Sharps Gun Builder
{ First in Montana, finest in the world. }

Manufacturing Process

Quality does not cost, it pays. In the firearms industry it is not the manufacturer that creates the reputation but the customers. Every week we receive a letter, email, or phone call from a member of our extended C. Sharps Arms family, thanking us for providing them with such an excellent firearm. We have not come upon this reputation by accident; instead it has been the pursuit over that past 35 years to continuously improve our raw materials and our manufacturing processes to produce a single shot firearm of the finest quality imaginable. Here’s how we’re doing it:

Machine Process:

Every good home starts with a solid foundation; we feel the same about our rifles. Our 1874 Sharps, 1877 Sharps, 1885 Highwall and Lowall, and our 1879 Hepburn are all produced from 8620 hot rolled steel billet. From billet, they are CNC machined into their respective receivers and internal parts, which are accurate in dimension and function to the original designs. Why? Because machining from billet produces the highest quality receivers, period. With our machining processes, we are able to produce a stronger action with more uniformity and tighter tolerances than we could in any other form of manufacturing, such as investment casting.


Beyond the receiver, the key to a rifle's accuracy is its barrel. At C. Sharps Arms in the past  we exclusively used Badger Barrels for all our rifles. Badger Barrels are match grade, cut-rifled, and hand-lapped. They are produced from 4150 gun-certified chromemoly steel, double stress relieved at the steel mill, and cryogenically treated.  We are now offering, in certain calibers Green mountain barrels which are Match Grade, button rifled, stress relieved,  air gauged, and produced from 4140 chrome moly steel.  These barrels are safe for both smokeless and black powder and are available in lengths up to 34 inches. The reason we use Badger  and Green Mountain barrels is simple, they enjoy a reputation as the best available on the market today. Like other manufactures, we could produce  rifle barrels and probably do so at a fraction of the cost , but it would be a fraction of the quality. We regularly re-barrel original rifles as well as rifles produced by our competitors with our Badger and Green Mountain Barrels because the word is out, they are the best.

Wood & Stocking:

An essential component to the beauty of our rifles is their wood and its subsequent fit to the receiver and barrel. All of our wood is air dried walnut, which is individually inspected and graded. Our team is constantly scouring the country looking for the best walnut available that is of sufficient grain structure, quality cut, and air dried. Certainly more wood would be available if we accepted kiln dried walnut; however, it is our experience that kiln dried woods are far more brittle than air dried and over time more susceptible to fracture. Our stockers are artists in their own right and produce a wood to metal fit that we believe is unbeatable in the industry. We do not cut corners, and our processes take days where others may take hours or less, but according to our customers, our efforts are reflected in our unrivaled reputation.

Metal Finishing:

The smooth metal finish on all rifles is an essential element of their beauty and quality. Our barrels, receivers, butt plates, hammers, and levers are all finished and polished by hand in our Big Timber factory. It would simply be unacceptable for any of our rifles to leave the factory doors with visible blemishes in their metal finish.

Test Firing:

Since the completion of our Montana Armory in 1983, every rifle stamped OLD RELIABLE and shipped out our doors has done so after being test fired in our custom built test facility. It is the final step in our manufacturing process, and ensures no defect exists before being delivered to our customer. It is simply one more step beyond the norm taken by the C. Sharps Arms team to ensure that our customer receives the highest quality product possible.

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