The included factory letter confirms that this rifle was shipped on 22 July 1878 to J.G. Dow, a cashier of Bozeman, Montana, in business .40 caliber rifle. The letter goes on to state that it is believed that "Dow was buying gun for Walter Cooper who had become in financial distress with the Sharps Company." Raised low profile blade front sight and unmarked folding ladder rear sight on a barrel marked "Old Reliable" followed by the Bridgeport address ahead of the rear sight and "CALIBRE 40" at the breech. The left side of the barrel at the breech is marked "BUSINESS 40." The left side of the frame is marked with the two-line 1869 patent date. The full serial number is on the receiver at the breech. The rifle features double set triggers, a tang tapped for sight mounting and smooth forearm and straight grip stock. The barrel and forearm are numbered to the gun. 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.
Very good. The rifle retains traces of original blue finish and original case colors in the protected areas, otherwise a smooth brown patina. The wood is good with a long hairline cracks found near the upper tang, forearm and buttplate, some gouges and some minor pressure dents and scratches. Mechanically excellent.
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