Calling all QUIGLEY OWNERS! 45-120 or 45-70 or??


February 13, 2006, 03:40 PM

I am also looking at making the purchase of the QUIGLEY.

I was also thinking I might as well go for the 45-110 or the 45-120. I do not plan on shooting the rifle constantly. Nor in matches. I just want the biggest baddest rounds (within reason... not sure I'd go .50), to have fun with this gun.

Going with the bigger round is just an additional warm fuzzy for me. Its part of the fun of owning this beast. If I wanted less recoil, I would not buy this gun.

With that said.... I am still undecided.

Hope to hear from those who actually shoot the 45-120.

Also.... I am not sure who to purchase the rifle from. Is there a real difference buying the rifle from say Shiloh, EMF, Taylor & Co., and Armi Sport, or Pedersoli?? I have seen that you can buy each part of this rifle seperate and build it yourself (have a gunsmith put it all together for you). Is one source superior than the other?

All input is greatly appreciated.


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February 13, 2006, 04:00 PM
"I was also thinking I might as well go for the 45-110 or the 45-120. I do not plan on shooting the rifle constantly. Nor in matches. I just want the biggest baddest rounds (within reason... not sure I'd go .50), to have fun with this gun."

. "Is there a real difference buying the rifle from say Shiloh, EMF, Taylor & Co., and Armi Sport, or Pedersoli?? "

Second question first, YES there's a huge difference between a Shiloh and the others mentioned. Of the non-Shilohs, a Pedersoli is a decent rifle, but the others are not. Save up for a Shiloh; you'll never regret spending the extra money. You can also easily get your money back if you decide to re-sell the rifle.

Remember too, that Shiloh built the three actual rifles used in the movie, and they offer the same rifle now to anyone who wants one. If you order a Shiloh "Quigley", you can ONLY get it in .45-110 or .45-70, nothing else. .45-110 was the cartridge used in the movie rifles. The .45-110, along with the .45-120, is TOO LARGE in case size for practical smokeless powder loads, and this is why Shiloh also offers the model in .45-70. For blackpowder loads, the .45-110 and .45-120 work just fine.

February 13, 2006, 04:26 PM

I was afraid you would tell me that (Shiloh is THE ONLY way to go).

I have a gun dealer/friend who owns a Taylor & Co., and raves about it. HE is VERY satisfied with his Taylor & Co. rifle.

I can buy a 45-70 AND a 45-110 from the other makers for the same price as the Shiloh.

Many gripe about the larger cartridge. I plan on shooting this rifle for the fun factor only. No match shooting. And I actually am looking forward to owning more firearms in BP, as to me it brings back some of the fun of shooting again.

I will likely go with the Shiloh... but need some pushin. That and a nice North Face sleeping bag to sleep in when my wife kicks me out with it. ;)

February 13, 2006, 05:19 PM
As BruceB said, if you plan to use smokeless powder the 45-70 will be more than big enough. I may be guessing a little here but the amount of smokeless powder that you can get into a 45-70 case will exceed the power of a 45-120 with black powder. This is not to say that you sholud fill the 45-70 case with smokeless would probably blow up the rifle depending on what powder you used.

If you are looking for the 'baddest' 45 caliber rifle perhaps you should look at the Ruger #1, it is rated for the most powerfully loaded 45-70 cartridges.

Oh, by the way....good luck with your shoulder, it will probably hurt a lot!

February 13, 2006, 05:54 PM
I am set on the Quigley. It is THE BP gun to have (for me anyway).

I would only likey use store bought 45-70 smokeless ammo if I end up going with the 45-70. Well, until I decided to purchase the equipment needed to roll my own.

I generally purchase my ammo and do not do my own reloading.

One of the draws to the BP is being able to play with doing my own loads, albeit it quite different than smokeless. It seems to hold a big FUN factor for me.

February 13, 2006, 09:14 PM
I believe you'll still need a press and dies to load enclosed metallice case BP rounds like .45-110

Chuck R.
February 13, 2006, 09:50 PM

IF you really want a 45-120 then the Pedersoli is probably you're best bet for your intended use. I say this because if you ever seriously get into BPCRs, you can sell the Pedersoli and get most if not all of your cash back. Trust me, thereís a reason why you donít see very many 45-120s and 110s at matches.

