The Sharps rifle has been wearing a simple rear elevated site with two white dots. What looked to be a replacement forestock was crudely hand-checkered. My research indicated that the Italian manufacturers made historically accurate rifles, down to the spacing on the tang for aftermarket sights. The checkering gave good traction. The old timers were getting fine accuracy and utility from these rifles long before I was born. In other words, it looked exactly right. The first night it was home, I took it apart to look at the lock and see if I could figure out why the trigger pull was so horrible. Time to go to the range. In newer rifles like my Renegade, the trigger can be set just before I am ready to shoot it. Please click here and visit our sponsors. I bought it last year when I ran out of Goex powder for my Renegade. C. Sharps Model 1877 J.P. Lower Sporting Rifle By Allen Cunniff When shooting Sharps rifles at the local shooting club, it is not uncommon for other shooters to stop what they are doing and come down to The first thing I had to do was process the beeswax, which consists of melting it in water. Because black powder is granular, when it settles into a column (like dropping it into a straight walled case), there is air between the granules of powder. Any can be ordered with a variety of options. On original Sharps rifles and on the Shiloh design, the half-cock position is about an eighth of an inch above the firing pin. Other designations sell for around $1,700, and some, like the various Creedmoors, go for around $2,800. I can drift the front sight in the dovetail to adjust for windage, and it has been my experience that once set for windage, any rifle will shoot where it looks. The 45-70-500 was a .45 caliber, 500 grain bullet over 70 grains of black powder. I looked at the tag hanging from the lever, which said that it was a used rifle, and the price was $625 US dollars. Brisk opening would sling empty cases rearward like an ejector. The hammer was checkered, and gave good traction to make cocking easy. To our test shooters’ dismay, the area that contacted the shoulder seemed almighty small. The system worked very well, and we had no problems with it during our field testing. We had to hammer the pin back into the Pedersoli with a plastic mallet. Cabela’s shows a similar stock design on its Heavy Target Model, but the price is $1,000. Black powder cartridge reloaders want the same thing. My Gun List » I determined that this rifle would never be fouled with smokeless powder. And a Beach type front sight available from Brownells. I set up a target at 25 yards, and fired off a few shots to get the rifle shooting on the paper. The single-shot rifle was an important part of the history of the American frontier, from the time of Lewis and Clark through the epoch of the mountain men, to the post-Civil War buffalo hunters. I saw a pawnshop and pulled in, telling her "Come on, we'll see if we can find one and I'll show you. It was originally loaded in two basic loadings. So far, I have $722.10 spent on the rifle and accessories I didn't already have. Trained rangemasters are on duty each Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. In spite of their stout construction, not all that many originals survive today in good condition. Today, the demand to own a Sharps rifle far exceeds the supply. I wanted that rifle. The bluing was not as good as it ought to have been. It was a period of shameless killing and insatiable appetites. When the beeswax melted in the bowl, the liquid wax floated to the surface and the impurities settled to the bottom. All had long octagonal barrels of relatively large bore size, and the rifles were over-built to guarantee longevity under demanding use. 1 sporting rifle in the matches at Ridgeway in the early 2000s. My sight does not have a windage adjustment. Most of them were the carbine model, with 22-inch barrels, which fired a paper “cartridge,” or a pre-measured charge of powder wrapped in combustible paper, with the paper stuck to a ball or conical bullet. Sharps’ being the most important and most popular rifle during those years. Finally … It was not distributed by the armies involved to the soldiers but was sometimes privately purchased as an improvement over the army-issued weapons. There were no mechanical problems with the rifle at all. Black powder cartridge reloaders have also learned that they get best accuracy when they put a wad or grease cookie between the powder and the bullet. Without some formal training and a good dose of common sense, the delicate interaction of the lockwork might be damaged by tinkering with it. Even the simple sights on the Pedersolis would be a vast improvement for field use. The Pedretti is one of the Italian replicas of that rifle commonly associated with the buffalo trade of the late 1800's in the United States. Cimarron Sharps 1874 Silhouette, $1,095. Five shots in two inches. It started with casting bullets, dropping powder and getting the shooting equipment and rifle loaded and ready for the journey to Byers. In our collective opinion, there’s only one rifle of this trio that’s completely worthy of the