MANUFACTURER(S): C. Sharps & Company - USA
ACTION: Sliding Barrel, Single-Shot, Percussion Cap
CALIBER(S): .52 (.56-52 Spencer)
LENGTH (BARREL): 609 millimeters (23.98 inches)
RATE-OF-FIRE: 6 rounds-per-minute
Detailing the development and operational history of the Sharps & Hankins Model 1862 Single-Shot Breech-Loading Carbine.
Entry last updated on 1/23/2017.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
Christian Sharps, designer of the classic Sharps Rifle (detailed elsewhere on this site), eventually left the company bearing his name - the Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company of Connecticut - and reestablished in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as "C. Sharps & Company" during the early-1850s.With the onset of war in the American Civil War (1861-1865) he partnered with William Hankins in 1862 to manufacture a line of sliding barrel action, single-shot carbines - the Sharps & Hankins Model 1862.
The Sharps & Hankins Model 1862 was a conventional breech-loader and of single-shot design. It fired a self-contained .52 caliber (.56-52 Spencer) rimfire cartridge and two major production forms of this weapon were made - an Army and Navy type. The Army model enjoyed limited success and even more limited production with only about 500 examples being delivered in all. The Navy type (24" long barrel) was the definitive model and noted for its leather-covered barrel (essentially a barrel sleeve) to protect it from corrosion at sea. Still another form emerged from the family tree, this a "Cavalry Carbine" intended for mounted troops. For the intended role it was given a shorter barrel of nineteen inch length and a saddle ring.
Ultimately 8,000 examples of these guns were produced from the period of 1862 to 1865 for service in the Civil War and thereafter. Sharps guns were generally reliable and well-received long guns during the period.