Sharps Model 1855 Military Musket
Serial #:  22172  Manufacturer:  Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company
Model:  1855-Rifle  Type:  Musket
Barrel Length:  39 inch round  Finish:  blue
Stock:  walnut

Description:  The barrel is marked "SHARPS RIFLE / MANUFG. CO. / HARTFORD, CONN." behind the rear sight. "SHARPS / PATENT 1848" is on the upper tang behind the action and "EDWARD MAYNARD / PATENTEE / 1845" is on the primer cover. It is equipped with a brass patch box, buttplate and forearm tip. The rear sight is of the British Enfield pattern with graduations of 1 to 4 in the right side, 5-8 on the single leaf. The front sight is a standard block that doubles as a bayonet lug. The ramrod and barrel bands are also of the Enfield pattern, with one wide iron band at the front and two narrow ones to the rear. This musket is unlike any other Sharps product. At 39 inches, its barrel is the longest made by Sharps. What it does resemble greatly is the British Enfield Pattern 1853 Musket. This was an attempt by Sharps to interest the British government in a breechloader to replace their muzzle loading Enfield Musket. The barrel and associated parts are nearly identical to that gun as the machinery for making them was made by Robbins & Lawrence who also made the Sharps. It may have been a matter of timing as the Enfield machinery was not all delivered when they offered this new pattern. Only one other is known, in the Tower of London Collection, now in Leeds. These factory made muskets should not be confused with the Khyber Pass copies made in vast variety in later years.