Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1089: Sharps Model 1874 Sporting Rifle

Auction Date: December 3, 2016

Desirable Documented J.P. Lower Marked and Shipped Special Order Sharps Model 1874 Sporting Rifle with Factory Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $4,500 - $6,500

Desirable Documented J.P. Lower Marked and Shipped Special Order Sharps Model 1874 Sporting Rifle with Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company
Model: 1874-Rifle
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 40
Barrel: 30 inch octagon
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 718
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 53
Class: Antique

The included factory letter confirms that this rifle was invoiced on 17 August 1876 to Sharps dealer J.P. Lower of Denver, Colorado, .40 caliber, 30 inch octagon barrel, double set triggers, open sights and oiled finished stock. The rifle is documented in Seller's book "Sharps Firearms" on page 221. The rifle has a special order pewter forend cap. According to Sellers, "Lower was one of a small number of dealers who ordered this feature during the Bridgeport period." The forearm and barrel are numbered to the gun. German blade front sight and unmarked folding ladder rear sight on a barrel marked with the Bridgeport address ahead of the rear sight and "J.P. LOWER CALIBRE 40" at the breech. The frame has the 1869 patent date on the left side, and the upper tang has the serial number. Sharps manufactured approximately 6,400 Model 1874 Sporting rifles between 1871 and 1880. They were popular with market hunters in the West and were well known for their ability to takedown bison at long ranges. They were also popular with long range target shooters and were used in both capacities well after the Sharps Rifle Company closed in 1881 due to increased competition from Winchester's famous lever action and single shot rifles. Many Sharps rifles were manufactured in some of the most powerful black powder cartridges ever made. The use of double set triggers and a set of cross sticks made them incredibly accurate.

Rating Definition:

Very good. The rifle has a smooth brown patina with heavy amounts of silvered out original case colors remaining in and around the protected areas. The wood is good with nearly 4 inch and 1 inch long cracks radiating from the upper tang, two holes above the lock plate screw and some minor pressure dents, gouges and scratches. Mechanically excellent.

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