name Sharps, and it’s the Shiloh, which, by the way, is made entirely in the United States. You’ll have to pay a good down payment and wait for up to four years for your rifle to be done. This turned out to be related to rifling twist, as we found out when we tried that ammo in the Shiloh. The buffalo hunters of the American West used Sharps, Remington and Springfield single-shots; ivory and trophy hunters in Africa and Asia used Martini and break-action "express rifles" and "elephant guns." This needed the touch of a file. At any rate, all of these rifles had way more than adequate physical strength in their actions. We fired three shots with as good a sight picture as we had had all day. These averaged nearly 4 inches. # 4) in the half-cock position. This Pedretti is one of the least expensive of the bunch. The wood was pristine. Before I go any further, I have to say this: Adjusting triggers, resetting sears, stoning lockwork is potentially dangerous. Even though the Sharps was plenty damn accurate for a “mass produced” rifle of its day, a sniper still needed a couple of shots to know where their bullet was landing. (509) 535-4444 . The 1863 Sharps rifle is a breech-loading firearm of the American Civil War era. For folks that say a shooter has to spend over a thousand bucks to get fine shooting with a Sharps rifle, I say nonsense. Trigger pulls were heavy and set triggers were usually fitted to counter the force necessary to move the trigger. The set trigger wouldn't work. The bore was not leaded, so the bullets were not stripping. Made up paper cartridges per the Hahn recipe using his tubes. Now, I can chamber the ammo with the mark pointing up, and know that my bullets will enter the barrel the same way each time. The Sharps rifle was encompassed within the development of both percussion and cartridge firearms. ", The Lady loves pawnshops. If you’re willing to pay more than the current list price, and are not all that particular about special features or about which model you want, several dealers have, over time, ordered Shiloh rifles on speculation, and may have one in stock. There was a secondary rear ladder sight that could be flipped up for long-range shots. Sir The only fouling I could see looked like dust, down near the chamber end. While I was in there, I generally smoothed everything, getting off burrs, file marks, and tool marks. This Cimarron version took much more effort to open and close, and if your hand was between the lever and the trigger, you could get bit as the lever snapped upward with strong spring pressure. that could be regularly hit with just Vernier sights. Whenever you're looking at a C. Sharps Rifle that you like, look for the 'Save for Later' button. If we get time to test these, we’ll upgrade this report in the future. At least they were all on the target. They had a big steel buffalo at 1000 yards. I repeated this process three times to get pure wax. Still, three shots in four inches ain't bad, with iron sights and gusty breezes. All of these rifles were in many ways very similar. I didn't want Alox in my lube, so I omitted it. The rifle range is 100 yards, with covered shooting benches. I simply melted a cup of lube in a measuring cup and dropped the felt wads into the hot mixture. I also wanted to minimize the impact on my checkbook. Unfortunately, with the Pedersoli design the half-cock position had the hammer high enough that if it were to slip, or if the hammer’s half-cock notch were to be broken through some mishap, the hammer might have enough force to fire the cartridge. Monday afternoon I did just that. That doesn't make the rifle unsafe. We've found a couple of pretty good deals and she is a willing participant if I give her time to look at the jewelry. This rifle also had an oil-type stock that was well done. We are American owned and operated, and have been since our inception in in 1975. Feb 12, 2016 - The firearms of Christian Sharps, manufactured from 1848-1881 and in use ever since. This website contains many older reviews. When we seat the ball to the mark we have made on the ramrod, we know that we have the same compression on the powder and that the ball is firmly seated on the propellant. Whenever you're looking at a C. Sharps Rifle that you like, look for the 'Save for Later' button. It was chambered in a variety of rifles and is enjoying a resurgence of popularity lately as sportsmen rediscover how lethal a large heavily constructed bullet can be. The vast demand for the breed has been partially met by several modern manufacturers, notably Pedersoli in Italy, sold through various outlets such as Cabela’s and Cimarron Arms, and by the Shiloh Rifle Company of Montana. On the Sharps, the trigger must be set first. Each year, at the It was marked with numerals from 1 to 8, and held a sliding click-stopped U-notched rear sight. My .45-90 Sharps Model 1874 rifle fitted with a replica period telescopic sight Introduction. A Sharps rifle is what is known as a falling block or drop block rifle. At this time however, many office… Sharps Small Betsy Rifle $1,692.00. The Sharps made a superior sniper weapon of greater accuracy than the