You can get by without dies for a while, but you will need to come up with a compression die. My current silhouette load uses no neck tension, but I compress my powder .257" so I have a consistent OAL. I've shot 3 master scores with this load to date, so it works pretty well.

A place you'll need to visit is Buffalo Arms, as theyíre a great source for all the gear you're going to need.

Check out:

Also check out:

Thereís a great bunch of guys over there that will help you with load development etc.

Good Luck,


February 13, 2006, 10:19 PM
I might just go ahead and get my order in over at either C. Sharps or Shiloh and pick up a Pedersoli to play with in the meantime and get the loading equipment I need now.

I can always sell the Pedersoli down the road. Wondering if I should pick up the Pedersoli in the 45-70....

The Shiloh I really will likely go with the 45-110. Shiloh does not make a 45-120 in the Quigley.

February 13, 2006, 10:28 PM
Very timely thread.
I was at the gun shop about six hours ago lusting after an Armi sport made Taylor and Company Sharpes in 45-70 with the tangent sight kit for $995 and a beautiful Pedersoli for $1700.

I'm in the middle of refinancing my home with so,me cash out for remodeling and some money for my wife to take a trip home to Vietnam and me to get a one time dream gun.

I haven't checked out the Shiloh yet

February 13, 2006, 11:29 PM

Quigley says:


I want a Quigley too! Caliber is a hard choice to make. Best of luck! :D

February 14, 2006, 12:32 AM
Adaman04..... lol.

I will have to make up my mind on the caliber like SOON. I guess this is the fun part too. :banghead:

March 3, 2006, 10:46 PM
This year I'll most likely buy a Pedersoli Quigley in .45-70.

March 4, 2006, 02:53 PM
Note that some of the import "Quigley" rifles don't even LOOK like the "Quigley" rifle from the movie - for example, they have a barrel-mounted rear sight rather than a micrometer tang rear sight.

March 5, 2006, 12:38 AM
There was a time, about 10 or 15 years ago, when some manufacturers of Sharps clones did not suggest using smokeless powder in the .45-120. Negated your warranty if you used anything other than black powder.
When you say you want, "the biggest and baddest," stop thinking with your cojones. The .45-120 with black powder loads will thump you sumpin fierce! :what:
Get the .45-70 or .45-110. If you want to plink at long range, get the .45-70 for its easy availability of brass and factory ammo. The .45-110 will require reloading, pretty much.
The .45-110 case may be reloaded with .45-70 dies. It may not fully resize the case but as long as you're using the same cases in the same rifle it won't matter much. Eventually, you may have to purchase .45-110 dies to fully resize cases on occasion. Or perhaps not. It all depends on the size of your chamber and how much case expansion you get.
BEWARE of .45-70 loads posted on the internet, or told you by guys at the range.
The 1874 Sharps action is not particularly strong. Modern steels do almost nothing to strengthen it; it's a question of design, not metallurgy, that limits its strength.
Do not exceed loads intended for the 1873 Springfield Trapdoor. The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturing Institute (SAAMI) limits Trapdoor loads to 18,000 Copper Units of Pressure (CUP). Any loads in the Sharps should be no greater than this, and preferably a little lower. A steady diet of maximum loads (created by using smokeless powder) will strain any gun and accelerate wear.
The Sharps design is not intended for loads in the realm of the Winchester 1886 or Marlin 1895; SAAMI recommends no more than 28,000 CUP in these two rifles. And if you drop in a load intended for the Ruger No. 1 or 3, you'll experience what we reloaders call, "an instant disassembly." The Rugers can take maximum loads up to 40,000 CUP, more than TWICE what the Trapdoor and Sharps can take!
I load black powder and smokeless powders for a reproduction 1873 Springfield (Harrington & Richardson) and a Marlin 1895 (bought both new in 1977).
Black powder loads are fun but require commitment. After each shooting session, the rifle must be cleaned thoroughly with a water-based cleaner. I use plain ol' water with a few slivers of Ivory bar soap. Then the rifle must be dried thoroughly after cleaning, since you're using water.
AND ... you must also knock the dead primers out of your fired cases and wash them immediately in hot, soapy water to remove all black powder fouling.
Black powder are Pyrodex are both corrosive. Black powder contains potassium nitrate, which is very similar to ordinary table salt. It will begin rusting steel and corroding brass in hours, even quicker.
Black powder shooting is fun but don't think you can return from the range, put your rifle away and forget it and the empty cases for a week or two. Many, many black powder guns have been ruined by neglect or ignorance.
ALSO .. don't think that you can reload just any ol' bullet on top of black powder. You'll need to use a very soft lead bullet, with the proper black powder lubricant. Hard-cast bullets with lubricant intended for smokeless powder will cause bad leading. Consequently, accuracy will go out the window in short order.

