Christian Sharps’ original design, patented in 1848, was loaded with a linen cartridge and percussion cap. The sturdy action was faster and easier to load than a conventional muzzleloader and the first military order for 900 Sharps rifles came from the U.S. Navy in 1859. That same year John Brown’s raiders carried Sharps carbines at Harper’s Ferry. When the Civil War began, orders flowed in for carbine versions for issue to the cavalry.
After the war Sharps rifles, adapted to fire metalic cartridges, were used by the American Rifle Team to win the first international long-range rifle match at Creedmore, New Jersey. By the late 1870s and early 1880s the long-range models became the favorites of professional buffalo hunters. These heavy barreled Sharps could be employed at long range to take selected buffalo without spooking the herd. But, it was the fight at Adobe Walls that made the Sharps rifle a legend. In 1874 more than 700 Comanche warriors attacked 30 buffalo hunters at Adobe Walls in the Texas panhandle. The hunters’ Sharps rifles had extracted a punishing toll by the second day and the only Indians in sight were a small group on a distant bluff. Hunter Billy Dixon took aim with his Sharps and rolled one of the braves from his saddle at, what legend has it, was a mile away. Chambered in classic .45-70, the Uberti Sharps is true to the original. Six models are available ranging from the top of the line “Long-Range Model,” with 34" half octagon barrel, Creedmore sight and double set-triggers, to the Sharps Hunter with rear ladder sight.
The receiver on Uberti’s 1874 Deluxe Sharps, single-shot .45-70 rifle is color case-hardened and embellished with a gold-engraved bison head.
The top tang on the Sharps receiver is drilled and tapped to accommodate the attachment of a Creedmore rear sight.
All models of Uberti’s 1874 Sharps rifles, excluding the Cavalry Carbine, feature double set-triggers, allowing the front trigger to be set to a very light pull-weight—an aid to accurate shooting.
Uberti’s 1874 Deluxe and “Long-Range” Sharps feature 34” barrels with a dovetailed front globe sight to be used in conjunction with a rear tang-mounted Creedmore sight.
The Creedmore tang sights used on Sharps rifles were of three heights, depending on the yardage. The lowest, short-range sight was good to 300 yards, mid-range to about 600 yards and the long-range, to about 1,200 yards.