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Long range shooting...super cartridges, fancy scopes...what about Sharps users?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by saturno_v, Jul 8, 2010.

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  1. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    Here and there I read on THR of very fancy equipment for long range shooting (1000 y and over).
    Very expensive scopes, custom rifles, exotic cartridges....definitely impressive.

    Now the thing is....there are Sharps users, even at current times, that enjoy throwing their 45-70 bullets at very impressive ranges using just their tang sights.

    You can look at few youtube videos.....type "Sharps" and "long range shooting".

    My question for the long range experts is: What kind of accuracy at such extreme distances these shooters can get with their old 45-70 , even using scopes? At least compared to another shooter using, let's say a custom 338 Lapua with a $1000-1500+ glass on it?
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  2. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    i'm not familiar with the ballistics of that cartridge, but our local 1000 yrd matches are shot with both irons and optics. (we shoot 3 matches in a day, 2 with irons and 1 with optics)

    with irons AND a spotting scope OR wind flags AND a high contrast 5' wide bullseye AT a known distance, you're not really at much of a disadvantage if any compared to having a scope on the rifle.

    however... if you were trying to shoot small fur with a grass background, forget it. no glass to read mirage, or wind flags? gets a lot harder. ranging with iron sights? don't even know how to go about doing that.
     
  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    A good BPCR seems to be about a 1.5 MOA rifle. At least that is about as good as I can load and hold. Certainly a modern high intensity round with jacketed bullets will beat that... but it is not as much fun.
     
  4. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    Supposedly, black powder can yield more consistent velocities from round to round vs smokeless. As such, with a top notch rifle, theoretically black powder should be more precise than a modern smokeless cartridge rifle.
     
  5. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    What about wind at that distance? A BP 45-70 load would be well into subsonic velocities at 1000y+
     
  6. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    Wind doping and range calculation would have to be perfect. Like I said, "theoretically." A .338 Lapua Magnum rifle would be way easier to actually hit something with at over a thousand yards, with a decent scope, in real world conditions.
     
  7. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    the only thing they both have in common is pulling the trigger, the rules for black and smokeless are like night and day.if you need 5 minutes of elevation with smokeless,black may need 5 times that at a given distance. there are many more variables in black that are not there with smokeless. i shoot both and they both present challenges unto themselfs. i realy enjoy the black powder end of it tho it is shot at a slower pace, whitch ain,t all bad. eastbank.
     
  8. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    I once shot my Sharps .45-70 with 420gr bullets loaded to 1800fps at 1000 yards during a match at Camp Perry, but never got on the target. It was a day that was hard to see short range impact, or vapor trail, so even with a spotter, we could not figure things out. Later, I plotted a huge trajectory plot on graph paper, and found that HAD I been on target, my bullets would be dropping in like mortar rounds, and could have killed or injured the guys working in the pits.... the angle would have dropped the bullets right over the protective wall down on them if they were not right up against the wall. I was GLAD I was not on target. I will only shoot that gun at extreme long range if out in the open, where impacts do not endanger anything or anyone.
     
  9. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    I went buffalo hunting with some BPCR guys. One of their brothers is a top-rated competitor. He loads 40 rounds in 8 hours. His gun will easily beat 1.5 MOA. It's not off-the-shelf, any more than his cartridges are. But that's how you win 1000 yard matches.

    Serious BPCR shooters know their trajectories, and their windage. They're certainly not casual plinkers, or even just really good field shooters. They're experts at shooting their particular rifles.

    Now, can you go buy a Sharps replica at Cabela's and grab a box of ammo off the shelf, read a book, and shoot 10" groups at 1000 yards? Hell no. But people can do it with experience, dedication, equipment, loads, and practice.
     
  10. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    Now that's is my question...can a Sharps dedicated shooter (experienced with the right equipment and loads) match the accuracy of a the as much dedicated/experieced modern rifle/cartridge/optics shooter?
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  11. rattletrap1970

    rattletrap1970 Member

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    I think the motivation using BP guns in the era they were used was very different too. The need for food and for being able to defend yourself at distance required shooters to know their weapon extremely well and to be very proficient with it. I think people are surprised how much practice is needed to be very good at it.
     