My advice? Buy a .45-70. Brass, dies, bullets and loads are much easier to deal with. You may safely use jacketed bullets in a modern reproduction Sharps, as the steel is more wear-resistant than the originals.
I shoot lead bullets, cast by myself, almost exclusively in my Marlin 1895 and Trapdoor repro. Wheelweights work fine for black powder loads, but certainly no harder alloy should be used. Pure, dead-soft lead is preferable for black powder. For smokeless powder loads, wheelweights with a bit of 50/50 bar solder added will raise the hardness.
If I were you, I'd get a Sharps in .45-70 and call it good. It will do all you require and not require special care.

March 5, 2006, 12:43 AM
I just watched the movie - if you want to be aithentic, it has to be .45-110. You also have to shoot standing to 1000 yards.

Pappy John
March 5, 2006, 01:02 PM
Well you're going to need one of these to re-load your cases with black powder and this one's for sale. E-mail me if you're interested.

Jim Watson
March 5, 2006, 01:42 PM
I shoot BPCR silhouette and mid-range (with a Winchester Single Shot, not a Sharps) and follow the Shiloh and MSN boards pretty regularly.

I have learnt from experience and expert report:

The longer the cartridge, the more demanding it is to load and the more expensive it is to buy. There are some .45-110s, apparently rather fewer .45-100s, and a bunch of .45-90s out there for shooting true Long Range. But they have no advantage over the plain old .45-70 for ranges under 800 yards. No .45-120s that I have seen or heard tell of. Lots of .40s and some .38s but that is getting far away from the movie props that excite a lot of people with little experience.

The narrower and more curved the butt, and the more drop from line of sight to stock comb, the more the felt recoil. The military butt on the Q is a real recoil amplifier and I have seen very few shot in competition. I was glad to get the crescent butt off of my little .38-55 and put on a shotgun butt.

I know dang few people loading wheelweights over black, no more with pure lead, and nobody tries the 92-6-2 alloy used in bulk pistol bullets more than once. Most use foundry alloys of 20:1 to 30:1 lead:tin and avoid any source of antimony.

Bullets good enough to do justice to the quality of a good BPCR barrel and the labor it takes to turn out decent loads are hard to find and expensive when you do. Most serious shooters are casters.

Shiloh thinks their Sharps will hold Ruger loads but recommend the low end loads because a 30" barrel will get you some free velocity. Pedersoli guns are rated for the 28,000 CUP SAAMI standard. Neither need be held down to Trapdoor loads. Black is best anyhow.

Don't get scared off by reports of people washing their guns after shooting BP. You need something with water in it to dissolve the potassium carbonate and sulfide, and a little soap or detergent helps it lift the fouling. But it doesn't take a washtub. Wet patch and brush (I use Windex) will clean the barrel, your last damp patch will wipe off the outside, then dry and oil. Ballistol is well liked even though it stinks. It is easy to drop the breechblock of a Sharps to give it a better wipedown occasionally. This is maybe 15 minutes work at the range while the barrel is still warm. It is not really necessary to take off the sidelock, it is well isolated from the chamber. A friend had his off recently and there was no dirt in the lockwork at all.

March 5, 2006, 02:56 PM
For cleaning:

If you're using a coated one-piece rod (don't touch a segmented one), it's fairly easy to damage it on the sharp edges of the receiver. The following advice is moot if you have a boreguide, but I haven't seen any good ones for falling blocks.

