Shiloh Sharps .45-70 worth it?


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vanfunk
October 15, 2011, 12:23 PM
Hello All:

My LGS just got in a new consignment - a Shiloh Sharps "Old Reliable" .45-70 rifle. It's a pretty basic model, with a sturdy but undistinguished stock and forend, nice case colors on the receiver, and a tang-mounted adjustable peep sight. I am seriously considering buying this thing, as I have always wanted a single-shot Sharps in this classic chambering. It's in used, but like-new-unfired condition, and it's priced at $1400, which seems reasonable. Soooooo - should I go for it? Will I like it? :D

Thanks!

vanfunk

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Furncliff
October 15, 2011, 12:31 PM
Can't comment on the rifle, but I did run across some .45-70 ammo yesterday... you may want to check the price?

jem375
October 15, 2011, 12:36 PM
You know, you're a lot like me when it comes to something I have always wanted to own, but after thinking about it today, myself I would go for the Marlin Guide gun instead. I reload for 2 of these rifles and shoot them every once in awhile and they are indeed a really good rifle...

H&Hhunter
October 15, 2011, 12:37 PM
Can't comment on the rifle, but I did run across some .45-70 ammo yesterday... you may want to check the price?

Some of it is stupid expensive like the custom boutique ammo like Garrett or Buffalo Bore. But you can't shoot that stuff through an 1874 model Sharps anyway it's way to stiff power wise.

Normal old .45-70 ammo isn't to horrible expensive and if I had a Sharps it would strictly be a reloading situation anyhow.

Sounds to me like pretty fair price on that rifle IF it is an actual Shilo and not an Italian built replica gun.

vanfunk
October 15, 2011, 01:05 PM
Thanks Guys!

Yes, it is a Shiloh Sharps rifle (though not an original), from Big Timber, Montana. I'm not too concerned about the price of ammo, as I'll probably only put 200 rounds a year through it.

I do like the Guide Gun idea too, and there's one at the same store for about $500 lightly used. But, it doesn't have quite the appeal of the Sharps, however more practical and pennywise it may be.

Thanks!

vanfunk

DPris
October 15, 2011, 01:11 PM
A genuine Shiloh Sharps in the condition you describe is absolutely worth that price.
Shiloh makes those guns entirely in-house, they don't contract out for parts like other companies do.
The rifles are essentially hand built, which gives Shiloh absolute control over all quality aspects, and they take those guns very seriously.

They are considered the best of the larger small shop brands (semi-sorta volume production by a small company as opposed to a one-man shop turning out one rifle at a time).

My Shiloh Saddle Rifle was a custom order to give me the features I wanted on it, I paid a bit over $2000 a while back, and it is the finest rifle I own. Period.
Workmanship is outstanding, and it's the same even on the plainer models.
Quality is never an issue, and it'll hold it's value (if that's an issue for you) far better than a Pedersoli version of the Sharps rifles.
Denis

H&Hhunter
October 15, 2011, 03:29 PM
My Shiloh Saddle Rifle was a custom order to give me the features I wanted on it, I paid a bit over $2000 a while back, and it is the finest rifle I own. Period.

I have to agree the ones I've had the pleasure of playing with are OUTSTANDING in quality and performance. I'd really like to have a C-Sharps in an 1885 as a full time saddle gun. But momma isn't playing along with that idea! I don't know what her problem is?:confused:;)

Onmilo
October 15, 2011, 03:39 PM
Yes.
The guns are well worth the wait and the money.

Jim Watson
October 15, 2011, 05:19 PM
A wise man defined a bargain as "something you don't need at a price you can't resist."

A Shiloh Sharps is a top quality rifle and $1400 is reasonable to cheap (plus the tang sight which is NOT cheap) and off the shelf availability is unusual. But none of that matters if you do not want a good quality .45-70 single shot.

To actually shoot a good quality .45-70 you should either be a proficient handloader, have a very large ammo budget, or be a one-box-a-year hunter type.

