Percussion Sharps


tom e gun
October 16, 2012, 01:04 AM
Any of you fellers have experience with the various percussion Sharps reproductions? I have become particularly enamored of them as of late, and would love to hear about them from the community at large. What models do you prefer? I have had my eye on some carbine variants. I have heard they use paper cartridges but I am still trying to wrap my head around how they work.

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October 16, 2012, 01:28 AM
Hello, tom e gun. Back in the mid 70's I purchased a Shilo Sharps 1863 percussion rifle in .45 caliber. I wanted the .45 over the .50 or .54 for better bullet selection..and possibly less recoil. The percussion least the military version hold a max. of 60gr. black powder.
Yes, they are a "paper cartridge" gun..the originals used treated linen.
I make my ctgs. from treated tracing paper..a super solution of pottasium nitrate (saltpeter) is used to soak paper. I have used cigaret paper for base.
I'll never forget the time I was shooting at 100yd. range, young guy came over..didn't say a word..but was watching. I loaded paper ctg., cocked that big hammer back & placed musket cap on nipple..and fired. Opened breech..blew thru & loaded another round. About the third time I did this he said to me with eyes the size of dinner plates..."how'd you do that?? Where's the case?
I sent mine back to Shilo for fitting early percussion/ctg. style tang sight & dbl. set triggers.
Making the paper ctg. is time consuming..but you can make a bunch on rainy days..or least there are no cases to wash black powder fouling out. And they can be fired with loose breech seating bullet in throat & filling chamber with powder.

October 16, 2012, 01:43 AM
There's a Youtube video link in post #2 of this thread:

Jim, West PA
October 16, 2012, 12:17 PM
Gee thanx Steve. Now i too am "enamored". :uhoh:
One thing, way beyond the cool factor of the Sharps, that got my attention was the retained energy at that range.

Go for it Tom.
Go for it.
In fact...i think you should git one :D

October 16, 2012, 12:29 PM
I have an early Shiloh 1863 Carbine in 54 caliber and it's a hoot! You can find out nearly anything you want to know in the 1863 support section at the shiloh rifle forum.

The highlights are, 'Treated paper isn't necessary' (and it isn't, any old paper will work), 'Charlie Hahn's tubes rock' (and they most certainly do!) and 'CCI's Reenactor Caps suck' (they absolutly do!)

Good luck on your Quest!

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