Military Review

Leather carabiner

41

Sharps and Hankins carbine. The leather shirt has been removed. All important details are clearly visible: the bracket, the trigger in the front and the latch of the lever in the back, the trigger guard to the left of it


We leave at dawn, the wind blows from the Sahara,
Raising our song to heaven,
And only the dust under the boots, God is with us and the banner is with us,
And heavy carbine at the ready.
Rudyard Kipling


Military affairs at the turn of the eras. The beginning of this article will be unusual, but don't let it surprise anyone. I will start with gratitude to all readers of "VO", because thanks to them, having written 1400 articles for them, I learned a lot of things that I had not even suspected before. That is, Lobachevsky and Mendeleev were right when they said that teaching others, you learn yourself. And here, after all, almost every material was about something new, including for me, its author. Second thanks to those who write sensible comments, points out inaccuracies and errors. I do not mean the experts who claim that the Russian Cossacks did not have sabers with a guard and a crosshair, and the like, but I am very grateful to those who help me with information. I would especially like to thank those who suggest interesting topics for new articles: it is not so easy to find an interesting topic. Since childhood, I was very fond of the programs of Irakli Andronikov, who spoke about his searches in the field of Lermontov studies. I thought: "I wish I was so!" But the reality turned out to be more interesting ...

Leather carabiner

It all started with this page, sent to me by one of the readers of "VO" ...

For example, just recently I published material about carbines of northerners and southerners (the second part). And then one of the regular readers writes to me: “Where about the Parrotta carbine? Here is a page from the book, this carbine ... "The British in this case say:" Challenge accepted "-" Challenge accepted. " It's a shame: just write an article about Parrott's cannons and not know that he still, it turns out, made a carbine!

However, when I read the text from the indicated page, I was taken with a strong doubt that it was about the Parrott carbine. The fact is that "Parrott Rifle" can be translated both as "rifle" and as "Parrott's rifled gun", and, judging by the text, it was about the gun, and not about a carbine or a rifle. But there, farther below, the name of the carbine flashed - Sharps and Hankins. And with this sample I was much more fortunate. Information on it was found, and it turned out that this carbine is so interesting that it deserves a separate article. And again, under the unusual name - "leather carabiner". It is known that in the Thirty Years War there were "leather cannons", and Fenimore Cooper had such a hero - the Leather Stocking. But a leather carabiner! .. Meanwhile, the name given to this particular model of the carabiner is most suitable, although it is clear that its stock was wooden, as expected, and the barrel and mechanisms were made of steel.


Sharps and Hankins carbine. Leather "shirt" on the barrel safe and sound!

Its creator was Christian Sharps, who also worked with John Hancock Hall, the creator of the first breech-loading flintlock rifle adopted by the US Army, which has already been described in one of the articles of this series. In 1848 he managed to obtain a patent for “weapon with a sliding shutter and self-sealing ", which seemed to allow avoiding the breakthrough of gases, which was the scourge of all the then breech-loading systems.


But in this photo she is not ...

The first models of the new Sharps rifle were produced in 1849 and 1850, and the first large batch of 10000 units in 1851. But they were all designed for a standard .44 paper cartridge and were ordered from a third party. The last sample used Maynard's primer tape, for which the Robbins & Lawrence Arms Company developed a mass production technology. And also an employee of the same company, Rollin White, came up with the same bolt block that he cut off when loading the bottom of the cartridge, and in addition, automatic cocking of the hammer driven by the trigger guard. 1650 carbines of this series were made, which, as they say, "went".

Interestingly, the leading specialist in the same R&L firm was then a certain Benjamin Tyler Henry, whose name was later given to the famous bracket, and then a 15-round rifle, and also Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson. They all knew each other and knew about all the successes of each other, and about which of them was worth what.

In 1852, Sharps created the .52 cartridge (caliber 13 mm) with a linen sleeve, after which, until 1869, all samples of weapons produced by the Sharps company he founded were created exclusively for this caliber. Moreover, the benefit of such cartridges was also in the fact that they could be made from paper on their own, although the quality of factory ammunition, of course, was much higher.