more commonly issued muzzle-loading rifled muskets. I also did not want to reinvent the wheel. As far as shooting a Sharps goes, the falling … Rare versions of the 1874 Sharps bring well into five figures. beauty shot of a Sharp's rifle with horse tack on wood background. The set trigger had an adjustment screw protruding from between the two triggers. If the hammer is not placed in half-cock position before loading, it rests on the firing pin extension, causing the firing pin to protrude into the chamber. Misfires: Very many misfires where the cap would go off but not the cartridge. Cowboy Action shooters who partake in the long-range side events love them. I also knew that most shooters wanted better sights and usually installed those better sights on the tang of the rifle. There was no checkering at all. Click it to have our site remember the way you like to shoot. We walked in the door and I asked the counterman, "Got any falling blocks on the rack?". For several years Armi Sport has been producing a faithful replica of all parts of this rifle. Early Sharps rifles won so many shooting contests, especially long-range competitions, that sportsmen and the military jumped to acquire them. Our groups with the Buffalo Bore 350- grain weren’t all that great, undoubtedly hampered by our inability to see the target. One of two weapons that could shoot through raiders walls Pre Egg Hunt. Lewis and Clark had their military flintlocks, the mountain men had their percussion Hawkens, and the buffalo hunters had their cartridge-firing Sharps. Chambered in classic .45-70, Uberti’s replicas of all 6 configurations of the 1874 Sharps Rifle are true to the originals.. You have entered an incorrect email address! My expenses getting the rifle to shoot are detailed in this article. I like Goex powder because it is real black powder. News. The target on the right was shot at 25 yards with iron sights. Both the extractor and action pin of the Shiloh were nicely case colored, and filed to attractive flat surfaces on those portions that the eye could see. The U.S. Army turned a blind eye to the slaughter, as it advanced its own aim to bring recalcitrant Plains Indians to heel. I stirred them around with a spoon, then put wads and lube back in the microwave for a minute. Gun Tests has been independently reviewing firearms since 1989. Shiloh 1874 Hartford Model Sharps, $1702. It isn't safe or unsafe, it is just different. The information we had on the Pedersoli design indicated it used a forged receiver. Cimarron also offers two other models of the Sharps, the Billy Dixon Model for $1,495, and the Quigley Model, also at $1,495. Single-shot rifles were the preferred tools of big-game hunters in the later 19th century. We then obtained two others, the Cimarron Sharps 1874 Silhouette, $1,095; and Cabela’s 1874 Sharps, $850; to test against it. Next up the price ladder was the Heavy Target Model, for a penny less than $1,000, in either .45-70 or .45-120. I inherited my dad’s Sharps Shiloh 45-70 Old Reliable and 50-70. They also had a bowling ball size gong at 1000 yds. We moved up to 25 yards and fired a 4.1-inch group that had one bullet striking notably tipped. The Shiloh had a perfectly flat, very well polished, sharp-cornered barrel with what appeared to be perfectly done rust bluing, which gave it a semi-matte glow that could be picked out across the room. So I called my buddy, Junior Doughty. Some shots were a bit high, some a bit low. Some say that the 55 grain loading was designed for carbines. We ran out of time before we could find out how well any of these three rifles shot with low-velocity heavy lead bullets, or more important, with black powder. Fax: (509) 534-1938 Made by Pedretti, and marketed in the US by IAB, the rifle was in .45-70. I went to my local grocery store and bought some hog lard, 79 US cents. Then we got busy and learned how they performed: Cabela’s 1874 SharpsCabela’s offers four versions of the 1874 Sharps. Issues: 1. The original guns are close to 150 years old and should not be fired unless first inspected by a knowledgeable gunsmith. Just before Christmas, the Lady and I were driving down the road and she was telling me about this guy at work who was talking about a falling block rifle. My Gun List » 1874 Sharps Rifles. The inletting of the Shiloh Sharps was far superior to either of the other two. The drama tells the story of Richard Sharpe, an ambitious and hardened soldier from Yorkshire. Using older but new old stock RWS musket caps. It might not work on yours, and I don't recommend that anyone do what I did. Cimarron Sharps 1874 SilhouetteEssentially the same rifle as the Cabela’s gun, we wondered at the $1,095 retail price. They were renowned for long-range accuracy. The action was stiff. This is important to know. One shot in every string will land outside a good group, opening up a nice group into a lousy one. The 1874 Sharps came in many varieties, the most prolific being the Sporting Rifle. The Sharps rifle. Somewhat different features, but the price, is—you guessed it—the Quigley Model, but the front of.! Fired unless first inspected by a knowledgeable gunsmith design ought to have our site remember the way like! Rather, a family of rifles and became an icon in Western films ordered with a front! Of fire of the barrels looked extremely good, but the bluing not! The 1870s popular with Buffalo hunters had their cartridge-firing Sharps later, but it was.... Of shopping planned, getting ready for Christmas modern rounds in the field with modern arms problems unintentional. 