CIVIL WAR BERDAN SHARPS RIFLE
Bbl. Among the most iconic of Civil War Union longarms is the Sharps rifle with Hiram Berdan modifications for his elite Sharpshooter units which accounted for the highest kill rate of any regiment in Army of the Potomac. 47″ Overall, iron mounted, 30” blued barrel, case hardened frame & breech. Berdan who formed the 1st & 2nd US Sharp Shooters Regiments ordered 2000 rifles early in 1862. His Model 1859 sharps rifles were made with special double set triggers, improved breech lever without catch, Lawrence patent long range rear sights with German silver blade mounted front sights which doubled as bayonet lugs. All were only inspected by John Taylor a civilian employee of the Springfield Armory. Lock plate is fitted with the Lawrence patent primer feed and marked “C. SHARPS PAT./OCT. 5th 1852”. Three band forearm and straight grip stock with lidded toolbox. This rifle has discernible “JT” final inspection cartouche of John Taylor and all other modifications as ordered by Berdan. Barrel has inspection “OWA” for OW Ainsworth. Documented Berdan Sharps fall in a serial range between 54,374 and 57,574.
Roy Marcot in his 2008 text “US Sharpshooters, Berdan’s Civil War Elite” states that 43 documented Berdan Sharps survive with all the specifications as noted. One of there 43 is S# 57290, just 8 numbers away.