cleaning an 1874 sharps' barrel

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by coondogger, May 26, 2021.

  1. coondogger

    coondogger Member

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    I just got a sharps rifle and cannot find a cleaning rod long enough for it. Ideally I'd like to use some kind of carbon or wood rod in concert with a 45-70 bore guide. The bore guides seem to be readily available but not extra long cleaning rods. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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  3. Risky buisness

    Risky buisness Member

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    Just about any muzzlloading supplier can hook you up with a hardwood rod, that can be had in lengths up to about 48" plus the tips that can be purchased with the more common thread for cleaning tips. What I like about the ramrod approach is I buy a bundle of 3, get one tipped up for my .45 70 with several brushes jags and such and leave one in the rifle case fir trips to the range having a duplicate with my cleaning box stuff at home
     
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  4. coondogger

    coondogger Member

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    Surprisingly, the rods I use for my Thompson Hawken rifle are way too short for the Sharps.
     
  5. NorthBorder

    NorthBorder Member

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    So, tell us more about this Sharps.
     
  6. Jimster

    Jimster Member

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    I use a bore cleaning snake or my range rod.
     
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  7. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    IMAG2598.jpg
    This is my own Shiloh-Sharps and the cleaning rod I use for it. I bought the rod at Sportsman's Warehouse, but it's been a while (maybe 15 years), so Sportsman's might not carry them anymore.
     
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  8. swg1

    swg1 Member

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    Dewey makes what you need.
     
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  9. hps1

    hps1 Member

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    Did not look for bore guide but Tipton offers 44" carbon rods:
    https://www.tiptonclean.com/deluxe-1-piece-carbon-fiber-cleaning-rod/146468R.html#start=1

    Love to see pics of your rifle. :)
    Regards,
    hps
     
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  10. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    Please don't use wood except occasionally for (maybe) running a BP/damp patch muzzle-to-muzzle and out.

    Also, don't bother w/ bore guide as you should be cleaning from breech, and using this:
    https://www.amazon.com/Dewey-1-Piece-Cleaning-Caliber-Coated/dp/B017KI5DLU
    No big deal.... ;)
     
  11. dieselchief

    dieselchief Member

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    most gong shooters use a flexible delrin rod to clean the fouling from a sharps bore. they wiggle around the tang sight.
     
  12. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    Ditto. Wooden cleaning rods need to be kept scrupulously clean -- ordinary dirt contains some surprisingly abrasive minerals, which can become embedded in a wooded rod if you aren't conscientious about handling.

    Wood also has a habit of breaking at inopportune moments.
     
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  13. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    I take it back. I swung by Sportsman's Warehouse when I was in town (Pocatello) today, and they have a whole assortment of 44" and 46" cleaning rods similar to mine.:thumbup:
     
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  14. 792mauser

    792mauser Member

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    The sportsman's warehouse around here had the cleaning rod I use with my Sharps and Browning 45-70s.

    I'd stay away from a wooden rod. I've had 3 break while loading a muzzleloader. No Bueno. Had to tamp it all the down and pull the breech.

    I'd use a fiberglass rod before I use another wooden rod.

    A good metal rod is what you need. Can even make one from a long brass rod.
    Glue a wooden ball on one end and thread the other. Classy and effective.
     
  15. Steve S.

    Steve S. Member

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    I wonder how many cleaning sessions with a cleaning rod of any material it would take to wear the bore of the average Sharps rifle being cleaned from the breach - the answer is a way huge mega times the speed of light bunch. The average shooter will never affect the bore quality by cleaning - the competition shooter may, may, may influence the rifling quality over a great period of time - the drumbeat of wife’s tales just goes on and on and on in mindless perpetuity.
     
  16. BoomRabbit

    BoomRabbit Member

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    So Says The Husband (gunsmith):

    "Go to Lowe's and go to the Metal By The Piece aisle. Buy a thin, 3' aluminum rod and a basic threading kit (30$ total). Match the threads to your current cleaning rod (just buy the cheap Hobbe's kit at Walmart), and thread the end of the rod to match a female end of your cleaning rods just using the hand wrench that comes in the thread kit. Now you've a 6' cleaning rod, total, if you have a standard 3x 1' cleaning rod kit. Put on a glove for grip and just grab it by the rod. If you want to get fancy you put the 3' rod on the END so you can use the handle, but then you need to drill a small hole in the end of the aluminum rod and thread the interior. Thread the outside of the other end for thr cleaning tools (cloth, copper brush, etc) That let's you use the handle, and you have a 48" cleaning rod. Need a drill press for that one though, and check for level VERY carefully. Doing it the first way you just have to be kinda close.

    Or use a set of small, clamp on fishing weights, paracord, and some cotton balls. Tie the cotton balls to the end of the paracord and put the weights on the other end, and make a custom bore snake.

    Dealing with old rifles usually means making your own tools. I had to learn to blacksmith to fix flintlocks."
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2021
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  17. BoomRabbit

    BoomRabbit Member

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    Since I have him sitting here, making the husband answer a 2nd one lol:

    "For a ULR competition rifle a new shooter can ruin the rifling (assuming they aren't me and have the lathe and tools to fix the rifling afterwards) the first time they clean it. All they have to do is accidentally push the rod down too fast, it's edge to dig in and burr up the edge of a slant and... accuracy suffers. Then again when firing at a 24"x24" gong at 3000+ yards any deformation or scratch in the rifling destroys your chances. However using a normal cleaning kit, on a normal day and just cleaning a rifle the hardness rating between copper and barrel steel is so different you could NEVER erode the steel. You could clean it forever and you'd only wear down the copper, or aluminum rod, not the steel."
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2021
  18. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    Also useful as a driving tool for removing a squibbed bullet and some types of stuck cases from the bore and chamber. As a last resort mind, you can whack a solid aluminum rod down the barrel with relatively little danger to the bore and far less cost than destroying the threaded end of a cleaning rod. Ask me how I know.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2021
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  19. Zygodactyl

    Zygodactyl Member

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    The best long cleaning rod I found is the rod for a 50 caliber machine gun. It's sturdy and you can shorten or lengthen it by removing or adding sections. I bored out a brass bore guide to fit. It has a slot for a patch and takes standard brushes and cleaning jags.
     
  20. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    I have a rod that fits my Sharps 45 /70 34 " barrel 3/8" diameter and more than long enough. Got it from Shiloh Rifle for $60 IIRC.
     
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