Broadsword Group, LLC, the owners of Sharps Rifle Company (makers of the Relia-Bolt and .25-45 Sharps upper receivers for the AR-15), has been ordered to pay nearly three quarters of a million dollars to one of its founding members, Michael H. Blank, by the US District Court of Eastern Missouri. The case began when Blank alleged that Sharps Rifle Company owed him stake in the company and that they had walked away with intellectual property (IP) that he owned. Most significantly, perhaps, is the ruling on allegations of fraud against both Broadsword Group’s President and their CEO:
[The] Plaintiff reasonably believed Johnston (CEO of both Broadsword and Sharps Rifle Company, Inc.) and Lesser’s (President of Sharps Rifle Company, Inc.) representations to be true, and, relying on these representations, he suffered damages.
Mr. Blank was intimately involved in the development of the .25-45 Sharps as both the designer and developer of the round, which is advertised as a versatile, high velocity round that uses existing AR-15 magazines, bolts, and other hardware, except barrels, as well as off-the-shelf .25 caliber projectiles. The round is advertised to produce about 3,000 ft/s with an 87gr Hot-Cor bullet, although sources differ on exactly what length of barrel is needed to achieve this.
The name “Sharps Rifle Company” originates with the Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company, which produced the famous Sharps rifle between 1851 and 1881, when it was dissolved. The current Sharps Rifle Company was founded in 2009, adopting the Sharps name at the same time.