View single post by Johan Steele
 Posted: Thu Jan 11th, 2007 02:52 am
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Johan Steele
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352


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Sharps Carbine Model 1863


 

                The Sharps New Model 1863 Carbine came from a long line of well known and well thought of weapons.  Christian Sharps patented his action in 1851 and the model 1852, 1853, 1855, 1859 and finally 1863 all of which improved upon a strong and reliable action.  It was first issued to the US Army in 1854 and was used to good effect on the frontier.  In .52 Caliber with six grooved rifling it was justifiably famous for its accuracy and reliability.  The sites were graduated to eight hundred yards and the bullet was still quite dangerous at a third again that range.  It utilized a combustible linen or paper cartridge which eliminated the problem of removing spent casings.  By the time of the Civil War Sharps Carbines in various models had already seen battle with at least three different armies on five continents.

                Another unique feature to the Sharps was the existence of the Lawrence Pellet Primer built into the action, a system which eliminated the need for a percussion cap thus allowing a considerably greater rate of fire.  It was the Model 1859 Sharps Carbine upon which all other carbines were judged and few compared favorably.  The Model 1863 was a minor improvement over the Model 1859 utilizing simpler and less expensive manufacturing techniques and minor functional improvements.

                It was primarily the Sharps Carbine at Gettysburg that allowed the Regiments under General Buford to delay the Confederate advance long enough for the western men of the famed Iron Brigade to come up.  Some have gone so far as to say that the Sharps Carbine enabled the Union to Win on that epic field.

                Both Union and Confederate cavalry regiments would only add to the reputation of the Sharps Carbine as they used them to great effect for the duration of the War.

Last edited on Thu Jan 11th, 2007 02:53 am by Johan Steele

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