Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company

Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company
Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company
Former type Private
Industry firearms
Fate Dissolved
Founded October 9, 1851 (1851-10-09) in Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.
Founder(s) Samuel Robbins and Richard S. Lawrence
Defunct 1881 (1881)
Headquarters Bridgeport, Connecticut, U.S.
Area served U.S.
Key people John C. Palmer, Christian Sharps, Richard S. Lawrence
Products Rifles

Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company was the manufacturer of Sharps Rifle. It was organized by Samuel Robbins and Richard S. Lawrence as a holding company in Hartford, Connecticut on October 9, 1851 with $100,000 in capital. John C. Palmer was president, Christian Sharps an engineer, and Richard S. Lawrence as master armorer and superintendent. Samuel Robbins and Richard Lawrence each acquired 250 shares—approximately 13% of the company.


Christian Sharps (1810 - 1874), patented his rifle in 1848. The first contract for 5,000 rifles was in 1850 and manufacturing started in 1851. The Model 1851 "box-lock" was developed Christian Sharps, Rollin White, and Richard Lawrence at Robbins & Lawrence of Windsor, VT.

The second contract for 15,000 rifles was so large that no suitable land was available in Windsor, VT. The holding company advanced Robbins & Lawrence $40,000 to purchase 25 acres (100,000 m2) of land in Hartford, CT and to erect a brick factory building.

Christian Sharps left the Company in 1853. He later formed a partnership with William Hankins in 1862, known as Sharps & Hankins. In 1855, manufacturing was moved to Hartford and continued until 1876. Operations were then moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut.

In 1872, Sharps introduced the .50-90 Sharps hunting cartridge.[1] Hugo Borchardt designed the last rifle made by the company, the Sharps-Borchardt Model 1878. The Sharps Rifle Co. closed down in 1881.

Reproductions of the paper cartridge Sharps 1863 Rifle, the metallic cartridge 1874 Sharps Rifle, and Sharps-Borchardt Model 1878 are manufactured today. They are used in hunting and target shooting. A number of companies, among them Shiloh Rifle Manufacturing Company and C. Sharps Arms Inc., both of Big Timber, Montana, and the Italian gunmaker Davide Pedersoli & Co. of Brescia, offer a line of Sharps reproductions.

Production Sharps Model Type Caliber
1849 to 1850 Model 1849 Rifle 0.44
1850 to 1850 Model 1850 Rifle 0.44
1852 to 1855 Model 1851 Carbine .36, .44, .52
1853 to 1855 Model 1852 Rifle 0.52
1853 to 1855 Model 1852 Carbine 0.52
1853 to 1855 Model 1852 Shotgun Various
1854 to 1857 Model 1853 Carbine Various
1856 to 1857 Model 1855 0.52
1856 to 1857 Model 1855 U.S. Navy Rifle 0.52
1855 to 1857 Model 1855 British Carbine 0.52
1859 to 1866 Model 1859 Carbine 0.52
1859 to 1866 Model 1863 Carbine 0.52
1859 to 1866 Model 1865 Carbine 0.52
1859 to 1866 Model 1859 Rifle 0.52
1869 to 1871 Model 1869 Carbine 0.52
1869 to 1871 Model 1869 Military Rifle 0.50-70
1869 to 1871 Model 1869 Sporting Rifle .44-77, .50-70
1871 to 1881 Model 1874 Various
1877 to 1878 Model 1877 0.45
1878 to 1881 Model 1878 Various

See also


  1. ^ Accurate Smokeless Powders Loading Guide Number Two (Revised), Book by Accurate Arms Co, Wolfe Publishing, 2000 p.368

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