26-Bore (.57 caliber). 27″ round barrel. SN: 20813. Blued and color casehardened finish, iron furniture, smooth walnut stock and forend. Matching serial numbers on tang, under barrel and in forend. Tang marked “SHARP’S/PATENT/1848″. Barrel marked “SHARP’S RIFLE/MANFG CO/HARTFORD, CONN”. Iron buttplate, no patchbox. Groove in receiver functions as a rear sight, remnants of screw-in brass front sight with bead missing and post flush with top of barrel. Recent research published in Sharps Firearms – The Percussion Era notes, only 220 Model 1853 Shotguns were produced circa July 1854 to December 1856. These guns fall in very specific serial number ranges of 9,3XXX, 12,4XX, 15,3XX, 16,9XX and 17,1XX. This gun falls outside that range. Frank Sellers’ book on Sharps’ firearms indicates that shotguns appear as high as the 22,XXX range, but the authors of the more recent work cannot substantiate that claim from surviving records. The gun presented here appears to be correct in most respects, although the pewter forend cap appears to be somewhat shorter than on other known examples and the receiver appears to have come from a carbine with the saddle bar hole filled. Despite these apparent inconsistencies consultation with one of the top Sharps collectors in the field suggests that this is an honest and correct example of an extremely scarce gun.
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