Selecting a carbine

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Steffo

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hello, my first post!
I am shopping for a carbne - original from 1860-something.
I have narrowed down to 3 models, Sharp, Gallager and Smith.
I amthinking about quality and spare parts- all inputs appreciated!
 

Steffo

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Thanks- what model carbine would I like? 1859? Or what do you suggest?
 

oscarlovel

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Frankly, I've owned the Sharps, Gallagher, Smith (all reproductions) and an original 2nd Model Maynard. I love the Sharps and I have owned Shilohs, Armisports, IABs and a Garrett . I have had two Erma Gallaghers, one relined to original bore specs by Bob Hoyt. And I have owned several Pietta Smiths. Today, I own the Garrett Sharps 1863 Carbine and the original Maynard. I am a member of the N-SSA and can say from personal experience, the Maynard is the best shooter out of the many ACW Carbines I have owned. Parts are available for most all of them. You have to buy the brass for the Maynard, Gallagher, and Smith, but you "roll your own" paper cartridges for the Sharps. Get whichever one tickles your fancy the most and enjoy. Good luck.
 
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Sharps.

Most used carbine of the war and for good reason. It was thought as highly accurate, reliable, and was ever bit as powerful as a rifle musket or nearly so, most other carbines used a less powerful load.

Several makers. There’s a YouTube video where a re-enactment groups tells about the different makers. You want an 1859 cavalry carbine model.
 

dave951

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I'm also a NSSA competitor. Of the carbines that are legal for our competition, Sharps, Maynard and musketoon are overall the most accurate. Both my 63 Sharps and musketoon cut one ragged hole at 50yds.

For good info on the guns you're asking about, go over to our NSSA forum. We shoot them live and accuracy is important to us. We are NOT reenactors who shoot blanks and sometimes live.
 

Steffo

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Hello -
Sharp 1863 cal 52. What would be a resnable price for a good piece?
Does it matter in price if it has the "box" in the stock for gears?
 

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Zonie

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By saying "box in the stock for gears" are you saying it has something like a place for a crank to go that would drive gears?

There were several Sharps carbines known today as "Coffee-Mill Sharps" which had a coffee grinder built into the butt stock.
These are very rare and costly with a "good" one selling for $17,500 in 2007.

Like all rare guns there are a number of counterfeit ones on the market so be wary of any you might come across.

I have never heard of any company making modern repros that have ever offered one of these models for sale.

Then, on the other hand, maybe your talking about something else?
 

Artificer

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I did a WHOLE lot of repair work and trigger jobs on Original and Repro Smith Carbines between the early 1980's and my last National NSSA shoot in 2005. Matter of fact for many years, I was the only one willing to do a trigger job on a Smith during the Nationals, because it is so involved and takes so much time to do. So while I highly regard the Original Smith Carbines, I would strongly advise against the purchase of even a repro, unless you get into NSSA shooting.

I also did trigger jobs and other work on other UnCivil War period guns used in NSSA competition. I only accepted a Shiloh Sharps one time for a trigger job and that wound up being a Royal PITA !!! The half cock notch was broken off, so it required a replacement tumbler. I went all over the Sutler area, but nobody carried spare parts for the Shiloh. Yeah, I was told original Sharps tumblers would interchange, but found out that was NOT true. I was able to fit an original tumbler, but it took way too much handwork and I knew what I was doing.

If you wish to buy a Sharps repro or some other period breech loading rifle, I would strongly recommend you get an extra tumbler and sear when you buy it, if you wish to compete with it and shoot it a lot. I say this from having to hunt down repair parts at the NSSA Nationals, which is normally the BEST place to find repair parts on short notice. Too many times I went all over Sutlers' Row over the years and while Sutlers/Dealers had parts back in their shops or places of business, what was needed was not available even there.

Gus
 

dave951

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Well Gus, why not come on back to Ft Shenandoah? The berm ain't anywhere near full of lead. Yeah triggers on Sharps are a major PITA regardless of who made the gun.

I just got home from Nationals, had a great time. Busted pigeons, missed pigeons and a ball. We finished 4th in A2 Carbine and 5th in A3 Musket. As always, if we'd few just hit a few more faster........
 

Steffo

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Hello and thanks for input.
Is the Sharps New Model 1863 cal 52 worth buying as a collectors item?
It's asked about USD3000 and clamied to be good condition,
all original parts.
Does it sound resonable?
I am a beginner so In appreciate advice!
Best regards
Steffo
 

Zonie

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Discussing Sharps is permitted as long as they use a separate percussion cap that is not a part of the cartridge.

The first Sharps did load from the breech but after closing the breech, a musket cap was placed on the nipple to fire them. Talking about them is permitted however the Sharps that use a metallic cartridge that has a primer in it is not.

Check out the Forum Rules and read what they say at the bottom of the list.
 

Badgerfarm

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Steffo, I sent you a private message concerning your question.
 

smoothshooter

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By saying "box in the stock for gears" are you saying it has something like a place for a crank to go that would drive gears?

There were several Sharps carbines known today as "Coffee-Mill Sharps" which had a coffee grinder built into the butt stock.
These are very rare and costly with a "good" one selling for $17,500 in 2007.

Like all rare guns there are a number of counterfeit ones on the market so be wary of any you might come across.

I have never heard of any company making modern repros that have ever offered one of these models for sale.

Then, on the other hand, maybe your talking about something else?
I think he is referring to a patch box.
 

gemmer

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As far as originals go, the Maynard is probably the way to go, followed by the Smith. The Smith may have trigger issues and need flash channel work. Both are relatively simple in construction. So is the Gallagher, but you may need to replace screws and bolts that have worn out. It does not have a direct flash channel, so it has to use the hottest caps you can find. Head space for the rimmed case Maynard can be a problem. The Sharps has a rather complicated breech block and chamber set up which will probably require work unless the previous owner had it done. Shooting loose powder with a bullet is possible but not recommended. Most shooters use paper cartridges or Charlie Hahn’s cardboard tubes. The others mentioned above us brass or plastic cases.

Repro Sharps, to one degree or another can have gas leakage issues that will bind up the action. There are several machinists out there that will take care of that. They have an indirect flash channel that can cause ignition problems as does the Erma Gallagher. The Pietta Smith is popular but may have trigger a s clean out channel issues. If you have $4,000.00 laying around, Romano makes a very nice Maynard but why bother if you can get a nice original for half the price. I shoot a Pedersoli Sharps with a reworked breech block and chamber by Charlie Hahn that is superb. My current favorite is an Erma Gallagher that was relined to the correct .50 cal by Bobby Hoyt and is a tack driver. I don’t think you can find a more solidly built carbine.

Go to the N-SSA bulletin board and read up on carbines. There is a ton of info there. www.n-ssa.net
 

Steffo

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Hello amd thanks for all your input - I just have a hard time to digest and I dont know the "wordings" since I am new to carbines and not native english spoken.

I am not considering a replica but a 1863 original.
I just like a indicative comment of there are spares available and if it's worth 3000USD for a resonably good original.
The question is really that simple :)
Regards
Stefan
 

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