Oh, by the way, H&H, Buffalo Bore says of their .45-70 Magnum Lever Action ammunition

"Its use should be limited to the following firearms:
All Marlin 1895 (1895 Marlins are all model 336 actions, chambered in 45-70) iterations made since 1972, all Browning 1885 and 1886 copies, New England Arms Handi Rifle, T/C Encore, ALL falling block actions made of modern steel such as Ruger #1 and #3, Shiloh, Christian and Persoli Sharps, all Winchester 1886 iterations made since 1915 and all Siamese Mauser bolt actions."

Kirk Bryan, owner of Shiloh, says his rifles are strong enough for "Ruger loads" but best to load a little less and let the long barrel make up the velocity.


Me?
I shoot a Browning BPCR highwall knockoff and a real period Winchester highwall.
But if I win the Shiloh at the upcoming championship, I won't turn it down.

H&Hhunter
October 15, 2011, 08:22 PM
Kirk Bryan, owner of Shiloh, says his rifles are strong enough for "Ruger loads" but best to load a little less and let the long barrel make up the velocity.


Good to know THANKS!

rori
October 15, 2011, 08:29 PM
You will definately love the Sharps and 45/70 is a great caliber and tons of fun to shoot. Try a 405gr cast bullet and 13gr Unique. You can shoot it all day in a T shirt. Doubt that you will limit yourself to only 200 rounds a year though. The Marlins are good guns also BUT the ones made by Remington have had nothing but trouble and they recently shut down production due to Q/C issues. Get an older one made by Marlin and you have a gun that will shoot right along with good bolt guns. Frank

xwray
October 16, 2011, 12:03 AM
A genuine Shiloh Sharps in the condition you describe is absolutely worth that price.
Shiloh makes those guns entirely in-house, they don't contract out for parts like other companies do.
The rifles are essentially hand built, which gives Shiloh absolute control over all quality aspects, and they take those guns very seriously.

They are considered the best of the larger small shop brands (semi-sorta volume production by a small company as opposed to a one-man shop turning out one rifle at a time).

My Shiloh Saddle Rifle was a custom order to give me the features I wanted on it, I paid a bit over $2000 a while back, and it is the finest rifle I own. Period.
Workmanship is outstanding, and it's the same even on the plainer models.
Quality is never an issue, and it'll hold it's value (if that's an issue for you) far better than a Pedersoli version of the Sharps rifles.
Denis
I met the original owner of Shiloh (Wolfgang Drogue) at a SHOT show in the long ago...a very interesting man. He said that if I ever got up in that neck of the woods to stop by and he would give me a tour. I made a point of doing just that while on a trip through the area. When DPris mentions above that the guns were made entirely in house he is more than right...they even make their own screws to the original Sharps specifications. I was amazed to see the level of detail and talent that went into each of these guns. Wolfgang said that you could put original Sharps parts on a Shiloh and they would fit perfectly and vice versa. Wolfgang passed away a few years ago but the Bryans who now own Shiloh are good people...

vanfunk
October 16, 2011, 12:05 PM
Thanks all! Just to throw a wrench in the works, I got a call from the LGS last night to let me know about another deal. They have another Shiloh Sharps with a deluxe walnut stock, extra heavy half-octagonal barrel, and absolutely vivid case colors. It's used, but LNIB and flawless. They had it priced at $2495, but the owner's son offered it to me at $1850. It's mighty tempting...

What say you all?

Vanfunk

H&Hhunter
October 16, 2011, 12:48 PM
Sounds like you've got an itch that needs to be scratched. You'd better scratch it!:D

jerkface11
October 16, 2011, 02:07 PM
From what I can tell an "old reliable" would be a C Sharps not a Shiloh Sharps.

DPris
October 16, 2011, 02:11 PM
Consider what you want to do with the gun.
First- the Sharps and the Marlin mentioned are two different ballgames. They're not really made for the same function or general uses.

