POTD: Before The C93 – Sharps-Borchardt Model 1878 Single Shot Rifle
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have an early example of Hugo Borchardt’s work. This is a Sharps-Borchardt Model 1878 Single Shot Rifle chambered in 45/70 Gov. To those of you who may not know, Hugo Borchardt designed what is considered the first commercially successful autoloading pistol, the Borchardt C93. Not only was that pistol successful enough to earn that title but it also served as an inspiration to Georg Luger to simplify and compacted the design into what would become the much-beloved Luger. The Sharps-Borchardt Model 1878 Single Shot Rifle comes from his early years in the United States when he assisted the Sharps rifle company in its attempt to put out another successful rifle. Unfortunately, the sleek and simple look to the design was not interesting enough for consumers and the rifle only ever saw small military and police uses both at home and abroad.
“The serial number suggests this example was made in late 1877 or early 1878. It has the military style blade/stud front and a Lawrence notch and folding ladder rear sight without patent marking, factory markings with “Old Reliable” on barrel, long military forearm, and smooth buttstock with checkered iron buttplate numbered “446/A” on the back at the toe. There are no government acceptance markings, but these rifles were purchased by a variety of state governments, the National Rifle Association, and the governments of China and some South American countries.”
Lot 3226: Sharps-Borchardt Model 1878 Officer’s Model Single Shot Rifle – Early Production Sharps-Borchardt Model 1878 Commercial Single Shot Military Style Rifle. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved September 21, 2022, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/71/3226/sharpsborchardt-model-1878-officers-model-single-shot-rifle.