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Old Rifles Help with Information PLEASE

PhaethonPhaethon New MemberPosts: 1 New Member
Hello there all ... I have come into possession of 2 rifles of which i know nothing about ... I collect coins not guns unfortunately. I am sincerely hoping that some of you experts can help me find out a little more about them and their value

Thank you in advance

One says Sharps patent 1848 on one side and Patent 1852 on the other side

The other says Burnside Patent 1856



  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,877 Senior Member
    Top rifle is a Burnside Carbine.


    Bottom is a Sharps Rifle.


    I think they're both percussion rifles shooting paper cartridges, but I'm not well-versed in such things.
    I'm just here for snark.
  • mkk41mkk41 Banned Posts: 1,932 Senior Member
    WOW , talk about 2 classics! First , GOOGLE Sharps and Burnside to learn a little bit more. Whatever you do , DO NOT attempt to clean them up in any way. Guns , like old coins lose value if ya try to remove the patina. I would really like to see some more detailed photos , can't tell specific models or calibers , but since I can't see them up close , I would suggest a professional appraisal.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,118 Senior Member
    Both appear to be in really good condition...a top view of the Sharps action would be appreciated...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,126 Senior Member
    Welcome aboard
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Those patent dates put them into a time frame before self-contained brass cartridges became commonplace, so the comment about paper cartridges is right on the money. This was one of the first attempts at mass-producing a breechloading rifle, where the bullet and powder charge was combined into a rolled-up paper sleeve that a hunter or a soldier could carry as a pre-packaged round. The double-set trigger on the Sharps identifies it as a long-range hunting arm, or possibly a military sniper's rifle. You definitely need to find a qualified inspector to try to establish a value, as both of them could be worth thousands of dollars if they're scarce or custom-made items. Try contacting the Buffalo Bill Cody museum in Cody, Wyoming about doing some research on them.
  • calebibcalebib Senior Member Posts: 1,701 Senior Member
    The Burnside actually used a brass cartridge, a strange cone shaped contraption, that also used a percussion cap.

    And Dixie Gun Works sells reproduction cartridges. http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info.php?products_id=8145

    I will second the Cody Museum suggestion. I finally went to the museum a couple weeks ago and it was incredible, a definite must see gun nut pilgrimage.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Welcome aboard. I agree with the other comments. Those things are probably worth a sack of coins!
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,575 Senior Member
    You can buy cases for the Burnside from Dixie Gunworks. I thought the cases were soft iron.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,327 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    Both appear to be in really good condition...a top view of the Sharps action would be appreciated...


    You're either going to have a nipple for a percussion cap (old paper cartridge gun), or what amounts to a driving block for a firing pin (newer brass cartridge gun). In either case, you've got the real deal. Probably worth quite a bit.

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,721 Senior Member
    Very nice.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • sarg1csarg1c Senior Member Posts: 1,707 Senior Member
    What type coins do you collect, Modern,silver, old.....
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