, but there is no patchbox. That also suggested that it was assembled from Civil War parts.
You might want to go back a check Seller's book, Chapter 11 is titled Conversions. It goes into quite a bit of detail on the converstion guns, and on to explain how the early 74's were nothing but converted from percussion carbines to cartridge rifles.
I have an original 74 that is a convertion that was shipped from the factory in October of 72.

Jim Watson
August 6, 2014, 06:13 PM
Flayderman says: "When condition of the original stock required that it be replaced, a buttstock with no patchbox was used in all cases, regardless of the original model designation."
Obviously that did not mean a serviceable buttplate would be discarded.

Don McDowell
August 6, 2014, 07:48 PM
The biggest thing to do when looking at these old sharps , is to keep in mind they did what they had to do. The Sharps co, in it's many forms never really was on solid footing, so they used what ever parts they could get ahold of to turn out rifles. There really is no one standard version of any of the sporting models. The target guns were fairly standard to the designated use.

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