This is an attractive and desirable example of a Sharps Borchardt Model 1878 sporting rifle chambered for the .40 Sharps bottlenecked cartridge. The Sharps Rifle Co. manufactured a total of 750 Model 1878 sporting rifles with round barrels between October 1877-October 1881. Most of these saw heavy use on the Western frontier for buffalo hunting. The rifle has a blued 26-inch round barrel that is marked on top with "OLD RELIABLE" in script followed by "SHARPS RIFLE CO. BRIDGEPORT, CONN." ahead of the rear sight, "CALIBRE 40" on top of the breech, and "1 1/16" on the right of the breech (should be 1 11/16, factory error). The left of the receiver is roll-stamped "BORCHARDT PATENT./SHARPS RIFLE CO. BRIDGEPORT, CONN./U.S.A." in three lines. The matching serial number is marked on the bottom of the receiver, barrel underneath the forearm and inside the forearm channel. The receiver, breech block and lever have a casehardened finish. The walnut buttstock and forearm are uncheckered and have an oiled finish, with a checkered shotgun style buttplate. The barrel is fitted with a dovetail mounted blade front sight and folding ladder rear sight.
Very fine, retains 85% plus original blue finish and strong patterns of original case colors visible in protected areas with mostly smooth gray patina on the exposed casehardened surfaces, some marring on the pins on either side of the receiver, and sharp markings and edges in the metal overall. The wood is also very fine with some scattered light dents and scratches, and defined edges overall. Mechanically excellent.
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