Here in the company Sharps had contradictions with other partners, and he left the company he had created. So the model of 1855, which the army bought in the amount of 800 pieces, was released without it.


Diagram of the Sharps and Hankins carbine

And Smith and Wesson by this time were already running their own company and were engaged in the production of pistols of the Hunt-Jennings-Smith system, which fired bullets with a powder charge inside and a pallet burning when fired. The development seemed to them profitable, and they attracted shareholders, and the company was renamed the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company, which in Russian can be roughly translated as: "Volcanic Repeating Arms Company". And again, it's funny that Oliver F. Winchester, a wealthy manufacturer of mens shirts from New Haven, became its vice president, a shareholder of the company, of course, but a man who had nothing to do with weapons!


Details of the carbine: receiver and extractor with spring

Well, Sharps, which continued to exist, continued the production of weapons and, in particular, released the Sharps New Model 1859 carbine on the market, which the American cavalry adopted as its standard model. The main highlight of the design was the obturator, which prevented gases from breaking out of the barrel. It was produced in a quantity of 27000 and was produced from 1858 to 1863.


Carabiner parts, including barrel and levers, as well as trigger, cartridge and leather flap for the forward lever

But then Christopher Miner Spencer offered his own seven-shot carbine to the army, who fired rimfire cartridges and, accordingly, was faster than any other single-shot carbines of that time.

He began producing his Model 1860 carbines chambered for his own design .56-56 Spencer (14x22RF). But the army at first did not want to adopt Spencer's creation, finding it too complicated and expensive. The beginning was laid by the fleet, which ordered 700 carbines for Spencer. As you know, good people get used to it quickly and everyone talks about it. They also started talking about the Spencer carbine, so much so that orders from the warring units began to arrive for it, and many American citizens, recruiting as volunteers, bought themselves "Spencer" at their own expense. There was success, and any success in the States is a powerful stimulator of creativity. Actually, he is such everywhere, but in the States, and even more so at that time, he was especially so ...

He also stimulated Christian Sharps, who left his own company, who, in the same 1859, received a patent for an original system of loading weapons with a sliding barrel, and in 1861 he also manufactured a single-shot rifle chambered for the rimfire cartridge of his own design in .52 caliber (14x29RF ).


Receiver and brand

In 1862, Sharps began to work with William Hankins, in 1863 he renamed the company formerly Eddy, Sharps & Company, Sharps & Hankins, and released the Model 1861 carbine for the metal rimfire 0.52 cartridge, the so-called naval model known as Sharps & Hankins. It was this carbine that was depicted in the photo from the comment sent to me.

What is this carbine and why is it leather?

And the thing is that it was intended for fleet and had a barrel lined with patent leather right up to the front sight! Obviously, this was done to protect against corrosion, but how well such protection worked is hard to say. The carbine device was very simple, and therefore reliable and durable. Under the receiver there was a bracket, inside which, closer to the butt, there was a lever latch, and in front of it a trigger.


This is how the carbine looks when the reload lever is pushed back to the maximum.

The carbine worked as follows: the trigger had to be half cocked, then press the latch above the lever and move the lever down. In this case, the barrel retreated along the rails forward, and if there was a cartridge or a spent cartridge case in it, then with the extractor tooth on the bolt they were pulled out of the barrel and thrown out. Now all that remained was to insert the cartridge, return the lever to its original position (when the barrel was returned, the cartridge sat on the extractor tooth) and cock the hammer to the end.

The striker, hitting the edge of the cartridge, was not on the trigger, but inside the bolt. Next to the trigger, to the left of it is a fuse. When it moves forward, its protrusion does not allow the hammer to hit the striker and the shot does not occur.


