SHARPS NEW MODEL 1859 BERDAN SHARPSHOOTERS CIVIL WAR RIFLE.
Bbl. 30″ rnd. Barleycorn front sight w/ replacement fixed U notch rear sight.
Colonel Hiram Berdan was commander of the United States Sharpshooters, who were used primarily as skirmishers. Berdan complained about the original plans to arm the sharpshooters w/ Springfield rifles & US Chief of Ordnance General Ripley secondary plan of sending surplus Colt Revolver Rifles. Berdan’s continued complaints resulted in 2,000 Sharps rifles being ordered in January of 1862. Berdan, w/out authority, changed the order to specify dbl. set triggers, which were supplied on many of the rifles. These are the only military Sharps rifles to have dbl. set triggers. Most fall within the S# range: 54374-57567.
At the Battle of Gettysburg, 100 of Berdan Sharpshooters w/ 200 men from the Maine 3rd Infantry faced 30,000 men on Little Round Top. The Sharpshooters tremendous firing volume, 10,000 rds in 20 minutes, held off the Confederates until reinforcements were brought up to turn the tide of battle.
Straight breech single shot percussion action w/ the Lawrence pellet priming system located at the top of the lock plate. Dbl. set triggers. 3 Band walnut forearm. Straight grip walnut stock has iron patchbox & steel rifle buttplate w/ 2 screw sling swivel base in toeline. Left side of stock has barely visible outlines of original cartouche.
PROVENANCE: Collection of Dr. John Persing.