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SHARPS FALLING BLOCK CARBINE RIFLE , 1859

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SHARPS FALLING BLOCK CARBINE RIFLE , 1859

1848, the first models of Sharps Sporting Rifles were being made in Mill Creek, Pennsylvania by the firm of A. S. Nippes and it was in this year that the first Sharps Rifle was patented on September 12th, 1848
1850 saw manufacturing moved to Robin & Co.of Lawrence.
The Model 1851 was replaced in production by the Model 1853 which was surpassed by the Model 1859. All civil war Sharps arms were percussion cap arms, using a combustible cartridge of paper or glazed linen. The basic principle of toggle-linking guard lever and vertical sliding breech block all date from the 1848 patent. By releasing a catch a soldier could pull down the trigger guard, which dropped the breech and allowed him to insert a cartridge. Returning the trigger guard closed the breech. In the front of the breech block was set a plate, having a slight motion from front to back under the influence of gas pressure. The top edge, on closing the breech, sheared off the end of the cartridge to expose the powder. Mechanically the 1859-63 lock plates, also had the Sharps pellet primer installed, patented by Sharps on October 5th 1852 and modified by R.S. Lawrence’s pellet feed shut-off, (to conserve the pellet primers). These pellet primers or “sharps primes” as they were called were valuable but a labour to load, but when used when a fast rate of fire was required, enabled the rifle to fulfil the claim of firing 10 to 12 shots per minute, at all other times top hat caps were used and the primes kept in reserve. During the late winter of 1863 the new model was developed . Differing in only minor manufacturing changes, the biggest of these being the removal of the sharps pellet primer and the omission of the patch box in the stock.

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A1451



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