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Manufactured by Sharps and Hankins of Philadelphia, this Model 1862 is a very nice example of the 1st (Old) Model of the 1862 rimfire carbine. With only 750 1st Models produced (highest recorded SN is 736), they are rare compared to their 2nd (New) Model successors. Of this production total, it is believed 250 were delivered to the Army and the other 500 received by the Navy. 1st Models can be identified easily because the firing pin is located on the hammer, whereas the 2nd Model houses a floating firing pin within the receiver. Slide safety acts as a spacer and prevents the hammer from contacting the cartridge. Navy carbines were given a leather cover to protect them from the rusting effects of moisture and salt aboard ships. However, they found, not surprisingly, that these covers absorbed water/salt and hid developing rust, thereby exacerbating degradation, and making both leather covers and carbines difficult to find in good condition. 644 (SN) stamped on tang matches barrel number; I have not disassembled the carbine to search for other matches due to the brittle nature of the leather cover. Underneath the leather cover a frosty, orange rust patina exists, as might be expected, but no major pitting is seen. The leather is stiff, cracked, and very brittle, but almost all present. The walnut stock is in overall very good shape and hosts a variety of minor service handling marks. A few illegible letters are stamped on the left side, near the frame. The action barely holds at full cock but in my experience, given the condition of the firearm, this is most likely cured with a good cleaning of the works with maybe lightly addressing the sear. The bore is outstanding with fantastic rifling. See pictures for overall condition. Must be 18 years of age to purchase.
Sharps & Hankins
bright, clean, Excellent, well-defined rifling
American Civil War