Manufactured circa 1876-1880 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, this is one of approximately 900 Business models made in .45 caliber. The Sharps Model 1874 was among the most popular firearms on the American frontier in the late 19th century, especially among professional hunters in the bison industry who valued them for their power and accuracy. Those same traits however, along with their inherent reliability, endeared them to settlers, lawmen, Native Americans, outlaws, and gold prospectors as well. Though they couldn't provide the extended fire power of the contemporary Winchester repeaters, their simplicity and trusted design kept them a popular and "Old Reliable" option well into the repeating era. The top of the barrel on this example has the "Old Reliable" marking followed by the Bridgeport address, both in front of the rear sight. "BUSINESS 45" is marked on top of the breech and "2 1/2" on the right. Matching serial numbers are marked on the bottom of the barrel and top rear of the receiver. It is fitted with a copper blade front sight, Lawrence patent folding ladder rear sight, and double set triggers. It is mounted with a smooth walnut forearm and straight buttstock. Three small kill notches are carved in the front of the stock comb, possibly bison kills.
Very good and full of frontier character, retains 20% original blue finish on the barrel with smooth gray and brown patina on the balance, and the casehardened frame turned to a mix of attractive silvery gray and smooth brown patinas indicative of period use out West. Wood is also very good as lightly sanded and re-oiled, with some light dents and handling marks, a minor crack on the right rear of the forend, a patch of scratches on the left of the buttstock, and kill notches as mentioned above. Mechanically excellent.
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