I have my Shiloh, a Remington rollingblock, and a Marlin Guide Gun.
The Shiloh is for admiration, nostalgia, occasional potting away at things with my own loads. It's too heavy to carry far on foot, not practical FOR ME as a hunter for that reason. I also don't use it for long range competition, so I have not invested $500-$1000 in the right sights to do that.

The Remington is light enough to carry, I have it zeroed for 405-grain "traditional" loads. Not much of a thumper at all. Another admiration & nostalgia piece good for fun or hunting.

The Marlin is heavy bear artillery, with heavy Garrett loads. It's short enough & light enough to carry on foot, very huntable, and with those loads it IS a thumper.
That one's all business, I don't shoot it recreationally.

So, if you're looking at the Shilohs for nostalgia, historicity, quality, and as a fun gun, just decide which one you want the most.
If you want to go long range, choose the one with tang sights already on it.
If you want to go pretty, choose the pretty one. :)

Be warned that the heavy barrels make a very heavy rifle, and one you won't tote much on the ground or hold up well off-hand in longer shooting sessions.

Decide what your intended use would be, decide which rifle would meet it best, and look at the buttplates on both. A flat shotgun-style will be easier on your shoulder (trust me on that), a crescent looks more traditional but requires a different shoulder/arm position for best results. I was more interested in comfort, ordered the shotgun style on mine.

The tang sights may not be an issue, unless you plan to shoot farther than about 150 yards. Regular buckhorns can get you that far.

The rifles are very fine products, I've owned two & worked with a third that I wish I'd kept. In retrospect, I wish I'd gone with a lighter barrel on the one I have here. The .45-70 caliber is easy to load for to different levels of performance.
Just look beyond the pretty wood & colors and evaluate the physical features of the guns to correlate how you'd be shooting them. Buttplate, sights, weight, etc.

Something else to consider is that the "plainest" grade of wood, straight-grained, will be the strongest. The fancier grades with more curl & figure are not as strong. That does NOT mean they'll break with normal use, just an advisory on selecting wood, and Shiloh used to include that in their selection process as part of ordering info. Dunno if they still do.

Otherwise, both prices are well in line with rifles as you describe them.
Denis

BruceB
October 16, 2011, 10:28 PM
ANY Shiloh in decent condition at less than $2000 is a screaming bargain. I'd try to buy BOTH at the prices quoted.

Shilohs did indeed have the "Old Reliable" marking....my first one was an early (1980?) rifle made in Farmingdale, New York. It had the Old reliable barrel marking. A later rifle of mine doesn't have that marking.

Tang sights are a WILDLY-varied lot. It's not difficult to spend a thousand dollars to set up a Sharps' with DECENT iron sights....but there are a lot of cheap knock-offs out there. Try to find WHO made that sight, and then do some research if the info is available.

My first reaction is to say: "BUY!" Buy the one you like best, but if finances permit I'd buy both rifles. Money in the bank (and VERY nice rifles, to boot).

chez323
October 16, 2011, 10:40 PM
Funny you mention a Sharps 45-70 as today I was in the Hamburg PA Cabelas and they have one in their gun library that I was sorely tempted to buy. It was prices at $1600 and I thought that was a good price. It's one of those guns I've always wanted..... So if you can swing it I say go for it. Them I can live vicariously thru you. Lol

DumasRon
December 21, 2011, 09:48 PM
Please be advised that the new Shiloh arrives in a box with a large print flyer which
says: "For Black powder and Pyrodex only". Of course because 'everybody' shoots it the other way don't mean it wont give problems if abused by excessive loads.
Fortunately it's a lot more fun if you stick to the smokey loads, sez me.
$1400 is so cheap I would have to find out why.
DumasRon

Jim Watson
December 21, 2011, 10:39 PM
the new Shiloh arrives in a box with a large print flyer which
says: "For Black powder and Pyrodex only".

Wonder what they put in the box with one in .30-40 Krag or .405 WCF that never were loaded with black.

