The M1878 was the last new rifle produced by the Sharps company before it went out of business in 1881. It was the invention of none other than German gun designer Hugo Borchardt, better known for his C93 Borchardt automatic pistol (generally considered the first commercially successful automatic pistol). Borchardt was brought in as superintendent of the Sharps company in 1876, and his rifle was well ahead of its time. Its use of coil springs, a striker-fired mechanism, and sleek lines gave it an unusual appearance for its time, and hindered sales. It would not be until after the company has dissolved that the Schützen community would begin to truly appreciate the potential of the Sharps-Borchardt rifle.
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