Sharps Model 1874 Sporting Rifle with Factory Letter
Rock Island’s fantastic Spring Premiere Auction to be held April 25th, 26th and 27th 2009
Rock Island Auction Company – -(AmmoLand.com)- This Bridgeport manufactured Model 1874 was made circa 1871 to 1881 (the Model 1874 was not applied to the gun for a few years after production began). Under the remarkable period custom rear buck horn sight, the top of the barrel is marked “SHARPS RIFLE CO. BRIDGEPORT, CONN.”, writer can not see the Old Reliable marking.
Writer assumes that the marking is there due to the fact this rifle was manufactured after 1876 and is Bridgeport marked. The left rear barrel flat is marked “CAL 45 2 7/8”. The left side of the frame is marked “SHARPS RIFLE CO / PAT APR 6 1869”.
The serial number is marked horizontally along the back of the receiver. The number is correctly marked with 6 numbers because the “C” prefix was dropped after serial number C54800.
The front sight is a replacement ivory blade and the rear sight is a replacement adjustable large semi buck horn type. The barrel is numbered to the gun. The rifle is equipped with double set triggers and mounted with a smooth forearm and straight grip stock with an iron butt plate.
The rifle is accompanied by a factory letter which verifies the serial number, caliber using a 2 7/8″ case, double set triggers, full 32 inch octagon barrel and that it was in the inventory of Nathaniel Curry and Brother of San Francisco, Ca. on August 2, 1879.
Near fine overall. The barrel has a very attractive, deep brown age patina. Metal surfaces are smooth and free from pitting and the edges of the barrel flats are sharp. Traces of the original blue finish are visible in protected areas.
There are some old vise marks on both sides of the barrel just ahead of the receiver. The New Haven Arms address, serial number and inspection marks are crisp. The rear sight has the same age patina as the barrel and appears to be contemporary to the rifle.
The hammer and loading lever have a gray-brown patina with traces of the original casehardening colors. The brass receiver and buttplate have not been polished and have a mellow and very attractive age patina. The edges of the side plates are tight and have minimal battering.
The receiver and buttplate have only light to moderate handling wear and are generally free from dents or scratches. The stock is fine and has moderate handling wear overall. There is a deep gouge in the left side behind and below the sling swivel. There is a small chip in the toe just ahead of the buttplate and a minor, hairline crack on either side of the chip. U.S. Contract Henry rifles typically show the service wear received during the Civil War and are rarely seen in very good condition.
This is a superior example of one of the most desirable of all Civil War small arms. The U.S. Contract Henry rifle is one of the very few Civil War weapons that can be definitely associated with a specific military unit.
Auction Estimate: $13,000 – $18,000
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Rock Island Auction Company announces the next Premiere Firearms auction to be held at their facilities in Moline, IL. The huge success of our regional sale ($2.2 million) proves that people are investing in what they know: firearms are solid investments that hold value through economic downturns. Investing and collecting opportunities abound at Rock Island’s fantastic Spring Premiere Auction to be held April 25th, 26th and 27th. At a time when the stock market changes daily, gun collectors are seeing the worth of their investments. Hard assets are the place to invest your money and gun values continue to rise. This auction has firearms for every level of collecting and investing from Colts to Winchesters, military to Class III and the hundreds of high quality sporting arms. Rock Island’s continued sell through rate of over 97% proves that items that come to RIAC are for sale and now is your chance to make a solid investment.
Rock Island Auction Company has been solely owned and operated by Patrick Hogan. This company was conceived on the idea that both the sellers and buyers should be completely informed and provided a professional venue for a true auction. After working with two other auction companies, Mr. Hogan began Rock Island Auction in 1993. Rock Island Auction Company has grown to be one of the top firearms auction houses in the nation. Under Mr. Hogan’s guidance the company has experienced growth each and every year; and he is the first to say it is his staff’s hard work and determination that have yielded such results.