All Sharps pistols can be roughly divided into three large groups. The first group should include pistols made by Sharps and Company: varieties of the first and second Sharps models.
The second group is the pistols produced by Sharps & Hankins after the merger of Christian Sharps with William Hankins: different variants of the third and fourth Sharps models.
The third group is Sharps pistols, manufactured in England by Tipping & Lawden, after they acquired the rights to manufacture the pistol.
Sharps pistols of the first model (Sharps Model 1) produced by Sharps and Company under the 0.22 caliber rimfire cartridge. The weapon is marked with alphanumeric text inscribed in a circle on the left and right sides of the frame. On the left side of the frame is the text: “C. SHARPS PATENT 1859 ", the right side is marked" C. SHARPS & CO. PHILADA, PA ". The pistol grips are straight, the grip cheeks are usually made of wood, with the exception of the 1A model. The main variants of the first model of Sharps pistol: model 1A, model 1B, model 1C, model 1D, model 1E.
Pistol Sharps Model 1A (Sharps Model 1A)
Sharps pistols model 1A (Sharps Model 1A) are most often found in collections. Most likely pistols of this model were produced more than other varieties.
A distinctive feature of this model is the straight, without smooth bends and steps, the shape of the breech of the frame. The upper part of the grip cheeks has a straight cut.
The serial numbers of this model are from 1 to 60,000. After the number 60,000 was reached, they began to re-produce pistols with serial numbers from 1 to 5000. For this reason, sometimes pistols with signs of a later release, but with low serial numbers, are found.
The pistol grips are straight, the grip cheeks are usually made of hard rubber (gutta-percha). The barrel lock button is located in the lower front part of the frame. The frames of the pistols are made of brass. In weapons fired with an engraved frame, sometimes the cheeks of the handle, made of bone, were installed.
Pistol Sharps Model 1B (Sharps Model 1B)
Pistols Sharps model 1B (Sharps Model 1B) outwardly differ from the model 1A in the characteristic stepped shape of the breech of the frame. The brass frame is usually silver plated.
The barrel block fixing button is located on the left side of the frame. By moving the lock button down, the barrels are unlocked and the receiver unit can be moved forward along the frame guides.
Sharps Model 1B pistol grip cheeks are mainly made of wood. The upper cut of the handle cheeks at the point of contact with the frame has a semicircular shape. Serial numbers for Sharps Model 1B pistols range from 1 to 3200.
Pistol Sharps Model 1C (Sharps Model 1C)
Sharps pistols model 1C (Sharps Model 1C) have a brass frame with a stepped breech shape, like model 1B pistols.
However, unlike Model 1B, the barrel lock button in Sharps Model 1C pistols is located in the lower front part of the frame.
The cheeks of the arms are usually wooden. The shape of the upper part of the handle cheeks is semicircular.
Serial numbers for this variety usually range from 1 to 26000.
The shape of the notch on the surface of the trigger probably also differs from model to model, however, it was not possible to find exact information about this.
Pistol Sharps Model 1D (Sharps Model 1D)
Sharps pistols Model 1D are almost identical in appearance to the Model 1C, except that the frames of the pistols are not made of brass, but steel.
Very few Model 1D pistols are manufactured. The serial numbers of this type of weapon are 22000 - 23000.
HistoryPistols.ru could not find photos of the Sharps Model 1E pistol.Judging by the description in the reference literature, this model is distinguished by the rounded shape of the breech of the frame (resembling the shape of the frame of model 4). The cheeks of the weapon grip have a rounded upper cut. The receiver lock button is located at the bottom of the frame in front. Serial numbers range from 1 to 2200.
Sharps pistols of the second model (Sharps Model 2) were also produced by Sharps and Company. Varieties of this pistol model were made for a 0.30 caliber rimfire cartridge. The gun frames are made of brass and are of medium size. The pistol markings are exactly the same as the model 1. The main variations of the second model of the Sharps pistol: model 2A, model 2B, model 2C, model 2D, model 2E.
Pistol Sharps Model 2A (Sharps Model 2A)
Sharps pistols Model 2A have a brass frame with a straight breech shape.
The grip cheeks are usually made of hard rubber (gutta-percha) and have a straight upper cut at the point of contact with the frame.
The button for fixing the block of barrels is located in the front part of the frame from below.
Serial numbers for Sharps Model 2A pistols are found in two ranges. Early pistols are numbered from 1 to 30,000, later the numbering is repeated from 1 to 5000.
Pistol Sharps Model 2B (Sharps Model 2B)
The Model 2B pistols also have a brass frame with a straight breech shape.
For ordinary models, the cheeks of the handle are made of wood, for gift options they are made of bone. The upper cut of the grip cheeks has a semicircular shape.
The brass frames of the gift versions of the pistol are decorated with engraving of floral ornaments and coated with silver plating.
Serial numbers for Sharps Model 2B pistols start at 1 and end with 4000.
Pistol Sharps Model 2C (Sharps Model 2C)
Model 2C has a grooved (stepped) breech shape. The upper part of the handle cheeks is semicircular, the handle cheeks are wooden.
The fixing button of the table unit is located at the front in the lower part of the frame.
Serial numbers for Model 2C pistols range between 3000 and 6000.
The shape of the notch on the trigger spoke of the Model 2C pistols is practically the same as the earlier models.
Pistols Sharps Model 2D (Sharps Model 2D) have a stepped (grooved) shape of the breech of the frame. The grip cheeks of the serial pistol models are made of hard rubber and covered with a checkered notch. The upper cut of the cheeks of the handles is straight. Serial numbers from 1 to 1200. Unfortunately, it was not possible to find photographs to illustrate these pistols.