Carabiner with leather lining and lagging leather flap

Interestingly, in front of the system, the lever covers a leather valve, which deflects up and down. Most likely, it was the most worn-out part of this carbine, or rather, the fastening of this valve to the barrel should have worn out the fastest. But how long he served, in general, is unknown. Carabiners that have retained their leather "shirt" and those from whom it has long been removed have come down to our time. The rifle scope was adjustable for 800 yards, i.e. about 720 meters.

A total of 6986 carbines of this type and 604 rifles were produced. Production lasted from September 1862 until August 1867 ... In the same year, the cooperation between the partners ended, Sharps's company was renamed again. It was now called C. Sharps & Co. However, it existed for a relatively short time. Sharps died in 1874, and his company ceased to exist in 1882. During this time, she produced 80512 carbines and 9141 rifles.
Author:
Articles from this series:
The "carbine epic" continues
The carbine epic of the northerners and southerners
General Burnside's carbine: the first with a metal cartridge
People and spades
Rondash and rondachiers. From benefits to beauty
Artillery of the conqueror of Europe
Artillery innovations of the civil war between North and South
Mortars "Dictator" in the battles of the North against the South
Shuvalov's "secret howitzer"
North and South: smooth-bore and rifled guns
US Civil War ammunition
The most popular caliber of the North and South
Cannons of Tredegar and the Noble Brothers
Cannons of Brooke and Viard
James and Sawyer cannons: rifled versus smoothbore
"The parrot gun." Man and his instrument
Faceted bore gun
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  1. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 19 October 2020 18: 10
    +6
    Come on, Vyacheslav Olegovich!
    Where do you find such topics and material ?!
    Constantly something new and interesting!
    1. Petro_tut
      Petro_tut 19 October 2020 18: 19
      10
      An enthusiastic person always discovers something new, well, he generously shares with us-readers
    2. kalibr
      19 October 2020 18: 24
      +7
      A lot of topics are suggested to me by readers. All that remains is to find the material. Sometimes, by the way, it takes years. And sometimes, three days!
      1. Phil77
        Phil77 19 October 2020 19: 22
        11
        Quote: kalibr
        just find material

        Good evening, Vyacheslav Olegovich!
        Good evening, great company!
        Let me add to your article, dear AUTHOR, with a portrait of the inventor of the carbine, Mr. Sharps.
        1. Phil77
          Phil77 19 October 2020 19: 35
          +6
          I'll clarify with a photo. hi
        2. kalibr
          19 October 2020 19: 37
          +6
          Thanks! It didn't occur to me ...
          1. Phil77
            Phil77 19 October 2020 19: 42
            +6
            Quote: kalibr
            Thank you!

            You are always welcome! And here is another interesting illustration from those times.
    3. Catfish
      Catfish 19 October 2020 18: 25
      +8
      Where do you find such topics and material ?!

      Vyacheslav himself writes that the topic was thrown to him. smile
      ... And then one of the regular readers writes to me: “Where about the Parrotta carbine?

      We are all here together, at the same time helping each other as much as we can. drinks
  2. Catfish
    Catfish 19 October 2020 18: 21
    +7
    Well, how fast and efficient it is! Even D.R. did not interfere. Excellent, Vyacheslav! good drinks
    1. kalibr
      19 October 2020 19: 40
      +5
      Quote: Sea Cat
      Even D.R. did not interfere.

      Well, you can't eat and drink all the time ... But for the soul?
  3. Avior
    Avior 19 October 2020 19: 00
    +6
    Interesting article.
    With an ambiguous name smile
    1. Catfish
      Catfish 19 October 2020 19: 02
      +5
      Sergei, why ambiguous?
      1. Avior
        Avior 19 October 2020 19: 25
        10
        Damn, it’s me so vulgar, spoiled that I see a double meaning, where other decent people don’t see?
        Shame on my gray hair smile
        Leather carabiner

        Just like the title of a porn movie. smile
        1. Phil77
          Phil77 19 October 2020 19: 32
          +8
          Quote: Avior
          Just like the title of a porn movie.

