1873 Pattern Sharps Rifle, a Look at an Outstanding Example ~ VIDEO

By Lars Dalseide

1873 pattern Sharps Rifle Action
1873 pattern Sharps Rifle Action

Almost 3,000 guns are on display at the National Firearms Museum.

What you may not know, however, is that a portion of these guns don’t actually belong to the NRA.

Some are simply on loan. Such is the case for the subject of this week’s Curator’s Corner — an 1873 pattern Sharps Rifle.

1873 pattern Sharps Rifle

“This rifle has one of the finest engraving and figuring of wood I’ve ever seen,” said Senior Curator Philip Schreier.

Sitting beside NRANews Producer John Popp in the Museum’s Roosevelt Room, Schreier explained what made this rifle so special.

“This November has many anniversaries. Not only is it the NRA’s birthday on the 17th, but November 2nd 2017 is the 159th anniversary of the day William Coffee won this rifle at the very first Sharps Target Excursion in 1858.”

1873 pattern Sharps Rifle Sights and Hammer
1873 pattern Sharps Rifle Sights and Hammer

Sharps first came on the scene back in 1848. Designed and produced by gunsmith Christian Sharps, the percussion, breech-loading, single-shot rifle was known to reach over 1,000 yards … with an experienced hand of course. All thanks to the open ladder or Vernier Tang sights.

“You can tell it was of the earlier design, versus the more well known 1874, because of the slanting breech. That was changed once they went to the ’74.”

Loaned to the Museum by Peter Dowd of Massachusetts, the Sharps was last on display in the museum’s American West Exhibit in 2014.

Philip Schreier discusses the 1873 pattern Sharps Rifle
Senior NRA Museum Curator Philip Schreier happily resting with the 1873 pattern Sharps rifle at Beretta Gallery in Fairfax, Virginia

Visit the National Firearms Museum almost any day for FREE. For more info, go to www.nramuseum.com

About Lars Dalseide

Lars has been with the National Rifle Association for eight years. Starting in the program side of the association’s Media Relations department, he worked on productions from Discovery Channel, History Channel, and Outdoor Channel while writing for American Rifleman, American Hunter, and NRAblog. Now, as a Media Liaison and spokesman for NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, he follows firearm-related policies and legislation for almost 20 states. nraila.org

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Ken Wasson

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