Pistol Sharps Model 2E (Sharps Model 2E)
Sharps pistols Model 2E are equipped with a brass frame with a straight breech without steps and smooth curves.
The grip cheeks of this type of pistol are made of hard rubber, the surface of the grip cheeks is decorated with a floral embossed ornament.
Reference literature indicates that this variety has a smaller frame than other Model 2 pistols. Serial numbers for Sharps Model 2E pistols range from 1 to 600.
The Sharps Model 3 pistols were produced by Sharps & Hankins after Christian Sharps and William Hankins merged and formed a joint venture. Various versions of this pistol model were made for a 0.32 caliber rimfire cartridge with a short sleeve. The frames of the pistols have a rounded breech contour. The pistol markings differ significantly from previous models and are the text in the upper part of the barrel block "ADDRESS SHARPS & HANKINS, PHILADELPHIA, PENN.", As well as text in two lines on the right side of the frame "C. SHARPS PATENT / JAN. 25, 1859 ". The main variations of the third model of Sharps pistol: model 3A, model 3B, model 3C, 3D model. Serial numbers are scattered throughout the third model and range from 1 to 15,000.
Pistol Sharps Model 3A (Sharps Model 3A)
The Sharps Model 3A pistol differs from other weapons by the presence of a round cover on the left side of the frame, through which a screw passes, which acts as a trigger axis. The barrel block lock button is located on the left side of the frame close enough to the trigger axis.
Pistol Sharps Model 3B (Sharps Model 3B)
Model 3B is typically marked with two lines of text on the right side of the “C. SHARPS PATENT / JAN. 25, 1859 ".
At the top of the barrel block is the text "ADDRESS SHARPS & HANKINS, PHILADELPHIA, PENN."
The receiver lock button is in the same location as the Model 3A, but there is no round cover on the left side of the frame.
Pistol Sharps Model 3C (Sharps Model 3C)
Sharps model 3C pistols also do not have a round cap on the left side of the frame. In addition, the release button has shifted slightly towards the muzzle. Accordingly, minor changes were made to the barrel block locking mechanism. Some researchers claim that there are pistols with an extractor located vertically between the barrels.
Pistol Sharps Model 3D (Sharps Model 3D)
The 3D model outwardly resembles the previous model, although the photo shows a completely different trigger design. Probably the rotary hammer in this model is not installed in the trigger, but in the breech of the frame.
Another external feature of the Sharps 3D Model is the absence of a transverse screw in the front of the frame.
In the Sharps 3D Model pistol, the barrel lock does not move downward, as in previous models, but works like a button. In order to unlock the receiver unit, you just need to press this button.
Pistol markings The 3D model is no different from other variations of the third pistol model.
Sharps pistols of the fourth model (Sharps Model 4) were also manufactured by Sharps & Hankins. The pistols were chambered for 0.32 caliber rimfire, but with a long sleeve. The frames of the pistols have a rounded breech contour, the grip cheeks at the bottom are curved and resemble a bird's beak. The handle cheeks are fastened with a screw on the left and a nut installed in the right cheek. For their characteristic appearance, the pistols received the name Sharps Bulldog (Sharps "Bull Dog").
Pistol Sharps Model 4A (Sharps Model 4A)
On the Sharps Model 4A pistol, the barrel assembly is held in place by a screw installed at the bottom of the frame. The barrel length of this model is 64 mm.
The barrel block locking button is located on the left side of the frame.
The Sharps pistol Model 4A, like other weapons of the fourth model, is marked on the right side of the frame in the form of two lines of text "C. SHARPS PATENT / JAN. 25, 1859".
Serial numbers for Model 4A guns range from 1 to 2000.
Pistol Sharps Model 4B (Sharps Model 4B)
Sharps Model 4B pistols do not have a screw at the bottom of the frame. The function of stopping the block of barrels is performed by a transverse pin located in the front of the frame.
Barrel length 64 mm. The grip cheeks are usually wooden, fastened with a screw and nut.
The rotating firing pin is installed in the trigger. The barrel block locking button is located on the left side of the frame.
The trigger is hidden, the so-called "Mexican" type. Sights consist of a semicircular front sight and a slot in the breech of the frame, which acts as a rear sight.
The serial number is printed on the bottom of the barrel unit and is found from 2000 to 10000.
Pistol Sharps Model 4C (Sharps Model 4C)
The external distinguishing feature of the Sharps Model 4C pistol is the elongated barrel block, the length of which is 76 mm.
The lock button is located on the left side of the frame; to unlock the trunks, the button must be lowered down.
Serial numbers for Sharps Model 4C pistols range from 10,000 to 15,000.
Structurally, the Model 4C pistol does not differ from other pistol models.
Pistol Sharps Model 4D (Sharps Model 4D)
The Sharps Model 4D pistol has the longest barrel block of any Model 4 weapon.
The barrel length of Sharps Model 4D pistols is 89 mm. This is perhaps the only difference between this type of pistol.
Sharps pistols made in England
The British company Tipping & Lawden from Birmingham, after the death of Christian Sharps, bought the rights to produce the Sharps pistol. Weapons researchers claim that in addition to traditional pistols 0.22 and 0.30 caliber, Tipping & Lawden produced weapons chambered for the European standard 6 mm, 7 mm and even 9 mm.
Pistols made in England, which are found at arms auctions, most often have the features of the second model with a straight breech shape and a straight upper cut of the grip cheeks. Many pistols are richly engraved and have bone cheeks on the grip.
English pistols Sharps (Cased Factory Engraved English Tipping & Lawden / Sharps Patent Four-Shot Pepperbox Pistol) were manufactured from 1874 to 1877. The exact number of pistols fired in Britain is unknown. Their cost, with an engraved frame, in a gun case and a set of accessories, sometimes exceeds $ 6,500.