  12. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    As an aside, saturno, it's Sharps (named after Christian Sharps), not Sharp.
     
  13. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    Ooops!!...yes corrected...thanks!!
     
  14. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Yes, but with a major caveat. The trajectory is such that small errors in range can result in large errors in elevation, and small changes in the wind can result it large deviations in windage.

    Something to note: buffalo hunting was done by a team. A really good shooter had skinners working with or for him. He shot his rifle. That's what he did for a living. He didn't go shoot on the weekend for practice, and work a day job. Rifles were also very expensive, relative to per capita income. Many of us, who wouldn't call ourselves "rich", have a good number of firearms, even if they're not high-end. These guys may have had only one rifle, and used it for years in all circumstances and conditions. Maybe they had a sidearm for self-defense against animals and humans, but that would be it. That Sharps was their rifle, and they used it every day.
     
  15. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    The NRA long range black powder target is 6' square.

    The 10-ring is 20", the 9-ring is 30", and the 8-ring is 44".
    But the X-Ring in the center of the bullseye is only 10" round.

    That means the black powder guns & loads would have to shoot 1 MOA at 1,000 yards to post a score with any 10-X's in it.

    And they do.

    rc
     
  16. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    the record for smokless powder is under 4 inches for 10 shots at 1000yds, when i went to williamsport pa. in the late sixties and early 70,s i think a winning 10 shot group was 10-12 inches. i,ll have to admit i don,t know what black powder winning groups were in the same time frame,but i,ll bet they did not shrink like smokeless have. shooting good groups at long range is hard work and takes a top rate shooter and top rate equipment to attain it, useing black or smokeless powder. like i said its two games with different rules, but its also a lot of fun if you don,t get to full of your self that you don,t injoy it. eastbank.
     
  17. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Bullets too light, too fast. Smokeless or black? Modern Creedmoor shooters are using bullets in the 520-550 grain range over heavy black powder charges.

    Dan Theodore once did a real field test. He put an extension on the 1000 yard target frame to hold two targets spaced well apart. Plotting the same actual bullets on both targets showed an angle of descent of about 4.5 degrees. Hardly a mortar.
    Ask on the Shiloh board and maybe he will provide details.

    NRA has some power factoring and velocity requirements for BPCR Long Range but they are not beyond what the old style guns will do.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  18. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    LOL

    As soon as you take American Trap seriously at all, it's already too late. But that's a story for another time.
     
  19. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Rainy day, I HEARD a "splash" as the shooter at the next station missed his last pair of doubles. Put his wet Superposed in a cloth case and left it in the trunk for a couple of weeks. Have you ever seen a Browning with NO finish on wood or metal?
     
  20. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    Here's the thing with the old west buffalo hunter that we tend to forget about when fantasizing about those legendary times. How many one shot kills do you guys think actually occurred beyond 400 yards.

    They did not have precise range finding equipment, they were shooting very low velocity rounds, and they didn't have to report how many sighting shots they took until they were able to "walk" a round onto target. Of course there was would have been the occasional first round hit at 1000+ plus yards because if you do enough shooting at enough animals your bound to get the lucky strike from time to time. And of course these rare lucky shots were the ones which were memorialized.

    Shooting at a fixed known distance is a whole different ball park than slipping over a hill estimating the range of a critter at long range and making a first round killing shot. Think about it.

    Now invariably we are going to hear about the Adobe Wells event where the guy shot an Indian out of the saddle at 1500 + yards. I've studied that shot a bit and I have a theory on it. The Indian was sitting on his horse right under a rock pile, I'd bet you next months mortgage payment that the guys had been popping rocks in that pile from the fort walls and new exactly what the range/hold over was to that rock pile.

    Seriously a 1500 yard shot is not a give me with modern heavy sniping rifles, precise range finding and trained military snipers on an average day there is a bit of luck involved with modern equipment at that range.
     
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