Info about Sharps rifles


August 6, 2008, 12:23 AM
I think I want a blackpowder sharps rifle, but I don't know anything about them, what can yall tell me about them?

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August 6, 2008, 12:42 AM
Might check out "Shooting Buffalo Rifles of the old West" by Mike Venturino, does a decent job of describing the more common BPCR rifles and the subtleties of same.

I happen to own both an original 1879 rolling block and a Shiloh Sharps. The rolling block is easier to load but IMO the Sharps action is the more "robust" of the 2.


August 6, 2008, 01:21 AM
are they cartridge or muzzleloader style?

August 6, 2008, 05:25 AM
1859, 1863 models are loaded with a linen wrapped conical bullet & powder case where the 1874 & newer models were metalic cartridge models.

All using Black Powder as the source of propellent.

August 6, 2008, 05:41 AM

I am new to Sharps rifles. I just obtained a 1874 Pedersoli. It was a used gun and affordable. Some of the makers are here in the U.S, ~ Shiloh, C.Sharps, and others...A new gun from one of these makers can take from 1 to 3 years to receive.

I will post a link to a forum discussion about my trying to find a 45/90 load. One gent that responded is a amazing source of Sharps info and provided over 10 links to great sites loaded resources....

Good luck, they are beautiful guns...


August 6, 2008, 07:27 AM
Gizz....I cant get the link to open...???

August 6, 2008, 09:54 AM

Fixed it...


highlander 5
August 6, 2008, 11:03 AM
I purchased my Shiloh Sharps not long after "Quigley Down Under" took 3 years to get it and was worth the wait. Got the Long Range Express heavy barrel in 45/70 and have since added an RHO telescopic sight. I have seen The Pedersoli and they look nice but can't comment beyond that. Last time I spoke with the Shiloh folks if you want something "generic" the wait shouldn't be to long just hold on to your chest when you see the prices,though they do give the original owner a lifetime warranty. Right now I think my rifle is somewhere in the $1700 range and the scope is another $850. According to the Shiloh folks their parts will fit in the original Sharps rifles.

August 6, 2008, 11:30 AM

A link to Shiloh, that can get the price thing figured out. Mine is a #3 with the heavy barrel in .45-70 and ran ~$2300 after FET etc. Took 18 mo to get.


A link to the forums fer any other Qs one might have needing to be answered.


August 6, 2008, 05:40 PM
I've only shot one Shiloh and the quality is definitely there. I will also say that there are no quality issues with my Pedersoli. I have shot one other Pedersoli and felt that it was a great representation, and extremely accurate...

Now to shoot a C.Sharps...LOL...


August 6, 2008, 10:32 PM
I absolutely love my Pedersoli 1874 so I can't recommend one of them enough. Fit and finish isn't as nice as a Shiloh or C. Sharps but it shoots just as well.

You can pick up the lower end "Business Rifle" for a little over a grand brand new. It won't be fancy but it will shoot very well:

If you can track down a good used one that might be the best way to go. Whatever you buy, definitely spring for a good vernier tang sight. With one of those you can shoot as accurate as most scoped rifles out to several hundred yards.

Edit: Another thing you definitely want is double set triggers. Having the ability to set the front trigger down to a couple ounces makes a huge difference in accuracy.

August 6, 2008, 10:47 PM
You know, these things just keep looking better and better.

Now, what caliber would be better, as it seems there are a few variations, and should I go with the paper cartridges or the cased?

Man, these things are sweet.

August 6, 2008, 11:48 PM
Now, what caliber would be better, as it seems there are a few variations, and should I go with the paper cartridges or the cased?

Probably the easiest to do is the .45-70 as reloading components are easy to find pretty much everywhere and not terribly out of line iffen one uses something like the Black Dawge or 10X cartridges $ wise (about $22-24/20).


August 7, 2008, 05:18 AM
Go with the brass cartridges for now. Paper is a bit intimidating at first, and a bit more work. I have a pal with two of them, and he promises to teach me how to "roll my own" some day...

