Sharps & Hankins Navy Model Carbine

Designed by Christian Sharps (or Sharps rifle fame), the Sharps & Hankins carbine was a light and handy rimfire carbine intended for military use. It was a single-shot weapon with an unusual action to lever the barrel forward off the frame, and several interesting technical feature. Most significantly, it used a floating firing pin in the frame, instead of one directly connected to the hammer – a common practice today but novel in the 1850s and 60s.

This example is one of the carbines purchased by the US Navy, which included a distinctive leather sheath on the barrel. This was to protect against salt spray, although these days they are more of a liability for trapping moisture against the barrels, since few owners today expose the guns to ocean spray.

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Hi guys thanks for tuning in to another Video on Forgotten weapons calm I mean I’m here today at the Rock Island Auction company taking a look at some of The guns they’re going to be selling in Their upcoming February of 2017 regional Auction and today we’re taking a look at One of well probably about the only gun Out there that was actually issued with A leather barrel cover this is an 1862 Pattern sharps and Hankins Navy carbine Now the sharps is Christian sharps who’s Really better known by most people for The sharps rifle Quigley down under for Example the sharps rifle was a pretty Innovative and pretty popular Falling-block rifle developed prior to The u.s. Civil War was used initially With paper cartridges and then later Converted to metallic cartridges but What’s interesting what I think a lot of People may not realize is that Christian Sharps the guy who invented it actually Left the sharps rifle company in 1853 he Struck out to do his own independent Thing and spent a while building up the Works and in 1860 he hired a guy named Hankins to be his shop superintendent He’d had some of his financial backers Actually kind of leave the company and In addition to being a pretty talented Engineer originally in woodworking Actually Hankins also brought a good bit Of investment capital into the business

So what better combination then shortly After that by 1862 using patents from Both sharps and hankins they put Together this carbine for sale to the US Military and did actually manage to sell Several thousand of them in total about 6300 like this were sold to the US Navy Then there was also a full-length Infantry rifle version that sold about 500 of those to the army and there was Also a slightly shorter cavalry carbine And they sold I believe about fourteen Or fifteen hundred of those specifically To the New York volunteer militia Cavalry during the Civil War so these Actually saw a fair amount of use in Particular by the Navy so a fair amount Of issue how much they were actually Fired and anger and that’s maybe a Different question These were chambered for their 52 Caliber and they were For the 5652 cartridge interchangeable With that of dispenser 5652 indicates a Paper to the cartridge the bullet was 52 Caliber the case head was 56 caliber so There were a couple different versions Of this Spenser cartridge there was 56 56 56 52 and a 56 50 as they gradually Increase the taper and reduce the bore Diameter but that’s a separate issue These were all 52 caliber and they have This interesting loading system where You actually pull the lever down and it

Slides the barrel forward off the Receiver pretty cool why don’t we take a Closer look at that so actually let’s Start with kind of the elephant in the Room here which is this leather action Cover this was originally put on the gun For naval issues specifically and it was There to prevent saltwater from Corroding the outside of the barrel now That sounds kind of stupid and it at This point it has not worked underneath The leather the barrel is of course Covered in a fine powdery rust as our Permit pretty much all of these however You can see that it’s it’s black leather And I suspect what happened was when These were initially put on they were Treated with something water repellent And they probably did work as intended At least for a while If you had some water repellent coating On the outside that would prevent the Leather from just soaking up water and And it probably did actually work there Now the underside here is fitted Specifically to work with this loading Lever unloading lever thing and these Are very often damaged this one’s just Hanging on it’s more typical to actually Find them what this piece of leather Completely come off and the reason for That is the way this gun works so when I Pull the lever it’s actually going to Cam the barrel out away from the

Receiver when it does that it’s kind of Pushing on that that leather cover here So this is your extraction mechanism and It gives you a lot of leverage to pry a Potentially stuck case out of the Chamber Despite the looks of this particular Example these were very high quality Guns when they were manufactured And they were pretty well-liked so if we Look at the back here we have basically A solid breach face nothing back here Moves because the barrel goes forward This is our extractor and it’s Spring-loaded don’t know if you can see It but I can push it down I think my Finger covers that when I do that but What would happen is you would put a Cartridge in the barrel and then close The barrel down onto the breech face and The rim of the cartridge would push this Spring-loaded extractor down until it Was fully seated in this little recess In the back of the breech face and then The extractor would pop back up and hold The case in place until you went to pull The barrel off the front after firing And then you would reach in and pop the Case out the empty case one cool Innovation of sharps in Hankin was Actually to have a floating firing pin So you can see the firing pin there and There is not actually a firing pin on The hammer face instead we have the back

End of the firing pin right here that’s Something that wouldn’t catch on for Many other designs for quite a long time After this the Sharps and Hank and Carbines also have this sliding safety This is just a block that slides up into Where the hammer is going to be slide it Up there and then if I drop the hammer You can see there that the hammer has Hit the firing pin block instead of Hitting the firing pin itself thus Preventing the gun from firing however In a clever little feature you can Automatically disengage the safety just By cocking the hammer so you can pull The hammer back to here to [ __ ] it but Then you can also pull it all the way Back and this pin on the side of the Hammer will pull the safety down and Disengage it for you just like that so That you know it’s a little details like That that really makes some of these Guns pretty cool so we have a marking on This side sharps patent 1859 and then we Also have a marking on the right side Sharps and hankins Patents so combination of a couple of Different things some of Christian Sharps work and then some work also done By Hankins The rear sight on these guys is Adjustable up to 800 meters or 800 yards Actually and this one’s seen better days But originally this would have been a

Little sliding catch that would allow You to lock into these various notches To elevate the sights the proper height And then the front sight is just sitting On this boss at the front of the barrel Well these rifles weren’t really sold Much after the end of the war in fact in 1867 the sharps and hankins partnership Was dissolved they sold off any other Remaining rifles and sharps went back to Running just Christian charts and Company the same company that he had Been running when he first hired Hankins Before they formed the Hank sharps and Hankins partnership so ultimately sharps Would die in 1870 for tuberculosis and Unfortunately his estate at the time of His death was valued at something like Three hundred and forty-one dollars so Didn’t ultimately make out as a wealthy Man despite having his name on one of The iconic Old West guns but c’est la Vie these are a cool gun it’s Unfortunate that this one’s kind of in Really rough condition but a very neat Concept and a lot of unusual features if You’re interested in owning this one Yourself add it to your own Civil War Collection or Navy rifle collection or Maybe you just have too much 52 caliber Spencer ammunition lying around and you Need something to do with it well take a Look at the description text below You’ll find a link there to Rock Island

Catalog page for this guy you can check Out their pictures and description and Estimated price and if you’d like to Place a bid you can do that right Through their website thanks for Watching

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