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Have some reservations about using hot loads in the Sharps...some of the loading for the 45/70 are way-way up there. The repro Sharps are pretty good recreations and the Sharps was one of the strongest BP actions made, the modern steel is stronger than the steel used in the originals, but I'd pass on the real hot loads....and would consider the factory 300gr. loadings (or their handloaded equals) the top end.

Did notice that in the past, some versions of the "Sproting" and "business" rifles were offered in 30-40...pretty high pressure, but a smaller head, so the back thrust was a bit less ...still, that's a big case head woring at 40K...BUT have not seen that round advertized recently (is it becasue they can't make enough of the big BP round rifles fast enough or becasue there was a problem with rounds running at that pressure?).

It's DAMNED hard to get a 'smith to OK any old gun's actual use...from the legal stand point, you can understand why.
 

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Close your eyes and "see" the rifle. If you see a short barrled rifle (22-24") then go with the lever gun and smokless powder. If you see a long barrled single shot, then go with one...but be prepared to pay a bunch more $ for a Sharps or Rolling Block repro than you would a Marlin lever gun....and if you could see your way clear to get the Ruger #1, would not have to worry very much about the pressure level of published data.

One odd one (and not very expensive)...the Single shot H& R (break barrel) has worked fine for all the folks I know who use it...only complaint is that they are light and kick like Hades with heavy loads.
 

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yep...you're screwed...nothing is going to cure that itch but a repro. Sharps, and not only is the price a bit high, the wait is a bit long.

Understand the Sharps attraction, they are pretty rifles that are one of the few truely unique American hunting rifles. I like the Rolling Blocks for a varitiety of reasons and will stick with them, but can understand the appeal of the Sharps.

Now, going to "fuss" at you...why buy the Sharps and not shoot black powder? If you want to shoot hot smokless, get the Ruger...but if you buy a rifle designed specifically for black powder, seems like that would be the loading of choice.

Yes...old eyes adapt to tang-peep sights just fine.
 

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Actually, the external dimentions stay the same...so as you bore a bigger hole in the barrel, the rifle tends to weigh just a tiny bit less (would make one heavy weight .22LR...and I do know of them being made in that round).

The 45-70 has the big advantage of cheap cases and standard componets. And of course, if you want to use lower pressure smokless powder, it's about as big a case as can be used without getting into some hard to solve excess volume problems.

Agree, if you can stand the price of cases, can have the 50/110 or the 45/120. And if you are certain you'll be shooting BP, they will work fine. But they will kick a bit...and the steel shooters are looking at 40-60 rounds a match, which can be a bit costly in cases, powder,etc.

I had a Remington RB (an oldie...1883) done in 45-70 and am pleased with it. Second is as issued, even older..1872, that is in 50-70. Third is an older navy Arms repro, which was in .444 (and odd choice for a repro. rolling block..and the previous owner screwed up the barrel...which is good, as it made the price reasonable) and is off getting a new barrel fitted in 40/60. As I cast, there isn't much to choose from a 500gr. .460" bullet or a 500gr. .515" bullet as far as cost or avaialbility. They use the same weights of powder, so the cost is equal there as well....but 50/70 cases are on the order of $1.80-$2.00 each...and that's CHEAP in comparison to the long cases. Dies for the long cases are both hard to find and tend to be a tad expensive in compariosn to standard dies.

Yeah...I'd keep it a 45/70 as that will give you enough rifle to earn "big bore" status, but still be easy to find componets/data.
 

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Good, need more brass for the oldies...but a quick comparison showed 250 45-70 cases listed at about $88 and the same number of 50-110 cases running $210. May not sound like it to you, but getting 50-110 cases for less than $1 is a good deal (and 45/100 cases at $185 per 250 is very good).

thanks for the post...will look into ordering some cases from their new list.
 

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A few words about time. Does take a bit longer to load BP, but as you're not loading the number of rounds that...lets say a varmint hunter....a .223 shooter will need for a weekend of shooting, that really isn't a factor. Casting bullets can be...and the clean up of both the rifle and cases really doesn't take any longer than getting the jacket fouling out of a varmint rifle (and BTW...the old combination of hot water, soapy water/hot water does just fine).

Other than casting bullets (and with a modern .45 rifle and it's narmal barrel diameter, can buy them if you don't want to cast them), don't see a time problem.
 

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I'd guess I'm the RB fan, but that's mostly personal as the second old BP rifle I got to shoot was a "rollie". (The first was a .577Snider Carbine...and that rifle does kick!)

Are a few positives to the RB, not the least of which is cleaning from the breech and having a clear view down the bore between shots, simple action that seems to keep on going forever, and simple stocking/bedding.

Disadvantages are there too. No set trigger (OK...can be done..but it's an expensive custom'smith job), firing pin can possibly stick forward (so you check when you roll that bolck back), and it isn't nearly as pretty as the Sharps.

The only down side of a Sharps is that some of the repros (and originals) break firing pins...that pin does have to turn a few corners before finding the primer, and each angle is a stress point. Less trouble with the repros.; the design is still angular, but the modern pins are stronger.

BUT...can buy solid original RB's for less than the price of the low-end repro. sharps, and a fine example for the same price as a top-level modern repro.(the price of an origianl Sharps, even in disgusting non-shooting condition, is a tad high). All I ask, as I shoot them, is that the old guns have a solid action and a good bore...prefer them to to be too colectable so that shooting them doesn't devalue them.
 
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