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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks,

I have long been interested in blackpowder cartridge guns and now I have an opportunity to acquire a Pedersoli Sharps for a song. I have been a blackpowder hunter for almost 15 years and now want to try something new. But before I jump into this game, I have some questions that I hope you all might help me with.

First, this gun is chambered for .45-120. Where can I find ammunition for this beast or is this a handloaders only game? If it is handloaders-only, where is the best place to find components (ie brass, bullets, etc)?

Second, I am reading that some people shoot smokeless loads through these guns. Is that safe and is there factory ammunition available in these calibers?

Thanks in advance.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Ammo - try the Old Western Scrounger. Also for brass.

http://www.ows-ammunition.com/

.45-120 brass isn't exactly common (or cheap), as you might imagine. Neither is smokeless load data. The enormous case volume will make smokeless loads a challenge.

You might look at the case dimensions, if you can find them, and see how they match up to .45-90 (2.4") and .45-100 (2.6"). If I had to guess, and it's only a guess, the .45-100 brass might work for loads with slightly reduced capacity. Fortunately, Starline makes .45-100 brass.

http://www.starlinebrass.com/

Since you are black powder shooter anyway, I'd suggest starting with that and see how it goes.
 

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45-120

Shaggy,
There is a reason you got that 45-120 cheap my friend, hope it was a sweet song. Do not repeat do not ! USE 45-100 Brass in your rifle, imagine this case .750 to short in your chamber of your new rifle once the bullet leaves said case it will now bump up to fit the chamber then when it smacks into the lead and the rifling it will again be swagged down to fit the barrel. First of all your going to ruin the chamber in this rifle secondly you get one **** of a lead ring where the new oversized bullets have been swaged down to go into the rifling.

45-120's are Well known to be a bear to get to shoot. I am sure the owner before you had found that out. 3.25 brass is not cheap about 2.50 a pop. YOU will not find any factory loaded ammo for this rifle. If you got the rifle cheap enough consider having it rebarreled to a more user friendly cartridge such as the 45-110 or 45-90. If rebarrel is not what you want to do then get some 3.25 cases from Buffalo arms 208-263-6953. Ask them for a copy of SPG's Black powder Reloading guide also its like 15 or 20 bucks worth it! Get some FG BP for this beast and use a drop tube and compress the powder with a compresion die. BTW hope you got reloading dies too as they are very Expensive!

If I can be of any help let me know.

I know quite abit about loading the big 45-110 Sharps and might steer you from some pit falls with that thing.

Honestly I would lean toward getting it rebarreled or sold and get a better chamber lenght for your first attempt at BPCR.

Kenny Wasserburger
PS i have seen original 45-110's chambers ruined by shooting 45-70's in them.
 

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45-120

Shaggy--Kenny Wasserburger gave you nothing but good advice. DO NOT shoot the shorter cases in the 45-120. If you can't afford the correct brass and dies, either pass on the rifle or rebarrel and rechamber. The 45-120 may be a thrill, but I can assure you it ain't exactly a cheap one.You need to bear in mind that with a Sharps it is not merely a matter of cutting the barrel off a bit at the back and setting it back and rechambering as it is on a modern rifle. Once past the tulip, you likely will not have enough shank diameter left to cut the barrel threads, and if you do, there is the matter of the dovetail for the lever spring hanger that is on the barrel just in front of the action. You will have to have a completely new barrel.

A 45-120 is far from being the rifle to use to introduce yourself to black powder. It really does have a learning and frustration curve well beyond say, a 45-70. Shoot straight, rdnck.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Kenny, Redneck, thanks for contributing and setting the record straight. That is the strength of this forum, if one person doesn't know the answer, surely someone else will.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to all of you. This info has gotten me to thinking more about this adventure. Now I am wondering why he wants to sell so cheap. I figured that cost would be high, but I could deal with that. The comment about this not being a good caliber to start into the sport with has gotten me to reconsider. I was wondering about cutting it down to a smaller case length. Gald I didn't make that mistake. Thanks. I think maybe I will keep looking and find something else in say .45-70. There seems to be a lot more available for that chambering.

The more I read about this sport, the more I want in. So I plan to join the ranks soon. Thanks for your help!
 

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If it's that "cheap" and he gives the go-ahead for a sun smith to check it over, may be a good idea to buy the rifle anyway. there was a good long waiting list for the Shilo Sharps, and I'd guess from comments elsewhere, there still is.

IF you can swignt the $ for the right cases, then the extra cost using black powder is simply the cost of the extra powder. the round does tend to thump you a bit, which really sin't that bad in a hunting situation, but firing off 40-60 rounds in an afternoon isn't conductive to fine shooting.

Didn't I see Starline listing these big long cases for a good bit less that the other makers?

Once the cases are in hand (and so long as the rifle hasn't been abused), making it shoot well with BP is going to be just about the same as making a .45/70 shoot well with black powder.

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Know it is a "cheat" but have been trying the substitute black powders (777, Clean Shot, Clear Shot, Pyrodex) looking for an easier to load practice round...not looking to "beat" black powder, but to find less fouling rounds that shoot well(still corrosive, and need to clean just as if you had shot BP). So far, haven't had any problem getting decent 100 and 200 yard groups...but BP still "rules" long range.
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So...if you pass...give one of us a chance at it.
 

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45-120

Ribbonstone,
I think your mistaken in the fact that Starline does not offer 3.25 45 basic brass the longest case starline currently makes is the 45-100 aka the 45 2.6 long case.
Quote:
Didn't I see Starline listing these big long cases for a good bit less that the other makers?

Once the cases are in hand (and so long as the rifle hasn't been abused), making it shoot well with BP is going to be just about the same as making a .45/70 shoot well with black powder.
End of qoute:

As for ease in loading the 45-120 is not in the same ball park as the 45-70 trust me the learning curve on these big 3.25 cases is alot different then the 45-70. I know folks with 45-120's that have never got them to shoot in the ball park a 45-110 or 45-90 or the 45-70 most will never get them to shoot well with bp. Fouling is a major issue with this large of a amount of Black Powder. The only bp that will work well is Fg anyother grade will produce fouling that wont be controlable and Recoil that will make good accurate shooting difficult.

Kenny Wasserburger
 

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Right...between the time I posted and this post, did go and check...was thinking .50...the biggest Starline is the 2.6" .45. So still in the "rape and pillage" aea of pricing for the really big .45"basic".

Didn't have that much trouble with the big 50, but I guess I got lucky (and I live in a world of almost constant 90% humidity). Do agree on the use of Fg with the really big cases, even though it does present new fouling problems.

Was thinking about myself...who wouldn't like to pick up a Shilo for "cheap" even if i had to rebarrel it to something that could use more easily? Guess that influenced my post...I;d buy it if the price were right and make it into something more pleasing (even if I just debarrleed, cut, and rechambered to a smaer cased .45).
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May as well ask here, as I'm allready posting:
Anyone else being tied in knots with the 32-20 and BP?

It's one of the reasons I started using the subsitute powders (and H777 hols a lot of promise for this round); I do not expect Pyrodex and 777 to outshoot FFg...but so far, it has.
 
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