          Ha, ha, ha !!!! And you are not the only one ... so spoiled! I also have ... associations! laughing laughing laughing
          1. kalibr
            19 October 2020 19: 38
            +6
            Film "The Last Editing" Rolan Bykov: "Men are men!"
            1. Phil77
              Phil77 19 October 2020 19: 47
              +6
              Quote: kalibr
              Men are men! "

              Alas for us! hi
              1. Catfish
                Catfish 19 October 2020 20: 10
                +8
                Seryozha, drink bromine and calm down. "Men are men, and women are women."
                I propose a man's toast - "To Babilism!" drinks
          2. Nikolaevich I
            Nikolaevich I 19 October 2020 19: 55
            +5
            Quote: Phil77
            I also had ... associations

            Mdaaaa ... rascals ....! Somehow the coast beguiled! Here, in fact, should gather lovers of military history ... technology ... weapons, and not lovers ... strawberries! request
            1. Avior
              Avior 19 October 2020 21: 40
              +4
              It does not interfere.
              I've never heard of leather carabiners before.
              This is probably why the brain subconsciously found something suitable.
              Out of curiosity, I got into Google and, lo and behold, I found an advertisement on Avito selling a new leather carbine as a gift to knowledgeable people. smile

              Thanks to the author, we are now people who know about leather carbines - but alas, it was just a clasp.
  4. Phil77
    Phil77 19 October 2020 19: 59
    +5
    Quote: Nikolaevich I
    Here, in fact, should gather lovers of military history ... technology ... weapons,

    Excuse me, excuse me, if I interfered, sir! hi hi hi
    1. Nikolaevich I
      Nikolaevich I 19 October 2020 21: 56
      +2
      Come on! God will forgive ! I wanted to joke ... it doesn't always work out well ... request
  5. Taoist
    Taoist 19 October 2020 20: 49
    +2
    All the same, Americans are fans of technical perversions. almost all designs with a "twist" but a pancake scratching in the back of the head with bewilderment "why the heck"? A very peculiar technical school ... as the saying goes "we don't need bread" let us make it more picky. Well, it was necessary to think of making the barrel movable instead of the bolt ...
    1. kalibr
      19 October 2020 20: 52
      +5
      Yes, the design is really amazing, but it is written everywhere that it is very reliable and with excellent extraction!
      1. Taoist
        Taoist 19 October 2020 21: 05
        +2
        Perhaps only for the fleet ... on the deck and clean ... Again ... with such a scheme, during normal shooting, you will be tortured to pull the barrel ... - it still weighs an infection ... Well, melee is definitely contraindicated for him ... A very specific solution. Working but for a very narrow range of application ... By the way, with intensive shooting, the obturation ring at the end should wear out quickly ... 100% - purity is a guarantee of health in the end ...
    2. Cowbra
      Cowbra 19 October 2020 21: 30
      +3
      Quote: Taoist
      Well, it was necessary to think of making the barrel movable instead of the bolt ...


      Schwarzlose, pocket model 1908
      And to be honest, another carriage, just this one technically, IMHO - was successful ...
    3. Avior
      Avior 19 October 2020 22: 48
      +3
      In general, the short-travel automatics are widely used in a wide variety of weapons.
      1. Taoist
        Taoist 20 October 2020 17: 01
        0
        Short-travel automation still implies that the bolt is available.
  6. Cowbra
    Cowbra 19 October 2020 21: 24
    +1
    Thanks again for the article, but ...
    Sharps carbine

    Sharp. Sharp's - owned by Sharp, or "Sharpskoe" Carbine - SHARPA. Arrows - Sharps
    1. Cowbra
      Cowbra 19 October 2020 21: 48
      0
      Why Sharpshooter? Not "SharpShooter"
    2. Cowbra
      Cowbra 19 October 2020 21: 56
      +3
      Yes, you mean something else, this one was really Sharps, sorry, Vyachyaslav))))
  7. Avior
    Avior 19 October 2020 21: 52
    +7
    But seriously, one gets the impression that in a certain, relatively short period of time, hand firearms in the States made a noticeable leap forward in development, although there were many dead-end branches. And revolvers, and rifles, and carbines.
    Trunks did not get accustomed to sheathing with leather, if we talk about the hero of today's story.
    I suspect moisture penetrated anyway.
    And the last.
    The poems from Kipling in the epigraph of the article became, with minimal alteration, the "Afghan song". Only there was an AKM, not a carbine.

