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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Mystery Sharps Rifle (Read 1869 times)
Richard S
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Mystery Sharps Rifle
Sep 12th, 2017 at 7:29pm
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This is my first post to this forum.  I was advised by a number of people that this is a great forum and my questions might be better answered here than any where else.  Besides my questions about this Sharps, I own a couple of red pad Ruger #1's so I'm overdue anyway.

I won what I thought was a Shiloh Sharps rifle on an online auction. The description said "Shiloh Sharps Rifle 45-110 34" barrel beautiful condition"

The rifle showed up several days ago and here is what I found:

The left side of the receiver says "Sharps Rifle Co. Pat. April 6 1869

The top flat of the barrel has the "Old Reliable" logo and is stamped "Sharps Rifle Co. Bridgeport, Conn."

The top flat also has Cal. 45 and then in much smaller numbers 2 7/8

The upper tang of the receiver has the serial number 384xx and is stamped horizontally along the tang in between the 2 threaded holes for a tang sight.

The front sight is a globe AND the rear sight with elevator says Shiloh Sharps

I spoke with a lady at Shiloh and she said that it couldn't be one of theirs because that always stamp receivers and barrel with Shiloh Sharps. It's possible that someone added the rear Shiloh sight. She concluded that it could be an original. I haven't spoken to anyone from C. Sharps but have been able to confirm that their receivers say C.Sharps and not just Sharps.

The gun is in beautiful condition with great case hardening, great wood and a perfect barrel and bore.  I doubt that it's an original and thought it might have paid a visit to someone like Doug Turnbull but I'm told he uses a different process for case hardening.

I will submit the photos right after this message.

Any information you can give me would be very appreciated.

Thanks very much,
Richard

  
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Richard S
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #1 - Sep 12th, 2017 at 7:30pm
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Here are the photos:

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Richard S
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #2 - Sep 12th, 2017 at 7:31pm
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The photos are a bit big

You can scroll left or right at the bottom of the last photo.
  
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Deadeye Bly
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #3 - Sep 12th, 2017 at 9:05pm
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It looks like it has been reconditioned but I have no idea what they started with. Screw threads need to be checked to see if it is an Italian import reworked to look like an original. The pewter nose cap appears to have been poured in place on the stock.
  
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Richard S
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #4 - Sep 12th, 2017 at 9:23pm
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I'm not sure I understand about the screw threads.  Do the imports use a different thread diameter or pitch, or are they Metric vs SAE?
  
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rglenz
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #5 - Sep 12th, 2017 at 9:45pm
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I don't know what it is but the serial number is not correct for an original.
  
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Bill Lawrence
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #6 - Sep 12th, 2017 at 10:38pm
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Other observations: The case coloring pattern is not period Sharps; the end of the raw-looking lever pin seems too small in diameter and a little short to be Sharps; and the Sharps lever plunger pin spring screw has a domed head rather than a flat one.

In short, the rifle has at least been seriously "reconditioned".

Bill Lawrence
  
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gunlaker
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #7 - Sep 12th, 2017 at 11:33pm
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It's definitely not a Shiloh or a C. Sharps.  I'd guess that it's a rebuilt original. 

Chris.
  

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westerner
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #8 - Sep 13th, 2017 at 1:43am
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Early spaghetti?


        Joe.
  
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Deadeye Bly
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #9 - Sep 13th, 2017 at 7:51am
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If it is an Italian import it will have metric threads on the screws. That feature is a dead giveaway.
  
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Old-Win
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #10 - Sep 13th, 2017 at 7:56am
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I think Joe has it right. It looks like an Italian serial number and the rifle has been rebuilt from an original Italian. You can see that most of the screws have been turned and that's not typical of any Shiloh. The side plate looks like original Italian coloring where as the receiver looks like it's been bone charcoal hardened.  If you paid a lot of money for it and it was represented as a Shiloh, I'd ask to return it.
  
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kensmachine
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #11 - Sep 13th, 2017 at 11:03am
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screws on the Originals are 3/16 X 28.
I don't know know what size and pitch Shiloh or C sharps use most likely 10 X 28.
I got some repro screws that are 10 X 28 wouldnt fit my original sharps
the Italian one's are going to be Metric
  
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Richard S
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #12 - Sep 13th, 2017 at 7:35pm
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I"m not where I can check for Metric but I will.

As I said in the beginning, I purchased it as a Shiloh and it's pretty certain that it is not.

As Old Win suggests, I may be better off trying to return it.  The cost of the gun with shipping was just under $1500.  I thought that was a decent deal IF is was a Shiloh. 

