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.45 120 Sharps

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Sheldon J, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. Sheldon J

    Sheldon J Well-Known Member

    Thinking of buying one and as only very high priced black power rounds are avilable I plan on brewing my own smokeless, this is a modern gun by Uberti and will according to Uberti handle the smokeless just fine. So any of you out there BTDT'S?
  2. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Well-Known Member

    I've heard they're uncomfortable to shoot regularly, which is the reason why the guy at The box of truth ( http://www.theboxotruth.com/index.htm ) opted for the 45-70 version of the sharps. Yet, if you really want Quiggly's gun, then go for it.

    Or you could try to see if you can find one chambered for the 50-140, just for the hell of getting a big gun.
  3. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Well-Known Member

    You might consider getting a .45-70 if you're planning to shoot smokeless. The .45-120 case is HUGE and you'll probably have to use a bunch of filler wads to take up empty space.
  4. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Well-Known Member

    IF you’re serious about shooting smokeless, you’re going to be better served with the plain old 45-70 (or even a 45-90 2.4”). It can be loaded to the about maximum you can safely get with a 3.25”. That’s pretty much the reason while the big cases faded away. You’ll most likely end up with a big, long, expensive case with 45-70 ballistics.

    Even with BP you’ll be hitting diminishing returns with that large a case, and the recoil during long strings is pretty painful. I have a Shiloh in 45-100 (2.6” case) that I use for Buffalo matches and an occasional 800-900-1000 yard match, and it’s about maximum in the recoil dept that I can handle accurately. 96 grains of Swiss 1.5 and a 540 grain Creedmoor bullet gets me 1330 FPS out of my 32” barrel. Even out of a 13lb gun it lets you know it’s there by the end of a match. To tell you the truth, its performance at distance is slightly better than my 45-90. The longer cases also have a little bit of a learning curve as far as loading goes.

    BTW, the Quigley rifle was/is a .45-110 (.45 2 7/8ths) it’s believed that the Sharps company never chambered a rifle in 3.25” cause the ability to make a case that long didn’t exist while the company was still making rifles.

    If you do want a big case, pay attention to the rifle’s stock design. The “shotgun” buttstocks don’t look as cool as the military buttstocks, but are way more comfortable to shoot.

  5. Sheldon J

    Sheldon J Well-Known Member

    I'm not looking or the Quigley gun the price is way too steep for the .45 110 embleshments, the .45 120 is actually several hundred less, the boy wants to buy the gun for a future big game trip.
    I am an expierenced loader but I have never looked up the data on the 70 vs 110 vs 120 been loading hand gun and very specalized rounds for the .45 LC on my TC. The Sharps is a very nice looking gun and is offered only in the 70 N 120 at Cabelas. I'm trying to cost justfy the aditional range the 120 will give for the extra cost of the brass, well that and the very heavy 538 gn bullet. For big dangerous game I would think the heavy bullet could be a plus.
    Recently several powder makers have introduced lower weight vs volume powders just for the larger cases. I plan on avoiding Black powder the stuff is just too much of a mess to clean up after, and after droping over a K on a gun you want to avoid rust a all cost.
  6. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Well-Known Member

    Agreed, if he's limiting himself to smokeless, he should stay with the .45-70.

    The extra case capacity of the .45-90, .45-100, .45-110, and .45-120 was intended to get the most velocity out of blackpowder loadings. You'll have to use a buffer or extra wadding of some sort in the .45-120 or .45-110 if you're loading it with smokeless, and risk ringing the chamber if all isn't perfect. I'm not so certain XMP-5744 will give that great a load density.

    .45-110 data:

    http://www.accuratearms.com/data/Pe...45 110 Sharps Straight 3_75 inch page 364.pdf

    .45-120 data:

    http://www.accuratearms.com/data/Pe...artridges/45 120 Sharps Straight page 365.pdf

    Then there's the recoil. I'm a big guy, 6'0", 200lbs, and can tolerate a goodly amount of recoil. I can even handle about a dozen .45-70 405gr "warm" Reloder 7 handloads from my Ruger #1 at 2150fps. But when you're talking a .45-120 Sharps launching a 535gr Postell at 1600fps, that's gonna leave a mark, both on the buffalo, and on your shoulder. Do it several times, as in a BPCR silhouette match, and your chiropractor may become your best friend after a while.

    I had the same choice to make. I went with the .45-70 Sharps, 32" barrel, and load blackpowder for best accuracy and lowest velocity spread behind my 500gr swaged spitzers. Cleanup isn't the hassle people make it out to be, especially in a single-shot falling block rifle. ;)

    Regarding the Quigley gun, it's my understanding the chambering for that Hollywood creation was .45-110, per Mike Venturino's column here:

  7. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Well-Known Member

    By way of comparison...

    This is from the Shiloh Rifle forum.


    Granted, I don't know who would be so smart as to shoot a .375 H&H mag off his bicep vs. shoulder, but do be careful of what you ask for with respect to smokeless loads in a .45-110 or .45-120 Sharps.

    As a matter of fact, it appears that Mr. Waverly on the Shiloh Rifle Forum, and Sheldon J. may be the same individual. If not, they ask very similar questions, see here:

  8. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    "...only very high priced black power rounds..." It's not just the loaded ammo. Midway wants $45.99 per 20 for just the brass. $2.30 each.
  9. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    A common misconception about black powder. It is easier and faster to clean a BPCR than it is to get the gummy smokeless residue and copper out of a modern magnum. The patches just come out blacker. Best get one of those cleaning kits with cradle on top of the box and clean at the range. Ten or 15 minutes.
  10. Murphster

    Murphster Well-Known Member

    Let me second what Jim Watson said. BPCR are quick and easy to clean. They don't smell like roses while you're doing it, but it doesn't take long. I couldn't tell if you're a reloader or not from your post, but smokeless powder in a BPCR goes "bang." Black powder in one goes "BOOM." Forgive the upper case letters. I'm just afraid folks might look at your rifle and shake their heads sadly if it only goes bang. Think of it as artillery you hold to your shoulder.
  11. shane justice

    shane justice Well-Known Member


    I was going to go off on a tear...but I choose not to....

