.56 Caliber Sharps and Hankins Civil War Carbine:
Guns International #: 101577963 Seller's Inventory #:
Category: Sharps Rifles - Antique - Civil War Carbines
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Seller: James Carr's Antique Guns and Collectibles
Member Since: 3/8/15
First Name: James
Last Name: Carr
Country: United States
Phone: (703) 431-3159
Number of Active Listings: 19
Total Number of Listings: 109
Seller: Private Seller
Return Policy: 3 day inspection and return policy on used guns.
Payment Types Accepted: Money orders or checks with cleared funds
. 56 Caliber Sharps and Hankins Civil War Carbine:
Unique offering of an all original and complete Civil War carbine, converted to center fire and carded for NSSA competition.
A brief history of the Sharps and Hankins Carbine:
Christian Sharps was an inventor of weapons from the 1860’s through 70’s, most famous for the legendary Sharps Rifle he developed in the 1850’s. In 1863, his Sharps & Hankins company developed a single shot rifled carbine in .56 caliber for use by both the Federal Army and Navy. This carbine, which took the name of the Company, was advanced for its day in a number of ways. The barrel slid forward and back on mortised channels, opening for loading and unloading of the brass rimfire cases which were adapted from those of the Spencer rifle. When closed, the barrel remained tightly sealed from emission of gases, being released only by a small finger catch under the trigger guard. The rear sight was an inovative style of ladder sight, adjustable for different ranges up to 300 yards. The trigger pull of the weapon was adjustable, a first in U.S. military weapons. The Sharps and Hankins was well regarded by the men using it in the field as an accurate, durable and effective weapon. Most of these soldiers and sailors would have preferred it to the paper cartridge Sharps or the far less substantial Burnside, the two most produced carbines of the war. But only a limited number of these carbines were issued during the war.
I became interested in the Sharps & Hankins after reading a book written by Peter Schiffers, entitled Civil War Carbines, Myth vs. Reality. A collector of antique arms in England, Schiffers conducted a lengthy test shooting process with all the carbines of the Civil War period, firing in them the same loads which had been used in combat, at distances from 55 to 220 yards. The results were rather startling. Among them, the Sharps and Hankins essentially outperformed all other Civil War era carbines, coming in first or second in every category of comparative test shooting.
Coming across this particular specimen at an antique gun show in Richmond, I wondered if I could accomplish the potential of the Sharps & Hankins in skirmishing with the NSSA, where I found the weapon had never been used before in competition. The biggest hurdle was to find a way to convert the weapon to a safe and secure modification of the breach from rim to center fire, without changing the authenticity of the weapon. I accomplished this through the creative work of Richard Schoenberger, an experienced NSSA gunsmith in Ohio, who developed an unobtrusive springloaded center fire insert to replace the existing rimfire insert. It worked, the NSSA Small Arms Committee approved it, and the process Rick developed is now enshrined in the SAC rulebook.
I found a StarBrite 56-50 brass case fit the breach of this weapon nicely, and for several months I tried various loads and cast various bullets in an effort to find a reasonable load which would produce a good target. I was not successful, and was distracted by other guns and commitments, and soon the Sharps & Hankins found its way to the back of the toy box with load development to be continued. But it never was. Now in the course of disposing of my remaining black powder shooters, I am going to offer this for sale as a to be further developed shooter, or as a collector item. It fits both categories.
The gun at issue is a “new” or “second” model, with a barrel length of 24 inches, and a brass angled butt stock. This was the model used by naval personnel, both at sea and in landing parties. The bore is very good. The mortise action and breach closure is smooth. The rear sight is intact, the mortise release is intact, the front band sight is intact. All stamped parts have the same matching serial number. The gun is otherwise complete and honest, save for the absence of the fitted leather covering commonly placed on the barrel of naval used Sharps and Hankins. If ever present, that has long since rotted away.
Price: $1,750, plus shipping
Terms of Sale:
1. Item will be shipped by insured UPS regular ground. I will pack securely for transit. Shipping costs, including insurance, are payable by the purchaser in addition to sale price and if not indicated for a specific gun as a fixed amount will be the actual costs of shipping. Any item sold will be shipped once the purchaser’s chosen method of payment is cleared funds. Sorry, I do not do international transactions and do not take PayPal or credit cards.
2. This gun meets the definition of an “antique” under the United States Gun Control Act of 1968, and accordingly, may be shipped directly to a purchaser without the requirement of passing through an FFL. However, if a purchaser’s state, county, or city requires a permit for purchase, the purchaser must comply and copy documentation of compliance with payment. No firearms are sold to minors (as “minor” is defined by the law of the recipient’s state), and a copy of the recipient’s current driver’s license will be required before the gun is sent.
3. This firearm is sold as a collector's item only. The seller assumes no liability, expressed or implied, as to the shooting capacity, safety or accuracy of the item listed for sale, once it is in the hands of a purchaser. Any gun, whether antique or modern, should properly be examined and approved for firing by a capable gunsmith. But please also note: Those who are not experienced in the metallurgy of antique gun barrels, the necessity of using only black powder in appropriate amounts when shooting, and the necessity of following safe loading and firing practices which are unique to black powder weapons, can cause serious injury and death to themselves or others if attempting to fire one of these guns.
4. A three-day right of inspection will apply to any gun sold, consistent with the standard terms detailed for buyers and sellers by Guns International.
5. The seller is just an old guy liquidating his collection and is neither a gun dealer or purports to be an “expert” in firearms. Any comments concerning the subject item for sale are matters based upon my personal observation, research and past experience with antique firearms. If you have questions or need further picture views, please do not hesitate to ask.