Take a paper towel or small rag. Fold it such that it is maybe 2-4" width, whatever length you want. Drape it over the open action, perpendicular to the barrel, and press it into place in a "U" shape so that it covers the exposed action while allowing access to the bore. Now the action is covered, you won't drip into it with any solvents, and the rod can be easily wiped on the return stroke.

On a highwall this also can cover the hammer, which has serrations in a very unfortunately exposed location for cleaning.

Cleaning really is very simple, so don't let it deter you. I've found a big difference between different detergents, even within the same brand/type: original blue Dawn (very dilute) has been the best for me.

Back on topic, regarding caliber:

It's easy to make a 45-70 into something bigger; not so simple to go the other way around. Also, even blackpowder loads in 45-70 will punish you with a steel buttplate after a day's worth of shooting in a match. Maybe if you have some more shoulder padding than I do it could be tolerable, but make no mistake that the -90,110,120 etc are the magnum versions.

Chuck R.
March 5, 2006, 03:20 PM
I know dang few people loading wheelweights over black, no more with pure lead, and nobody tries the 92-6-2 alloy used in bulk pistol bullets more than once. Most use foundry alloys of 20:1 to 30:1 lead:tin and avoid any source of antimony.

I shot my way into Master Class (the old 28 break point) using WWs, and my old shooting partner is still in Master Class shooting them. As a matter of fact he won the AAA at the nationals in 2004 using un-weighed WW bullets (I really, really, hate the guy sometimes). Iíve shot two 31s with them also (I would kill for a 3rd 31!). Now I shoot 20-1, mostly because I got tired of scrounging WWs and the tricks it took to get them to shoot well. So I guess for Mike and I at least they work. For a new guy though, I'd go with a known alloy; 20-1 or 30-1. No sense adding another variable.

I agree with Jim, do yourself a favor and stay away from crescent buttplates and anything over 45-70 till youíve been shooting and loading BP for a while. The military stocks look cool, but they hurt more than theyíre worth.

My 1st gun was a 45-70 and I learned a lot. My second rifle is a 45-100 and I re-learned a lot. I havenít been to the Quigley match in a few years, nor have I been shooting any Buffalo matches though. I now focus on Silhouette so I mostly shoot my 40-70. My 45-90 and 45-100 kind of hang out in the safe. As the other guys pointed out, you can always get a 45-70 and ream it out longer later. Get too big of a cartridge first and your looking at resetting your barrel back or re-barreling altogether.


Jim Watson
March 5, 2006, 04:54 PM

I said "few" not "no" BPCR shooters use wheelweights and other crap lead successfully. The guy who got me into it had hundreds of pounds of birdshot bought cheap that he cast very nice bullets out of, with addition of some tin. But I ain't recommending it to a new shooter who already has some funny ideas to try to work out of. Them big cases and a new shooter are mostly just expensive fireworks. There is a C. Sharps .45x3.25" here in town that I think beyond its owner's ability and interest. At least it hasn't been on the range since new tha I know of.

Chuck R.
March 5, 2006, 07:13 PM

Yup agree 110%, too many other things to worry about besides what your alloy is up to.

Funny you mention the 3.25" C-Sharps, we've had a guy's "for sale" notice up on the wall of our skeet club for close to a year now.

You guessed it, an older Shiloh Sharps that he had reamed out to 3.25". I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time. :D

You still shooting out in TN? Why don't you make a road trip out to KS? We shoot two day matches every 3rd weekend, starting this month.


Jim Watson
March 5, 2006, 08:07 PM
No, dang it.
Harry McNutt closed down the Bon Aqua range after the November shoot, thinks to get rich(er) selling the land to fancy nancy developers.
No other BPCR club in my combat radius; Tom J. talking about Effingham and Friendship. Kansas would be a looong road trip.
Been working up rifles for modernical F-class so I can shoot at some distance without having to get trussed up in coat, glove, and sling which I haven't done since my teens.

Chuck R.
March 6, 2006, 10:14 PM

WOW, that sucks. Itís the first Iíve heard of it. Didnít you guys used to host the ďNorth Vs SouthĒ match? That is very bad news. How far are you from ST. Louis?

So are you planning on taking up Schuetzen? I'm still in reactive target mode and I need the instant gratification fix that silhouette provides (or in my case instant depression).


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