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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.

You can't post that picture and not tell the story, BrentD
 

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In my shooting times (long time cause I'm old), I've owned four Shilo Sharps rifles---all were bought used but mint---two were 45-70, one was a shorter barrel military style BP carbine from older Shilo production and the last was a super-rare carbine with a heavy octagonal barrel in 454 Casull---part of the low production "Freedom Arms set" which included a 6" Freedom Arms single-action 454 revolver also with octagonal barrel. I find enormous differences in feel and balance depending depending on barrel weight and barrel profile---theres almost no way I could recommend which will suit you! I think a rifle in the caliber you selected would be best in 28-30 inches with a round barrel---my friend owned a "Long-Range" 45-70 with a 36" heavy barrel and it was too long and heavy to be anything but a benchrest rifle---good luck with your selection!
 

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Bunch of years ago I ordered a C. Sharps Hartford Model (w/o the collar). It was in 50-90 and a 32" barrel. I was not sure what barrel length to go with so I did a some reading and seemed that a lot of the originals were 32". Never been unhappy with it. Shoots great. One thing, especially for target, get the best sights you can afford. My set came from MVA. Also added the Hadley eye piece. Really nice accessory. Guys scoping their rifles in turn their heads when the loud BOOM goes off and then the clang from the steel target. (Range has different stations with folks shooting at different targets). Bell brass, 652gr bullet, 100gr 1F. Rifle weight absorbs the worst of recoil.

All that said, I use it for target so weight is not a big issue for me. Also, you can get volumes of help with options on the Shiloh site.

deg
 

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My Shiloh Sharps is a 45-110 with a 30" bbl. Originally considered a 32" but at the time (I don't shoot competition any more) Shiloh told me the 32" (octagonal) bbl would put the rifle over weight and not eligible for certain matches. I still use it for hunting. My own opinion is that Sharps are made for long range shooting, so I went for the longest bbl I could and still make weight. Placed my order in early 1991, took delivery in 1994, just 3 weeks before deer season. Took two buck that year with it, but both less than 200 yards away, no challenge at all. Don't know how long a wait there is now-a-days for a custom built Shiloh.
 

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My first Sharps was a Shiloh Sharps cavalry carbine from Farmingdale, NY in .45/70 with a 22" bbl. It was my only rifle up here in Alaska for a number of years, and it took a lot of caribou. I eventually moved to the lower 48, and ended up shooting bpcr NRA matches with it. Single trigger with a terrible trigger pull, blade front sight, MVA vernier without windage adjustment and 22" bbl. My first match I took 3rd place. I could shoot with anybody at 500 meters with that gun. (Never tried longer) The thing was, it was my meat gun, my 4-wheeler gun, my house protection gun and my friend. I knew that gun. But life happens, kids came along, bills pile up and it got sold.

I just bought another one this week, some 20 years later. C Sharps Arms this time, another cavalry carbine with saddle ring, 22" bbl, double set triggers, MVA sight. A longer bbl is not a substitute for intimate knowledge of your firearm, and intimate knowledge is hard to come by when the rifle is so long, so heavy and so expensive that you just don't carry it everywhere.

Just my 2 cents
 

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Jaquimaman--- Give your self a raise! That post was worth more than two cents! Experience is king.
 

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Jaquimaman, that is a very nice looking sharps and I bet will be a terrific hunting rifle. C Sharps makes a very fine sharps rifle. Their shop is not that far from the Shiloh Sharps shop in Big Timber, MT. I had the pleasure several years ago visiting both shops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Thanks everyone, im now leaning towards a 28".
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 · (Edited)

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Details man, details! What options or upgrades did you go with? Did you order direct through Shiloh or go through Bill Goodman so you could get it much quicker?
 

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Thanks everyone, im now leaning towards a 28".
I shoot a 34'' and I'm Really happy with the performance of it !! It's a 45-70 and more than enough
fo me ! I shot the Quigley with it and whaled on the Buffalo!!! Good People at Shiloh !!

Ol Deuce
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Details man, details! What options or upgrades did you go with? Did you order direct through Shiloh or go through Bill Goodman so you could get it much quicker?

I went through Shiloh for it. Im timing it so its finished a couple months after i get back from deployment.

1874 MONTANA ROUGHRIDER
Options:
CALIBER: 50-90ST
BARREL LENGTH: 30"
BARREL WEIGHT: HVY.OCT
WOOD UPGRADES: SEMI-FANCY
WOOD FINISHES: AA - Standard
METAL FINISHES: STANDARD COLOR CASED
BUTTPLATE: TRADITIONAL STEEL
BRASS ESCUTCHEONS: BRASS
CUSTOM BEDDING: CUSTOM BED
SLING SWIVELS: SWIVELS
FOREARM TIPS: PEWTER TIP
HARTFORD COLLAR: HARTFORD COLLAR
REAR BARREL SIGHT: (military ladder sight plus a midrange vernier tang sight.)
FRONT SIGHT: CUSTOMER PROVIDE (flip front sight between blade and pin)
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Excellent choices! And thank you for your service!

Thanks.

I would have liked to have gotten some more options but since this will be a hunting rifle i didnt want to get too much "pretty" with it. Also i want to get another one in 45-70 later on, keeping the price down on this one will help with getting the 2nd one. But the one thing that most people say they wish they had gotten with theirs was better wood, so i went with an upgrade in wood.
 

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Thanks.

I would have liked to have gotten some more options but since this will be a hunting rifle i didnt want to get too much "pretty" with it. Also i want to get another one in 45-70 later on, keeping the price down on this one will help with getting the 2nd one. But the one thing that most people say they wish they had gotten with theirs was better wood, so i went with an upgrade in wood.
I would make one suggestion for change. Ditch the military style steel butt plate and get the shotgun stock and steel butt plate. That .50-90 is going to have some fairly stout recoil off the bench and you will be able to shoot it better and longer (in more comfort) with the shotgun plate. And to develop a good load for it will take some bench time. No need to destroy your shoulder. The 30 inch barrel is a good choice and having the military ladder sight is too. Depending on what you are hunting, it is probably a much better choice than the tang sight but you will want it for shooting for fun.

Good luck on your deployment and thank you for your service.
 
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