SharpsDressedMan
December 21, 2011, 11:04 PM
Go to their website and compare prices. Probably the only reason those are going for those prices is the orignal owners bought them 15-20 years ago, and did not know what they are going for now when they traded or sold to the store.

dev_null
December 22, 2011, 12:07 AM
I paid a fair bit less for a Pedersoli, but I'd love to have the Shiloh if I could afford it. Sounds like a good deal to me.

DPris
December 22, 2011, 01:41 AM
The black powder "restriction" is only for certain calibers, generally the ones with big & looong cases.

Shiloh says their .45-70s & a couple others are fine with smokeless, but they're concerned that reloaders trying to convert the larger-case-capacity rounds to smokeless will blow one up.

BP has very different burn characteristics than smokeless, and not all calibers can be as effectively "translated". :)

My Custom Shop Remmie came with a BP-Only, but there's no problem with moderate .45-70 smokeless loads through it.

Denis

GooseGestapo
December 22, 2011, 08:02 AM
At those prices, if you are in the market for one, jump on them.
Indeed, they have a warning against smokeless. Not because reasonable loads are too much.
Too many knuckle heads will stuff the cases with PISTOL POWDERS; such as Unique, Herco, or #2400 and blow them apart, or in the case of some of the Cowboy action shooters, a squib and then try to "blow" the stuck bullet out with a full charge.....

A friend has one circa 1990's in .45/90. Also has a tang sight, but a "period" one, not a competiton one. We shot it with compressed charges of Pyrodex and a Lee 405gr 0.459" hollow-base bullets I cast from his mould. (I have a much more sophiscated casting set up than he.... I shoot NRA PPC so, I cast a LOT of .38wadcutters and semi-wadcutters. I was getting 1.5" groups at 100yds and 4.0" groups at ~385yds. I was VERY impressed!
The same bullets heat-treated and run over a compressed load of IMR4064 from my Marlin GuideGun are getting ~1800fps and shoot ~2.5" at 100yds (Williams reciever sight).

I think you'll enjoy one IF you reload....

Afy
December 22, 2011, 08:45 AM
Buy it and dont look back.

Reload your own ammo. A 500 grain Postell bullet over 65 grains of FFFG Swiss black powder is a hoot to shoot.

The .45/70 does well with Varget as well. I am somehwat of a loony and do use duplex loads that I have worked up combining N133 and Black powder. Be very conservative if you go down the duplex load.

Also when shooting black powder, ending the session with a few smokeless powder loads makes cleaning a whole lot easier.

highlander 5
December 22, 2011, 09:12 AM
If I were you I'd buy both. Shiloh Sharps rifles hold there value very well. At one ofthe bigger gun shops in my area,Kittery Trading Post there were 2 Shilohs and IIRC neither were under $2K. I have a Shiloh Sharps Long Range Express heavy barrel with a RHO telescopic sight and every time I take it to the range I have to wipe the drool off the rifle from the various onlookers. Admittedly I should have stayed with the standard barrel as the heavy barrel bring its weight to 14lbs but even with heavy load it's a pusy cat to shoot.
RHO is out of business I believe.

tallpaul
December 22, 2011, 10:16 AM
I own 2 shiloh's and have for years. I love them but have not shot em yet, I know it's criminal but I still need to get good molds etc. One of theses days I will shoot one if not both....

I know if I was liikin and found those that likel one or both would be coming home ;)

One of my #1 heavy barrel business rifle with pewter fore end... Luv this thing

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e44/pprudowe/DSCN1086.jpg

VA27
December 22, 2011, 12:01 PM
I have a Farmingdale 1863 Carbine and I cant say enough good things about it. If its what you want, you wont be disappointed.

Jim Watson
December 22, 2011, 06:24 PM
Hey, tallpaul,
Dave Jennings at Montana Bullet Works will get your Sharpses going with no more excuses about bullet moulds.
http://www.montanabulletworks.com/

Robert
December 22, 2011, 06:42 PM
I want a Shiloh Sharps in the worst way.

