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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Suggestions for barrel length and why.

This is the last hold up to my putting it on order, i am leaning towards the 30" but id like to hear from others about their opinions on the matter, any pro's and con's from 26" to 34" will be welcome.

50-90 sharps, 1874 MONTANA ROUGHRIDER

Thanks.
 

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welcome to the shooters forum.
In the future don't double post. With the tools available on this site it doesn't guarantee a faster response, just ties up more bandwidth.

Not a valid reason, but my youngest son's father in law has a Shiloh with a 30".
 

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The difference is in the weight, length and balance. If you're going to carry it, the shorter barrel will be MUCH more handy. If you're going to be doing Currier and Ives style target shooting, the longer barrel works better.
There is a BIG difference in balance between the two. I would take time to at least pick up and hold both before making a decision, BUT, if you can't do that, get the longer one because it can be cut off. The short one won't grow longer.
 

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A longer barrel may not add much to the ballistics, BUT it sure helps in increasing the sight radius and corresponding accuracy (with iron sights).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
welcome to the shooters forum.
In the future don't double post. With the tools available on this site it doesn't guarantee a faster response, just ties up more bandwidth.

Not a valid reason, but my youngest son's father in law has a Shiloh with a 30".
Not new, but thanks. (Lost password and i just said heck with it and created a new profile.)

(As far as the double post, i didnt, yes it looks like it but i couldnt delete the first post so i removed the actual question and said i relocated here before i posted here.)



How does that 30" balance?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
The difference is in the weight, length and balance. If you're going to carry it, the shorter barrel will be MUCH more handy. If you're going to be doing Currier and Ives style target shooting, the longer barrel works better.
There is a BIG difference in balance between the two. I would take time to at least pick up and hold both before making a decision, BUT, if you can't do that, get the longer one because it can be cut off. The short one won't grow longer.

I agree, i wish i could pick them up before hand but being deployed that’s kinda hard, and since its an 18 month wait i might as well do my waiting while I’m deployed.

You did give me a good idea though, get a dovetail put in for a 32" and a 30" length, and maybe even a 28” that way i would already be ready if i had to cut it down.



A longer barrel may not add much to the ballistics, BUT it sure helps in increasing the sight radius and corresponding accuracy (with iron sights).

I plan on using this for hunting, I will be carrying most of the time and it will have a sling. I am thinking about another one in 45-70 later on, the same style as “Doc's” in "Young Guns".
 

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Hunting and carrying on a sling means SHORT, in my world. I don't like the muzzle higher than my hat. :)

BUT, a 50-90, if loaded with BP would set the woods on fire if too short. :)

I would opt for a 26" for a hunting rifle because its SO much faster to swing and handle in the woods.
 
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I can tell you from my experience....handle one first

From my experience with Sharp's types rifles it is easy to get big eyes looking at catalogs or websites. Meaning all the bells and whistles are nice with that neat long barrel. Well all that adds up to a pretty heavy gun. This is fine for bench and cross sticks. For a carrying gun you may find twelve or thirteen pounds plus less than comfortable. You have some sort of hunting in mind. Line up what would be good hunting rifle specs with what's in the catalogs or websites. You may find the the heaviest 45 and 50 caliber rounds to have very heavy recoil. My 45-110 C. Sharps is a really nice rifle with 34" half-round half octagonal barrel. That rifle is a handful weighing twelve and a half pounds. You may find what is called a "Business Rifle" of interest. Also, take a look at 50-70 or 45-70.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hunting and carrying on a sling means SHORT, in my world. I don't like the muzzle higher than my hat. :)

BUT, a 50-90, if loaded with BP would set the woods on fire if too short. :)

I would opt for a 26" for a hunting rifle because its SO much faster to swing and handle in the woods.
Lol, that would be a bad way to start a forest fire. I wasnt planning on anything short enough to have that be an issue although to be honest ive never shot a short barreled BP rifle before to know just how short is too short.

I cant picture having anything shorter than 28", i usually use my 24" ENCORE and that is wicked short, i wish i got 28" barrels for it. Would a 28" be too short for a BPC?
 

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If you are mainly wanting to hunt then go light but not too light. If you plan to do a lot of target and bench shooting then a heavier rifle is better. I have tried carrying a 30" heavy barreled rifle in the woods and it wasn't fun.

I have two Sharps rifles I use for hunting, one is a 26" standard barreled Saddle rifle in 40-70 Gov. and the other is a 30" standard half round half octagon barreled Montana Roughrider in 45-70. To be honest I have not noticed that much difference in carrying either while in the woods. I have also spent some time shooting both from the bench and I personally don't think it is that bad but I stay south of 500 grain bullets. I shoot a 400 grain cast bullet in the SR and a 486 grain cast bullet in the MR. The SR can become a bit uncomfortable shooting from the bench after awhile but off hand is fine. The MR is fine either way, but again I stay south of 500 grain bullets and use black powder in both rifles.

Here is a photo of my Montana Roughrider.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you are mainly wanting to hunt then go light but not too light. If you plan to do a lot of target and bench shooting then a heavier rifle is better. I have tried carrying a 30" heavy barreled rifle in the woods and it wasn't fun.