    Listen to these guys who say get a 45-70....

    the 45-70 is one of the most documented cartridges ever...and the most used on game and man alike....

    Listen to all the wisdom..and knowledge revolving around in the gun world about the old 45-70....

    The 45-70 is good for everything...

    For God's sake shoot black powder.....

    Save up your money and spend it on the finest rifle built....Shiloh Sharps....

    Do notbuy a rifle and some rounds,shoot it three times..wonder how come it won't hit at 1200 yards and then sell it off to somebody else who wants to dream about being a Buffler Hunter....

    GO to the Shiloh Sharps Forum...look in the BPCR stuff...

    And then save your money...buy a 45-70 Shiloh Sharps...and do it right the first time....

    Speaking form experience dude.....please listen....

  12. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Well-Known Member

    As the other guys pointed out, I’d much rather have to clean one of my BPCRs than a HP rifle. BP with cast led bullets is very, very, easy to clean. Blow tube, couple of wet patches, couple of dry patches, oil and done.

    The brass is a different matter, the cleanup is worse than smokeless, but this is the only issue, and even it isn’t that bad. I decap at the range (most guys do), soak in water, then clean using ceramic media in a tumbler once I get home. Brass comes out looking like brand new.

    You can always shoot smokeless, but ss the other guys said, there’s just something about hitting steel at 500 meters or a 1000 yards with a bullet you cast over a load of BP.

    I’d seriously try to get to a match and check out some rifles before buying anything. A lot of guys will probably offer to let you take a couple of shots if you show interest. It used to be when I started out that you had a choice between a Shiloh, C-Sharps 74, or an Italian Repro. I started out with a used C-Sharps 75 in 45-70, then a Shiloh #1 in 45-100, then a Ballard High-wall in 45-90, then a Ballard High-Wall in 40-70, then a Ballard Low-wall in .22LR. The reason I say this is because there are lots of choices now. Shilohs are easier and faster to get, there’s a couple companies making High Walls, Rolling Blocks, Steven’s 44 ½, Hepburns. All the action types have their pro’s and con’s. After messing with the 75 and 74, I’ve settled on High Walls.

    Loading BP and casting good bullets has a definite learning curve, but the folks in the sport are awesome, and you will get lots of help.

  13. BlueDolphin

    BlueDolphin Member

    Same dilema


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

    I was also thinking I might as well go for 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.

  14. wsboxcar

    wsboxcar New Member

    45-120 Quiggly---no,no,no

    Shilo will not make you a Quiggly in 45-120 caliber. The 110 is the largest available---I have one and had hhhhhhhhh----LLLLLL getting it to do better than a 4 FOOT GROUP at 80 yards...Bought every powder made ---almost every loading block made---shot the 300 gr. 45-70 almost 100 times-----would kick worse than my 10 gage browning bps---then suddendly after 900 rounds something happened----no kick--50 yd one hole groups--3/4 groups at 100 yds.-- now am shooting 535 gr leads with gas checks --with 36.5 grains of 4755 smokeless,,crono at 1550 fps --34 inch barrell-------After grouping,, I found out that there was very little difference between BP and Smokeless in accuracy--so I shoot both at different times////now a great gun to shoot...I contacted Shilo and the owner said he had several reports of bad accuracy --but the gun is warrented to you for LIFE--He was willing to replace the barrell ,but I chose to keep the origional---wsboxcar
  15. wsboxcar

    wsboxcar New Member


    that powder no is 5744--accurate arms.---wsboxcar
  16. quicktime

    quicktime Well-Known Member

    I too am looking at a uberti in 45-120. I would like to hear from anyone that owns one. It will be strictly a safe filler to be shot occasionally at the range or possibly on a ranch buffaloe hunt. Are the Shiloh's actually worth the price difference? (I know this is a stupid question as most stuff is when you actually get down to it.)
  17. quicktime

    quicktime Well-Known Member

  18. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    Uberti Sharps are made for them by Pedersoli, which is the best of the foreign copies. The devaluation of the dollar against the Euro is making the imports less attractive versus American made.

    The warnings against .45-120 above are real.
    Every once in a while somebody comes along and says his shoots great... but seldom gives details of what it takes.
    Are you a handloader?
  19. Iggy

    Iggy Well-Known Member

    Get the Shiloh 45-70. It's all you need.
  20. quicktime

    quicktime Well-Known Member

    I am a hand loader but do not cast my own lead. I am not totally decided on the black versus smokeless powder dilemma. But I am leaning towards the black powder. I take it you mean by the warnings are real that it is a bear to shoot and it is finicky on what it likes to eat. The reason I ask about the Uberti is I know where there is one that has been sitting on the shelf for a while. The 1800 dollar price tag tends to shy most people away. As I said this gun will not be used as a match rifle. It will be mainly sitting in the safe and will be taken out for a ranch buffalo hunt. So if it will shoot a 4 inch group at 200 yards I will be happy. I am not 100% sold on the 45/120 but I know it is available and for me that is a big issue as I am overseas and will only be home for two weeks in December. But if the general consensus is that it will not meet my needs and a Shiloh will then I will wait until I am home for good and order the Shiloh. So I am trusting on you OWNERS to steer me in the right direction

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