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The Sharps New Model 1863 carbine belongs to a well-respected and popular series of New Model rifles and carbines produced by the Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Co. in Hartford, CT. The New Model 1859, 1863, and 1865 comprise this percussion series with the first two models seeing wide use during the Civil War and all models (plus new Sharps model additions) playing a large role in western expansion. All New Models are considered straight breech models, have the Sharps pellet priming system built into the lock plate, and are .52 caliber.
In 1867, after the Civil War, the U.S. Government contracted Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Co. to convert approximately 31,000 carbines of all models to metallic cartridge breechloaders. Within this group of converted arms there exists two types: those with original six-groove bores and carbines with relined three-groove bores. None that required new buttstocks have patchboxes.
The Sharps New Model 1863 carbine seen here is converted to the .50-70 centerfire round and has the standard cam type firing pin. The carbine is the first type that retains the original six-groove barrel and is very good condition for its age. Marks on the barrel, breech, and tang are crisp. Some bluing on the barrel remains and case color is present on the breech and lock plate. The barrel, left side, is marked ‘E.A.W’ – presumably for inspector E.A. Williams – near the breech and ‘C’ under the rear sight. The walnut stock has some minor handling marks with no visible cartouches. The forearm is marked ‘S’ on the flat in front of the breech.
The action, which works as intended, is strong and crisp and the breech is tight. The six-groove bore is semi-bright and clean with small areas of pitting throughout. The rifling is well-defined. Overall, this Sharps New Model 1863 carbine conversion is a very good carbine and would make an ideal addition to a Sharps collection or an excellent shooter. See pictures for overall condition. Antique. Check with a local FFL dealer to confirm your state laws governing ownership of an antique rifle before purchasing this item.
Sharps Rifle Manufactoring Co.
New Model 1863
Good, clean, bright with well-defined rifling; some minor areas of pitting