Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1098: Fine A.O. Zischang Sharps Borchardt Schuetzen Rifle with Scope

Auction Date: December 3, 2016

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $18,000 - $27,500

Fine A.O. Zischang Sharps Borchardt Schuetzen Rifle with Scope

Manufacturer: Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company
Model: 1878 Borchardt
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 32-40
Barrel: 31 1/2 inch octagon
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 2372
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 56
Class: Antique

This Schuetzen rifle is by one of the preeminent target rifle makers of the late 1800s, August O. Zischang of Syracuse, New York. Zischang is best known for producing high quality Schuetzen rifles often built on a Sharps-Borchardt action like this fine example. The full octagon number 4 weight barrel is marked "A.O. ZISCHANG SYRACUSE, N.Y." on the upper left flat and "FLUID-STEEL-KRUPP" on the top flat. The rifle is equipped with a windgage spirit level front sight, mid-range Vernier tang sight mounted on a special Zischang made short pedestal/removable tang and Stevens No. 605 scope. The barrel has no provision for a rear sight, but has target blocks with 11 5/8 inch spacing. This is a special 7/8 inch diameter Stevens scope with external mounts, Pope rail and adjustable front objective. Note that the rear scope mount partially covers the steel marking listed above. There are two tapped holes behind the font sight. Zischang was noted for streamlining and improving the Borchardt military action. The graceful lines were not obtainable by using the sporter action as they have too much metal removed from the wrong areas to be conductive to the fine lines he desired. The casehardened and unmarked action is fitted with a long pistol grip lower tang with Zischang's double set triggers and a unique special two finger lever. This is a big rifle stocked by Zischang with an extra large Schuetzen buttstock with cheekpiece and special Zischang buttplate. The walnut is exhibition grade Circassion walnut with fine line checkering in the pistol grip and forearm. The buttplate is blued steel and the grip cap is hard rubber. The cheekpiece is unusual with unique contour and flows well in the overall perch belly design. The highly attractive wood is honey colored with dark swirling grain and fiddleback figure.

Rating Definition:

Very fine as period custom built by A.O. Zischang. The barrel retains 95% of the blue finish showing some light spotting and a couple patches of mild pitting. The receiver, breechblock, and lever retain 80% of the case colors. The lower tang and buttplate retain 70% of the blue finish thinning to a brown. The wood is excellent showing some minor handling marks. The checkering is crisp overall. Mechanically excellent. The scope retains 80% thinned original blue finish with a couple patches of minor pitting and the crosshairs need repair. This Zischang Sharps is one of the very finest and maybe unique with this lever and large buttstock. A.O. Zischang execution of detail and workmanship has no peer. Provenance: Robert M. Lee Collection.

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