Agree with the 45/70 recommendation, less recoil and easy to get brass....
Be prepared to have lots of folks ask questions and want to handle your gun ~ every trip to the range....:)


August 7, 2008, 06:54 PM
paper or cart. It depends on the game you play. or your interest.
I shoot a 59 and 63 in N_SSA so it has to be paper rounds. easy way to go w/ these are tubes by charlie hahn. If you like long range shooting. I would go w/ the cart guns to start.
on a nother not If you shoot cart you will need reloading equipment
w/ the 63, 59 just a powder scale. If you want to cast your own then that equipment too.:banghead:

August 7, 2008, 07:27 PM

I believe there are four ways to load the paper style gun, if you want to get into it. Ball and stick, then a paper filled with powder, the ability to just stick a ball and add powder directly, front loaded like a muzzleloader, and the first choice - paper cartridge...

My next Pedersoli is on order, and I will be rolling my own...:)


tiger rag
August 7, 2008, 07:40 PM
My next rifle will be a 59 or 63 I love those things

August 7, 2008, 08:04 PM
I know I'll be casting my own for sure. I even made my own powder recently. Worked great in my 1851 Navy.

I guess I would need a new mold. Anybody have a suggestion for a good mold for these?

And what kind of alloy would you suggest for them? Would clip on wheel weights work?

August 7, 2008, 09:05 PM
Double post

August 7, 2008, 11:55 PM
I use a Lyman 457125. A lot of guys say not to use wheel weights, but they work ok for me.

August 8, 2008, 01:03 AM
I heard that using wheel weights was bad for muzzle loaders because they difficult to load, but wouldn't damage the rifling in any way, and I have spoken with other people who use wheel weights all the time in their muzzle loaders.

The reason I wonder though, is at the velocities that the Sharps would fire the projectile, would you need the harder alloy? Or would the soft lead still be better?

What do you shoot alemonkey?

English Bob
August 8, 2008, 05:07 AM
1:20 Tin - Lead mix is considered the norm, even 1:30.

I use a 1:20 mix with the Lyman 457125 mould and it works superbly in both my 1874 Pedersoli Sharps and my 1875 Ballard R&C. Both rifles are in 45-90 which I find has been a good choice for paper-punching.

highlander 5
August 8, 2008, 08:28 AM
I can guaranty about people wanting to "fondle" your Sharps.
When I had iron sights on my rifle my buddy,who is a much better shot than I,could hit objects about the size of a nickel out to 75 yds or so. I cast 300,400,500 and a 520 gr bullet for my rifles. use a 50/50 mix of ww and linotype. the molds for the 400,500 and 520 use no gas checks ,the 300 is RCBS and uses a gas check. My buddy has a 78 Browning and he and I will go to the range and bounce 5 gallon bucket all over hell and earth.

August 8, 2008, 08:54 AM
All this talk and not one Pic?:(

Here's my Pedersoli Quigley gun....45/90 or as Sharps cataloged their guns '45-2.4"


highlander 5
August 8, 2008, 09:54 AM
I'd love to post a pic but I'm not that computer savvy.

August 8, 2008, 12:18 PM
there is also the plastic loading tube method
I use pure lead thats what woks in mine. Plus my 58 w/ hollow base minies
requires pure lead to expand the base. also only having pure lead keeps me from mixing things up.
for a mold I now use one made for me by Steve Brooks. you can find a link for him on the Shiloh sharps home page or do a search.
I have also used the NEI #383 it worked well.:banghead:

August 8, 2008, 05:22 PM
for sure a sharps is on my future want list

August 8, 2008, 11:10 PM
Do it, you won't regret it. Most money I ever spent on a gun and also the best I ever spent.

August 8, 2008, 11:54 PM
I'd post a pic, but I have no Sharps.

So the .45-2.etc" is basically the .45-90?

What's with the level on your front sight there?

