October 30 - November 2, 2018 Firearms, Militaria, & Sporting
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/30/2018
This is one of 2,000 specially made Sharps rifles for Colonel Hiram Berdan's 1st and 2nd Regiments of the United States sharpshooters; trained marksman who were reputed to have inflicted more casualties on the enemy than any other outfit in the war. The order for these rifles was placed in January of 1862, ordered directly from J.C. Palmer, president of Sharps Rifle Company. Palmer wrote that the initial 1,000 rifles would be delayed and by February 28th, 1862 no Sharps had arrived. Work was still progressing on April 7th and General Ripley wrote Palmer that the first 1,000 rifles should be shipped to Fort Monroe with the second 1,000 sent to the Washington Arsenal. The Sharps factory shipped the first 100 complete rifles on April 11th, and the remainder in lots of 100. One of John Taylors surviving Ordnance records that he shipped 100 rifles each on April 11th, 14th, 16th, 19th, 21st and 23rd with the first 500 rifles completed by April 21st and the first 1,000 shipped by May 24th. The first shipments of 600 Sharps rifles were delivered to Berdan's 1st Regiment of US Sharpshooters on May 8th, 1862. The Berdan's Sharps has several distinguishing triggers, the most obvious being the double set triggers; next is the enlarged lever, absence of bayonet lug beneath barrel, and a punch dot inside the patchbox lid. All were inspected by John Taylor. John Taylor was directed to go to Sharps from Colt on April 7th, 1862 to inspect all of the Berdan Sharps rifles; Taylor took a number of sub-inspectors along with him and together they completed the inspection of the 2,000 gun order by the end of May. Inspector stamp of "OWA" Orville W. Ainsworth, who was one of the three sub-inspectors with John Taylor for this order. There would be a "JT" cartouche on right side of stock but it is no longer visible; even with the "JT" cartouche no longer seen, the "OWA" verifies this group of inspectors on the Berdan rifles. The lowest serial number of an authenticated Berdan Sharps rifle is serial No. 54374 and the highest is No. 57567, which this rifle falls right in the middle of that block. The basis for the Berdan Sharps rifle is the New Model 1859 three band rifle with the distinctive iron patchbox on right side of stock. The rifle barrel is stamped "SHARPS RIFLE MANUFG CO HARTFORD CONN" and "NEW MODEL SHARPS" at breech. Right side of frame has two patent dates, left side has one patent date. Stock is made of walnut. Sights consist of a post front and a Lawrence ladder rear. CONDITION: Barrel retains approximately 90% of its original factory blue with brown patina showing through. Frame and patchbox colors have mottled out. Double set triggers are present but the rear trigger does not set; adjusting screw is present. Walnut stocks are excellent, proud to metal with usual dings. Sling swivels present on middle band and stock. Action works fine. Rifling is well defined and sharp with some minor black powder residue. An excellent example of a true Berdan's Model 1859 Sharps rifle with all special characteristics falling dead center of the correct serial number block. For more information on this elite group, there is a great book titled "U.S. Sharpshooters Berdan's Civil War Elite" by Roy Marcot. From the collection of Jason Roselius.
Barrel Length
.52 Percussion
Drop at Comb
Drop at Heel
FFL Status
Length of Pull
Berdan Rifle
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $7,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $14,400.00
Estimate: $15,000 - $20,000
Number Bids: 7
Auction closed on Friday, November 2, 2018.
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