POTD: Sharps C & Company 36 Caliber Percussion Pistol Rifle
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Yep! You heard it right, folks – a pistol rifle. By today’s standards and laws, this would basically be considered a rifle or long gun. The pistol portion of this pistol rifle comes from when Sharps took a falling block action and simply applied it to a pistol. This falling block action has more resemblance to a Remington rolling block than the Sharps rifles we all know and love. This particular pistol rifle was chambered to use Sharp’s Mule Ear cartridges which is something I hope to go over on a future date because they are extremely different looking!
“Percussion breech-loading pistol-rifle manufactured by C. Sharps & Co., of Philadelphia circa 1857-1860. Sharps manufactured approximately 600 of these standard model Pistol-Rifles using the same action as the Sharps Breech-Loading Single Shot Pistol. The pistol-rifle has a round, brown-finished barrel with dovetail mounted nickel-silver front sight blade, tube rear sight and a knurled ring at the muzzle like the Sharps large frame breech-loading pistols. The falling block action is designed for the “mule-ear” cartridge and is fitted with a pellet priming device. The receiver lever and hammer have a casehardened finish. The rifle has a walnut forearm with iron tip and pistol grip walnut stock with iron pistol grip cap, patch box and buttplate. The cap box has a high polish blue finish. The stock and forearm have a varnished high polish “piano” finish. What appears to be the serial number, “11” is stamped on the inside of the breech lever. “C. SHARPS/PATENT/18-52” is stamped on the left side of the receiver below the hammer. “C.SHARPS & CO’S/RIFLE WORKS/PHILA. PA” is roll-stamped in three lines on the left side of the receiver. The rifle is fitted with a hinged wooden case lined with red felt. The case has five compartments with three of the compartments having wooden lids with bone handles. The case contains a steel .36 caliber single shot pistol bullet mold serial numbered “771”, an empty rectangular tin Sharps primer box with a paper label that reads “SHARPS/PATENT PELLETS/OR PRIMERS/Patented June 28. 1853” and a glass container of wax. “
Lot 3078: Sharps C & Company Pistol Rifle 36 percussion. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/55/3078/sharps-c-company-pistol-rifle-36-percussion.