Jim Watson
December 22, 2011, 06:47 PM
Bad enough to pay the money and wait the turnaround?
Or pay Bill Goodman $250 extra to cut the wait?
Or hit all the stores, shows, and sale sites and when you see one JUMP ON IT?
The OP has dithered. I wonder if he bought one of those he saw. Or if they are still there to buy.

Cosmoline
December 22, 2011, 06:48 PM
BUY THAT SHARPS! That's an excellent price for one of the finest rifles made, period. Guide guns are fine workaday leverguns, but it's really a completely different animal.

As far as .45-70 cost, it's really easy to save money rolling your own. Black powder makes it extra fun. Brass is cheap and easy to find and you can easily find cast bullets or high end patched rounds for BP loads. I would not hammer the Sharps with B-Bore loads, and there's no reason to do so.

Robert
December 22, 2011, 07:00 PM
Bad enough to pay the money and wait the turnaround?
Or pay Bill Goodman $250 extra to cut the wait?
Bad enough that when I actually have the budget for one i will get it however I can... Till then I look at the web site and dream.

SharpsDressedMan
December 22, 2011, 08:08 PM
Gratuitous Sharps photo: A 34" Heavy Barreled Hartford Model with a few upgrades i n.45-70. http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m247/matquig/DSC05517.jpg

fletchbutt152
December 23, 2011, 09:51 AM
I recently drove through Big Timber and stopped at Shilo and C. Sharps for tours. Both were pleasant experiences, and both make decent rifles. But I must say that Shilo makes the finest rifle I've ever held (I don't hold those European doubles though). Shilos are worth the extra dough if you buy a Sharps in my opinion.

lonegunman
January 1, 2012, 03:57 AM
I took my Shiloh 45-90 out today as a matter of fact. 5 shots, 480gr semi-pointed bullet, 1.86" at 100yds and with a little work it will shrink even more. Reloading big cast bullets is part art, part science and it takes a while to get it sorted out, buy good bullets for starters.

Those guns were a steal at those prices, hopefully you bought at least one of them.

Float Pilot
January 1, 2012, 04:17 AM
Back when I had money, I bought a couple Shiloh Sharps express rifles in 50-90. One even had semi fancy wood and I had some pretty high grade sights that cost more than some of my other rifles.
They are super well made and very accurate.
And back when I had disposable income, it was cool to show off to the other guys during cowboy shoots and the like...

But the fancy wood model was worth well over $2200 and I became paranoid about letting it go outside the house.

As I retired from a couple of my former careers, having safe queen $2,200 rifles became a point of self introspection and reflection.

Manny
January 1, 2012, 07:22 AM
Gun writer Mike Venturino who is a very good shot and an avid competitor in black powder silhouette shooting using these types of guns wrote an article regarding high grade rifles a while back that I admired. His wife wanted to treat him and had him order a Sharps rifle built to his specs (I don't recall if it was Shilo or C Sharps) with presentation grade wood etc. He stunned a lot of folks by making that rifle one of his competition rifles and shooting the heck out of it.

He wrote that the rifle, though still in top notch condition, now exhibits some wear commensurate with the heavy use and some "war wounds" from mishaps along the way. In his mind it looks all the better and he has had enormous pleasure shooting that fine weapon and putting it to the use for which it is so superbly suited. I really like his attitude on that and would love to someday emmulate his use, unfortunately at this time the budget just doesn't permit.

To the OP, if one of those Shilo rifles really strikes your fancy and you have the wherewithal to afford it they both sound like incredibly good deals.

Jim Watson
January 1, 2012, 09:30 AM
A friend has been shooting a Shiloh at BPCR MS and Target for over 15 years.
It doesn't HAVE any "war wounds." He takes care of it and does not knock it around. If it were in a store rack behind the counter six feet away, it would look new because the small amount of handling wear would not be visible.

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