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Shooting the Cimarron .50-70 caliber McNelly Sharps Carbine

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by duelist1954, Mar 3, 2013.

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  1. duelist1954

    duelist1954 Member

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    Cimarron Firearms' McNelly Sharps carbine is a replica of the guns used by Capt Leander McNelly's Texas Ranger Special Force in 1875 to tame the bandits of the Nueces Strip in south Texas. The carbine, built by Armi Sport is a reproduction of the Sharps percussion modeo 1859 carbines that were converted to fire .50-70 Government cartridges in the late 1860s.

    The only downside to shooting this little gem is that factory made ammo is wicked expensive.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JCA9yjQi7k
     
  2. ThorinNNY

    ThorinNNY Member

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    Wow! McNelly had the right idea quote: " I DON`T want men who miss !" also his no nonsense, take no prisoners approach - too bad we don`t do that today.
    I want one but at $100 per box of 20 cartridges I don`t think I could afford to give it the care and diet it deserves.
     
  3. duelist1954

    duelist1954 Member

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    The exact same rifle is also available in .45-70, which I think is a better choice.
     
  4. 72coupe

    72coupe Member

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    Some people think Jack Hays was the greatest Ranger but I think it was Leander McNelly.

    You don't reload 50/70?
     
  5. duelist1954

    duelist1954 Member

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    No. I don't re-load 50-70. This was a T&E gun, not a personal gun.

    I just used it for a Guns of the Old West article called "Rifles of the Texas Rangers"
     
  6. 72coupe

    72coupe Member

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    Mike I understand from the video it was a loaner gun but as much of that kind of stuff you handle I thought mabe you had a set of old the old west caliber dies.

    You should solicit RCBS for a whole selection of the old west calibers to test.

    Just a thought.
     
  7. duelist1954

    duelist1954 Member

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    Generally RCBS will give me anything I want, as long as it gets pictured in an article. They are very supportive, and I appreciate it. Lee Precision is also very helpful to me.

    I'm lucky that I generally have resources to call on, but I don't like to abuse the privilege. Right now all the reloading manufacturers are several weeks backordered on everything they carry. I wouldn't want to put the arm on them when they are struggling to keep up with orders from paying customers.

    I was on a real short deadline for this article, and I didn't have time to round up the necessary gear and supplies to reload for a round I may not need again for years. I was actually lucky to find a box of factory .50-70 ammo at any price. The box I bought was the only box of the stuff that I found.
     
  8. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    .50-70 is really a handloading proposition. But it's a lot of fun to work with. I've been loading mine with the full 70 using a compression die.
     
  9. zimmerstutzen

    zimmerstutzen Member

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    Been reloading 50-70 for at least 30 yrs probably easier than 45-70
     
  10. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    Only to folks who don't understand the 50-70. It is a great cartridge but you have to reload for it. A simple system like the 310 tong tool is all you need unless you are shooting competition. The nice thing about the big 50 is that is is not fussy about what it takes to produce accurate loads. A full case of black powder and a 450 grian bullet that fits the bore is really all that is needed. IThe more I use my 50-70, the less use I have for the 45-70.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
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