    hi
  8. Undecim
    Undecim 19 October 2020 22: 03
    +9
    However, when I read the text from the specified page, I was taken with a strong doubt that it was about the Parrott carbine. The fact is that "Parrott Rifle" can be translated both as "rifle" and as "Parrott's rifled gun", and, judging by the text, it was about the gun, and not about the carbine or the rifle.
    The doubts you visited are entirely justified. Moreover, the text says "300 pound". Too much for a carbine. This is a very rare "300 pound Parrott gun".
  9. Undecim
    Undecim 19 October 2020 22: 16
    10
    This is how the carbine looks when the reload lever is pushed back to the maximum.

    And so, if you take it apart "to the screw."
  10. Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I 19 October 2020 23: 00
    +3
    Here such a "figel-migel" looms ... Ash-tree stump, that the whole topic looks towards American carbines ... But once he was fond of reading books by Conan Doyle, other authors ... where adventures were described, no worse than cowboy ones .. .! So here the rifles (and maybe carbines ...) of Snyder most often "featured"! I admit that these are not American weapons, although there is American involvement there; but it turns out that Snyder's weapons were very popular, at least with a number of popular writers ... That is, Snyder's guns left a noticeable mark on history!
    1. hohol95
      hohol95 20 October 2020 00: 12
      +4
      IN
      November 18 2016
      Martini-Henry rifle - the most perfect "hardware"
      Author:
      Vyacheslav Shpakovsky
    2. kalibr
      20 October 2020 06: 26
      +4
      Quote: Nikolaevich I
      That is, Snyder's guns left a noticeable mark on history!

      And I have already written about Snyder, his rifle and his cartridges.
  11. irontom
    irontom 20 October 2020 21: 53
    +1
    The verse is not Kipling stylization of "March of the Foreign Legion" by the Moscow bard Sergei Veniaminovich Shabutsky 1964

    Lyrics of the song "Sergei Shabutsky - March of the Foreign Legion"
    We leave at dawn,
    The wind blows from the Sahara,
    raising our song to heaven.
    Only dust flies after us
    God is with us, and the banner is with us,
    and heavy carbine at the ready.

    I've always been a brave fellow
    Maybe - I will become a general.
    Well, if I do not get out of the fire -
    from unhappiness from such
    you will find yourself another
    and you will forget about me forever.

    If anyone died today,
    without him playing poker -
    here the guys do not regret anyone.
    Everyone has a reserve
    money, fame and canned food
    and a grave covered with sand.

    Our commander is bad,
    despite the fact that new,
    only we don't give a damn about this.
    And no worse and easier
    it was used to drink that stronger -
    no matter what cholera to fight.

    We leave at dawn,
    The wind blows from the Sahara,
    raising our song to heaven.
    Only dust flies after us
    God is with us, and the banner is with us,
    and heavy carbine at the ready.
  12. 54RG3
    54RG3 21 October 2020 14: 09
    0
    By the way, perhaps an interesting factoid

    in English, the (company) sniper has a double name - marksman or sharpshooter. So the sharpshooter was formed precisely from the name of the Sharps carbine, which at that time was the most accurate weapon

    Thank you for the article
    1. Icelord
      Icelord 24 October 2020 21: 45
      +2
      It seems that Marksman is not a company sniper, but a detached one. Fire support department
    2. Platypus
      Platypus 11 November 2020 22: 05
      0
      The origin of the word sharpshooter has nothing to do with the Sharps carbine. In English, it appeared long (in the 18th century) before the appearance of the carbine, and most likely from the German - Scharfschütze.
  13. Icelord
    Icelord 24 October 2020 21: 43
    +1
    Thanks for the great article in the wonderful cycle