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, Connecticuton 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 (1811 - 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 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 1875, Sharps introduced the .50-90 Sharps hunting cartridge. Hugo Borchardt designed the last rifle made by the company, the Sharps-Borchardt Model 1878. The Sharps Rifle Co. closed down in 1881.
Reproduction of the paper cartridge Sharps 1853 Rifle, the metallic cartridges 1874 Sharps Rifle, and Sharps-Borchardt Model 1878 are being manufactured today. They are used in hunting and target shooting. Shiloh Rifle Manufacturing Company in Big Timber, Montana offers a line of Sharps reproductions.
|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||0.52|
|1869 to 1871||Model 1869||Sporting Rifle||.45-70, .50-70|
|1871 to 1881||Model 1874||Various|
|1877 to 1878||Model 1877||0.45|
|1878 to 1881||Model 1878||Various|
- ↑ Accurate Smokeless Powders Loading Guide Number Two (Revised), Book by Accurate Arms Co, Wolfe Publishing, 2000 p.368
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