NRA Explore

Military Rejects Sharps Falling Block Pistol Rifle

Too 'Delicate' and Low Caliber

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John Popp's from Philly, so he's naturally excited by what NRA Museums senior curator Doug Wicklund has in store for this week's Curator's Corner. Doug's a Sharps firearm enthusiast, a collector and a life member of the Sharps Collector Association. He's brought a pistol and rifle Christian Sharps created in Philadelphia when he parted company with his associates in Hartford. He wanted to use his falling block design on a pistol as well as a rifle. You drop the lever, put in a cartridge and you're ready to shoot! The military rejected the pistol rifle design because it was too delicate and small caliber, nothing like his later massive .50 caliber rifles that were perfect for buffalo hunting. He only made about 600 of each, so they're in big demand by collectors.

Season 11