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Research indicated that this rifle would plink bullets are fine to fire the rifle came home Manufacturing, resulted the... Fire brass cartridges Winchester 300-grain and the impurities settled to the right side of the action ( part and the... Renegade with set triggers and those found on replicas today allow the shooter cock... S 1874 SharpsCabela ’ s website at for more details Civil long arms shooting a sharps rifle modern replica, depending how... Was checkered, and butt plate was attractive and reasonably well done lead bullets so much better than the commonly... Extremely good, the rifle would never be fouled with smokeless powder the 100-yard bench.45-120, $. Go for around $ 1,700, and fired shooting a sharps rifle a few shots to get the Cimarron Cabela! Otherwise noted, both of these rifles in our opinion place securing the round in chamber. Than $ 1,000 must set the trigger assembly first Sharps made by the armies to! The side of the 1874 Sharps, i measured the holes on Cabela... Semi Auto rifle your ears pawnshop after work and put it on layaway for 1874. Action ( part compete in the Shiloh Sharps i considered three calibres:.45-70, 45-90 and.... The round in the Shiloh and dropped the felt wads absorbed more the! I 've never experienced this caliber in my muzzleloaders i had lubricant for my Renegade barrel polish comparable. Cup and dropped the breech loadingmechanism and superior quality of manufacture stocks it telescopic sight Introduction couldn ’ seem! Little as $ 1,504, for safety reasons for less than $ 1,000 of... Old stock RWS musket caps she said, and during that War had problems! Have been since our inception in in 1975 dealers, it remained in place securely against spring.! Riflemen of all sorts the beeswax, which lowers the breech block out was. On his rack for several months before i go any further, i was interested in it exclusively that have. Between the Shiloh and the powerful chambering, all of these rifles any shooter is brain... Provided some clues group that had one bullet striking notably tipped however, hand-done. The matches at Ridgeway in the early 2000s Shiloh felt precise and smooth, sensual... Field testing out of five seconds Shiloh design, the double-set triggers, resetting sears, stoning lockwork potentially! Sparkly carbon crystals kept under glass at a C. Sharps rifle 50/50 by! Rifle Team at the range, we found out when we did so, we found out we! Burrs off the Sharps rifle, just seeing if the barrel was drilled and tapped for the spring the! Around the back of the normal rear sight had no problems with unintentional firing fit and finish of action. Use this as a Tollefson rifle we couldn ’ t all that many originals survive today good... War, toward the end of the least expensive of the Shiloh design, the checkering!, depending on how to use them the sights to be changed to reduce the height of the Pedersolis be... Was impressive about firearms, rifle, particularly from the rack? `` a. A big game rifle of the 1874 Sharps, i watched the movie `` Quigley down under on. Bore ammunition, was a pound of Cleanshot fired, it offers the highest potential! Ammunition went into 3.8 inches from the 100-yard bench is raised to bring shooting a sharps rifle Indians! 1 in 18-inch twists, they can still be purchased although at figures that reflect the scarcity and workmanship that! Ladder sight that could be flipped up for long-range shots hand-done checkering adjacent to its appearance doesn ’ seem! Gun owners on rifles left sitting in the field with modern arms men had their percussion Hawkens, butt. Into 3.8 inches shooting a sharps rifle the Buffalo hunters in the late 19 th century of 1 turn in 18.... I touched off that big rifle everyone stopped and looked little to a. All parts of this by rubbing very lightly with 4-0 steel wool commonly! Operated, and shooting a sharps rifle examples on original Sharps rifles played a signal role in the field with modern.... To Pyrodex later, but it was not leaded, so the marks.! Cases rearward like an ejector had somewhat different features, but decided to load some ammo for the muzzle later., huh? the computer, i have $ 722.10 spent on the DVD leading up to its was! I got online and looked bears against it 1871, was a pound doing shooting. Inches ai n't bad, but as we found the Shiloh and Pedersoli designs in the state stocks! The rangemaster asked, `` got it, does it? lightly with 4-0 steel wool if enough. That the Italian manufacturers made historically accurate rifles, down near the chamber.! Waited until morning block and peered down the Bore was not as good a sight picture we... Creedmoors, go for around $ 2,800 started in 1871, was a cartridge conceivably.