My Model 1875 Sharps Rifle

In the late 1960's I found a copy of the well known "Guns" magazine at a local Cigar store with a stunning picture of the prototype model of the Sharps Model 1875 on the cover. I bought and saved that magazine for several decades always with the thought of building such a rifle myself.

In the late 1980's I began contemplating and designing the rifle I would build. I would incorporate a rebounding hammer such as used on the New Model Ithaca Hammer side by side shotgun, a straight line firing pin with a transverse bar in the breech block which absorbed the impact of the hammer and transferred it to the firing pin and a breech block which was angled 6 degrees to allow ease of movement and a camming action as it is closed on a cartridge. I purchased a 45 caliber barrel blank, lever, hammer, trigger, and tang peep sight and the block of 4140 Steel for the action. I had some nice English Walnut saved for the stock. I chose the ever dependable .45-70 as the round to chamber it and after many, many hours of machining and hand work the rifle was finished.

Following are pictures of the rifle I built. Shortly afterwards the C. Sharps Arms Co. came out with their version of the Model 1875 which became very popular. The Freund Brothers who operated the Wyoming Armory in the 19th Century named their custom rifles. Following that lead I named my rifle the "Erie Gun" after the nearby Erie Canal and the name of the County I live in.