I have two Sharps rifles I use for hunting, one is a 26" standard barreled Saddle rifle in 40-70 Gov. and the other is a 30" standard half round half octagon barreled Montana Roughrider in 45-70. To be honest I have not noticed that much difference in carrying either while in the woods. I have also spent some time shooting both from the bench and I personally don't think it is that bad but I stay south of 500 grain bullets. I shoot a 400 grain cast bullet in the SR and a 486 grain cast bullet in the MR. The SR can become a bit uncomfortable shooting from the bench after awhile but off hand is fine. The MR is fine either way, but again I stay south of 500 grain bullets and use black powder in both rifles.

Here is a photo of my Montana Roughrider.

Thats a sweet looking rifle. Thanks for the input.

What tang sight is that and whats the front sight?
 

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I have found the 26 inch and 28 inch barrels work well for hunting. I prefer a standard half round barrel for looks and weight reduction. A heavier barrel in .50-90 might not be a bad thing. I just bought a .45-100 with a 28 inch heavy weight octagon barrel for hunting. It will be my first heavy barrel so I am interested to see how it compares to the others.
 

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I had a Rough Rider .40-70 SBN with a 30 inch 1/2 round and it balanced very well and was not burdensome to carry. The .50 with a bigger hole would be considerably lighter
 

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If you are mainly wanting to hunt then go light but not too light. If you plan to do a lot of target and bench shooting then a heavier rifle is better. I have tried carrying a 30" heavy barreled rifle in the woods and it wasn't fun.

I have two Sharps rifles I use for hunting, one is a 26" standard barreled Saddle rifle in 40-70 Gov. and the other is a 30" standard half round half octagon barreled Montana Roughrider in 45-70. To be honest I have not noticed that much difference in carrying either while in the woods. I have also spent some time shooting both from the bench and I personally don't think it is that bad but I stay south of 500 grain bullets. I shoot a 400 grain cast bullet in the SR and a 486 grain cast bullet in the MR. The SR can become a bit uncomfortable shooting from the bench after awhile but off hand is fine. The MR is fine either way, but again I stay south of 500 grain bullets and use black powder in both rifles.

Here is a photo of my Montana Roughrider.


Beautiful rifle by the way
 

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Thanks for the kind remarks. She is a really nice rifle and I like it a lot. I bought it used but it is like new. There isn't a blemish on it anywhere.

The front sight is a Red River with interchangeable inserts. It does not have a level as I did not think it necessary for hunting. The rear sight is the older Red River Soul long range sight with Hadley style eye piece. It was on the rifle when I bought it. I have the newer long range Red River Vernier sight on my bench Sharps rifle and I like it better than the earlier model. I would prefer the newer Red River mid range Vernier sight for my MR but Buffalo Arms has been out of them now for some time. For hunting a mid range is plenty good and will allow you to shoot further than you would ever want to.

There are other very good sights but the Red River was a little less expensive and is a very good quality sight. They are just hard to get and don't stay in stock long when Buffalo Arms does get them. I think Lee Shaver makes a pretty nice inexpensive mid range sight that would be good for hunting. I have considered it and may decide on one if I cannot find the newer Red River one I want. You just don't need a long range sight for hunting.

I just use the barrel sights on my Saddle rifle. I do have a simple tang hunting sight for it but have preferred using the barrel sights. I have thought about upgrading the sights on the SR but just haven't yet.
 

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How does that 30" balance?
Sorry didn't see your question and haven't been hanging out a bunch.
According to Ben (youngest son) the rifle was heavy as an anvil and handled about as well but shot lights out. He said it was very muzzle heavy. At the Sagebrush meet they were shooting 1000 yards. Ben got second and Greg, his father in law, won overall with the same rifle. They also done quite well at meets in Nebraska.
 

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My hunting Sharps, a .45-100 (2.6") has a 32" Standard weight barrel which is 1/2 octagon. It carries just fine and it slings just fine as well. I haven't tried it on a horse. Personally, I would not go shorter than 30". For a lot of reasons, I like 36" sight radii, but it has nothing to do with longer being better. Just simpler math.

How it balances depends just as much on barrel weight and profile as it does on length. You didn't say what weight or profile (or I missed it).

the "handiness" of short barrels in the woods is much overrated in my opinion, as is the overwhelming advantage of longer sight radii. However, shorter barrels do have less fouling issues, and that is NOT overrated entirely. The 34" barrels are well known to foul out of matches where the shooting is fast and hot. This is not, however, a big issue for a hunting rifle.

Buy what pleases you. Any length barrel will kill the same number of animals with the same number of bullets, so barrel length won't mean squat with regards to what ends up in your freezer.

 

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Shorter Is My Opinion

I shoot two original 1863 Sharps New Model carbines (22" bbl) in the converted .50-70 cartridge. They balance very well, but I imagine 26" would be "just right" for a round bbl. With factory sights I enjoy approx 3" @100yds with duplex loads of American Select and Triple 7.
 

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The difference is in the weight, length and balance. If you're going to carry it, the shorter barrel will be MUCH more handy. If you're going to be doing Currier and Ives style target shooting, the longer barrel works better.
There is a BIG difference in balance between the two. I would take time to at least pick up and hold both before making a decision, BUT, if you can't do that, get the longer one because it can be cut off. The short one won't grow longer.
^^Yes. If your going to be shooting benchrest stuff the longer barrel is great for that. I'd go for the mid length myself as the shorter barrel, uh..., doesn't look right to me on that gun and really in years of hunting swamps the shorter barrel never made much difference to me in carrying.

Great firearm and Congrats on buying one!
 
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