August 9, 2008, 05:36 AM

Let's just say that the Sharps company called their calibers differently then say WCF (Winchester Center Fire)

The original Sharps rifle company never called its .45-2.4” a “45-90.” The Sharps .45-2.4” loading was 100 grains of powder & a 550 grain paper patched bullet.

The .45-90 originally was Winchester’s attempt for an express cartridge in the M1886 -- a 300 grain bullet w/ a 90 grain powder charge.

The front sight on my gun is a windage adjustable globe with about 15 different inserts. All have different uses, but I settled on using just 4 of them. The level dial is just that. The gun can be held in the same position when target shooting...


August 9, 2008, 08:33 AM

August 9, 2008, 11:21 AM
thx Have you decided parper or cart. If you go w/ paperand a .54 cal. let me
know and I will send you some of the diffrent bullets I use, to try before you buy a mold. All I would ask is when you get them send me a check to cover the cost of shipping,
One is from the nei mold the other from Brooks.

August 9, 2008, 04:18 PM
Shot mine today....

What a big pussycat...
Shot it with FFg and 500plus grain bullets and it was purely pleasurable. No pain, no shoulder rap ~ just a big shove and push... But boys, didn't everyone that came to see what I was shootin' drool over it...


August 9, 2008, 04:35 PM
Darn so many decisions. Well, let's see, what are my options?

Somebody list them for me so I can figure it out.

August 9, 2008, 05:49 PM
Not going to list options, only make one recommendation....

Buy a Pedersoli, in 45/70. Make sure it is a better quality one, as some of the ones that sell for $1000 dollars are not outfitted properly. Make sure it has the better grade Vernier rear sight with the adjustable eye cup ~ and a wind adjustable front sight, with the insert kit. Expect to pay about $1800....that will get you started with a pretty decent gun that can be had in short order.....go with a Quigley model with the extra grade of wood and fine checkering, expect to pay more....

The reason that I suggested the 45/70 is the availability of brass...and it is a good all around caliber...

If you want to shoot BPCR at 1000 yards then your going to want to step up to the bigger calibers...i.e. ~ 45/110


August 9, 2008, 11:39 PM
With everyone else posting up their Sharps, heres mine.

#3 Shiloh .45-70 32" Heavy with MVA scope... IIRC $2400 all told and I picked it up at Big Timber to avoid the FFL fiasco- shipping dither. The advantage of living in the state where they're made... :D

Sorry about the pic quality, I'm a tad lousy with the net and pics...


August 10, 2008, 10:18 PM
63 or 59 54 cal paper. make order of preferance SHiloh, Pedersoli,
then anything else.
cart Guns Shiloh, C Sharps, Pedersoli, than anything else

August 10, 2008, 10:29 PM
I learned something very interesting today on my 45-70 Pedersoli Sharps...I've been shooting a Lyman 457125 bullet with mostly good results, but every now and then when the fouling builds up I have a really hard time chambering the cartridge. I tried seating the bullet back really far but it still has the problem. One of the guys at the match I was shooting in figured out what was going on - my rifle has a really tight bore, and the bullet nose is too big. Apparently this bullet is designed to ride the bore on the driving bands, and the nose of the bullet should be small enough that you can push it into the muzzle all the way to the first band. On mine it sticks before I even get to the ogive of the bullet, so it's REALLY tight.

This all came about because we were trying to figure out why I was having so much vertical stringing. I was shooting ok when it came to windage, but I'd have a few shots on target, then one way over the top, and then a few on target. Turns out the ones I have to force into the chamber are compressing the powder in the cartridge more, creating more pressure and more velocity.

So, looks like it's time to search for a new mold. Luckily the guy who figured it out is also the guy I borrowed the mold from that I'm currently using, so he's going to let me try another until we get it figured out. That's the great thing about this sport, you have experts who are willing to help out newbies like me and don't hold back their secrets.

August 11, 2008, 04:46 AM

Thanks for sharing that info. Pays to read these threads, you learn so much from other members experiences....Will file that info away in the memory bank....


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