These Sharps Model 1874 rifles were a highly valued arm on the frontier, not only due to their firepower but also their long range accuracy. These rifles were popular for both protection and hunting and saw widespread use throughout the turbulent American west. This specific example certainly has the "been there, done that" look of a western working gun. The top flat of the barrel has the "Old Reliable" marking, the Sharps Bridgeport address, and the caliber marking. The bottom of the barrel is marked with "4" and "12/16", and the serial number, which is also partially ("6483") inside the forearm. The left side of the receiver has the two-line Sharps patent marking. The main serial number on the upper tang is obscured. It is fitted with a German silver blade front sight and R.S. Lawrence folding ladder rear sight. It is mounted with a checkered Schnabel tip forearm and pistol grip stock. There is a period rawhide repair around the wrist area that appears to have been used to mend a large crack in the wrist that had temporarily put the rifle out of action. The buttplate is now also absent with some significant deformation on the buttstock, suggesting that the damage to the buttstock and crack in the wrist may have been due to the same impact.
Good, showing all the grit and rugged toughness of the American west, retaining faint traces of the original finish with the balance mostly a grey or plum brown patina with some scattered light pitting. The wood is also good as frontier repaired (see above) with cracks and chips in the wrist, extensive wear and a large aged chip absent from the bottom of the buttstock, all having the appearance of having occurred during the gun's working life. Mechanically excellent. An interesting Sharps Model 1874 sporting rifle that is full of frontier character.
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