I may also have the option of negotiating a lower price on it but if I go to sell it down the road, I'll inherit the same problem I have now as how to honestly describe it.

For whatever reason, I really like the gun though.
  
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Schuetzenmiester
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #13 - Sep 13th, 2017 at 7:56pm
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If you like it and are going to shoot it, are you going to find a significantly better deal?

It appears to be a rebarreled spaghetti Sharps.
  

"some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #14 - Sep 13th, 2017 at 8:02pm
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At least no-one has had to fake Ruger singleshots------YET!!!
  

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John Boy
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #15 - Sep 13th, 2017 at 8:07pm
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Look under the forearm for any proof marks or makers stamp.  If there are - it's Italian
  

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John
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Richard S
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #16 - Sep 13th, 2017 at 8:26pm
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They'd be hard pressed to do it unless they possessed an investment casting plant as good as Pine Tree.

I read "Ruger and His Guns" from cover to cover.  I was so blown away by his savy that I ran off and bought another Ruger.

I have a  #1V in 7mm Mag with a 15 power Unertl Ultra Varmint on it that prints sub MOA groups with a good handload.
Get's some smiles at the range too Smiley
  
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Richard S
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #17 - Sep 13th, 2017 at 8:33pm
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Hi John Boy,

I pulled the forearm and the barrel is clean of any marks.  I pulled the butt plate and there were some stamped numbers and what looks like a small crown.  I haven't disassembled it any further but I do plan to see if the screws are Metric.

To  Schuetzenmiester, I'm leaning toward keeping it for the same reasons you stated.
  
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #18 - Sep 13th, 2017 at 8:39pm
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It is definitely a Shiloh barrel,probably someone took the 45-110  barrel off and put a new barrel on and sold it and it ended up on this rifle.
  
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gunlaker
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #19 - Sep 13th, 2017 at 10:02pm
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Hiwall55 wrote on Sep 13th, 2017 at 8:39pm:
It is definitely a Shiloh barrel,probably someone took the 45-110 barrel off and put a new barrel on and sold it and it ended up on this rifle.


If it is a Shiloh barrel then it would be an old one.  The C. Sharps Arms company holds the right to the "Old Reliable" marking on the barrel.   The Connecticut stamp on the barrel is nothing I've ever seen on either manufacturers barrels, but that could have been added at any time.

I can say that the serial number format is neither Shiloh nor C. Sharps. 

I'm revising my guess.  I think it's an Italian rifle that's been reworked to look more like an original.   

Chris.
  

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marlinguy
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #20 - Sep 14th, 2017 at 10:17am
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Don't Shiloh and C Sharps both use different barrel threads than the Italian barrels use?
If the barrel was swapped, then looking for Italian proof marks on the barrel wont reveal anything.
  

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MartiniBelgian
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #21 - Sep 14th, 2017 at 10:56am
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The block would also be subject to proof as stress-bearing part.
  
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Richard S
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #22 - Sep 15th, 2017 at 3:56pm
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I pulled the screws that fasten the forearm to the barrel and one tang sight screw and they are 10-28's and not Metric.  I now have a pitch gauge and some digital calipers so I'll pull some others and see what I get. 

With my luck I'll find some Whitworth's  Smiley
  
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Bill Lawrence
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #23 - Sep 15th, 2017 at 6:13pm
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If the barrel is indeed a Shiloh - i.e., American - then the forearm screw would be Imperial rather than metric.  The same might hold for the tang sight screws.  Suggest you check any of the lock or action screws.

Bill Lawrence
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #24 - Sep 15th, 2017 at 8:46pm
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Bill Lawrence wrote on Sep 15th, 2017 at 6:13pm:
If the barrel is indeed a Shiloh - i.e., American - then the forearm screw would be Imperial rather than metric. The same might hold for the tang sight screws. Suggest you check any of the lock or action screws.

Bill Lawrence


Pedersoli uses 10-28 tang sight mounting screws, not metric. See here:

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Vall
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Bill Lawrence
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #25 - Sep 15th, 2017 at 9:25pm
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Pedersoli uses 10-28 tang sight mounting screws, not metric.


Is that sufficient to postulate that the action came from a Pedersoli Sharps?

Bill Lawrence
  
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #26 - Sep 16th, 2017 at 7:35am
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I don't think the barrel is a Shiloh or C Sharps. If you look carefully you'll see some draw filing marks that normally aren't left by those two companies. It looks like the barrel markings are acid etched rather than roll stamped. I also sold a Shiloh sight just like that about 10-12 years ago off my 74 . They are easy to come by. Just my take.
« Last Edit: Sep 16th, 2017 at 7:41am by Old-Win »  
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marlinguy
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #27 - Sep 16th, 2017 at 8:26am
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Bill Lawrence wrote on Sep 15th, 2017 at 9:25pm:
Pedersoli uses 10-28 tang sight mounting screws, not metric.


