Known as the Sharps & Hankins Model 1862 carbine, this weapon is a wartime .52 caliber rimfire, breechloading firearm designed by Hartford, Connecticut native Christian Sharps. This is a very honest original specimen of that engineering design called the ‘Navy’ type carbine because it had its barrel covered in a black leather covering as rust protection from the sea salt and air. Along with some 6,700 other such Navy carbines produced by the Sharps and Hankins firm in Philadelphia, PA, this carbine was chambered for the No. 56 Sharps & Hankins metallic cartridge.
Fitted with six groove and land rifling, the weapon is 38 5/8” long and weighs about 8 pounds. By tripping the small finger release and operating the lever, the barrel slides forward to accommodate the Sharps rimfire cartridge. The weapon has a 23 5/8” long leather-covered barrel with no wooden forend, an iron blade front sight and a typical Civil War ‘tangent style’ rear sight graduated to 800 yards with a leaf that pivots at the front and raises forward in an arc. All of the black leather covering is original and in superb-plus condition other than for a few minor storage dings. The leather seam stitching remains mostly tight and strong. The frame, hammer and operating lever are cased but only a minimal amount of original colors are visible. The right side of the frame exhibits the address “SHARPS & / HANKINS / PHILADA” in four lines while the left side frame shows the patent “SHARPS / PATENT / 1859” and all stampings are crisp and clear.