Is that sufficient to postulate that the action came from a Pedersoli Sharps?

Bill Lawrence


Absolutely not. It would take more examination and evidence for me to determine what it is, vs. what it isn't.
But a lot of spaghetti guns have been used to fool people over the years!
  

Vall
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #28 - Sep 17th, 2017 at 1:16pm
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I remember a big outfit advertising Sharps parts from a defunct maker many years ago in Shotgun News. Possibly those parts came originally from a source like that. Removing Italian proof would require major "defarbing." Would the owner be better off getting his money back. Then doing some shopping with known makers today. Beats the hell our of a "pig in poke."
  
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #29 - Sep 18th, 2017 at 7:32pm
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Just me but I think I would try and return it. That is a lot of money and it clearly isn't a Shiloh.



JMH
  
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Richard S
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #30 - yesterday at 11:23pm
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Thank you all so much for your input and research.

I sent a formal email to the auction company giving them the option to either accept the gun back for a full refund or to make a substantial reduction in the price paid.

As everyone agreed, I will inherit the same problem if I choose to sell it.  At this point I could only say that it is a beautiful Sharps replica with an unknown source (and an authentic Shiloh Sharps rear sight).

I'll let you know the outcome.  There's an absolutely beautiful Shiloh out there on Gunsinternational.com that I'd love to have.  Only problem is that it's asking price is $7500.  I guess I could walk to work Smiley
  
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Deadeye Bly
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #31 - Today at 8:19am
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There are several nice new Shiloh's in 45/70 on their website listed as in stock for less than half that price.
  
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gunlaker
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #32 - Today at 10:31am
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Good idea.  I would also check with Bill Goodman.  He can get you a new Shiloh pretty quickly and is a great fellow to deal with.

Chris.
  

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marlinguy
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #33 - Today at 11:45am
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gunlaker wrote Today at 10:31am:
Good idea. I would also check with Bill Goodman. He can get you a new Shiloh pretty quickly and is a great fellow to deal with.

Chris.


A new Shiloh is the only gun I'd consider buying from Bill Goodman! I've sent a couple used ones back before I finally gave up on his descriptions.
  

Vall
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #34 - Today at 12:17pm
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Richard S wrote yesterday at 11:23pm:
Thank you all so much for your input and research.

I sent a formal email to the auction company giving them the option to either accept the gun back for a full refund or to make a substantial reduction in the price paid.

As everyone agreed, I will inherit the same problem if I choose to sell it. At this point I could only say that it is a beautiful Sharps replica with an unknown source (and an authentic Shiloh Sharps rear sight).

I'll let you know the outcome. There's an absolutely beautiful Shiloh out there on Gunsinternational.com that I'd love to have. Only problem is that it's asking price is $7500. I guess I could walk to work Smiley

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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #35 - Today at 1:53pm
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For What It is Worth: the calibre is .45-110 and I have some experience with a 110 chambered in a M1878 Sharps Borchardt. That rifles weighs almost 14 pounds and has a shotgun butt. Accurate rifle, but it is tiring to shoot, even with the shotgun butt. Based on my experience I think the rifle in question with a carbine/military style butt will quickly become unpleasant to shoot.

Something else: are you going to load Black Powder or Smokeless? Again, based on my experience and that of others with a 110, the 110 seems to shoot best with a full charge of 105 + grains and a heavy bullet. I do not know of anyone who shoots a 110 with smokeless and I would be concerned about a double charge in that 2 7/8 long case.

Also, you have no idea if the barrel will shoot or if there are any other internal or other problems. If the rifle does not shoot and/or there are other problems, you will be responsible for the cost of the repair(s). With a new rifle, you have a warrantee.

For the price paid for this either deliberate or unknowingly misrepresented rifle (approximately US $1500.00), I would want a full refund and start looking at Shiloh-Sharps, C. Sharps, or Pedersoli.
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Richard S
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Re: Mystery Sharps Rifle
Reply #36 - Today at 2:06pm
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The auction company feels that they accurately described the gun. They further said that there were bidders in person at the auction that had bid on it and no one questioned it.

They have offered to sell it for me in a future auction with no commission but obviously cannot guarantee what it might go for and there is no reserve.

The photos were not as clear as they could have been and they took the photos down as soon as the auction was over which is not normal. I trusted their which said "Shiloh Sharps". It isn't a Shiloh Sharps so I"m not going to just blow it off.
  
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