Pedersoli 1874 Sharps
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Thread: Pedersoli 1874 Sharps

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    Pedersoli 1874 Sharps

    I recently acquired a Pedersoli 1974 Sharps rifle chambered in 45-70. It was a little dirty, but otherwise in excellent condition.

    This is a big change of pace for me, as I mostly shoot .45 ACP. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone here had anything like it, and what brand of ammunition might be best (I was planning on buying cartridges, not loading my own). I see that HSM has some "Cowboy Action" ammunition in 45-70 Government that I think might work well.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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    I do not recommend jacketed bullets. I do recommend you roll your own Holy Black cartridges with soft cast bullets and lots of lube. Smokeless is gonna go, "pew-pew-pew!" Holy Black will belch out a resounding, "BOOM-BOOM-BOOM!" (very satisfying to the audio pallet).
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    In your Pedersolli or any of the modern Sharps recreations, jacketed bullets won't hurt anything but your most satisfying and practical ammo is going to be that which you load yourself. If you have deep pockets, Remington or Black Hills are probably your best bet. Smokeless ammo will work in .45-70 but black powder is much more satisfying and efficient.

    If you want to load your own ammo, which is not hard, drop me a line or hook up[ with someone local as a mentor. To start out, get a loading handbook if you don't have one, and a mentor and only one or you will be so confused you won't know if you itch or have been scratched. I know as I went down that road when I got my Sharps years ago.
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    Don't know about the Pedersoli rifles, but the Shiloh Sharp rifles really do good with paper patched bullets. Kind of slow and tedious to make, but it's not something you are going to shoot several hundred times at a session. The original Sharps used the paper patched bullets.

    I agree with the others on using lead rather than jacketed bullets.

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    Thanks for the help! I saw several different brands of 45-70, but the HSM Cowboy Action was one of the few that was unjacketed. Although I was looking at smokeless powder cartridges, I'm not opposed to black powder cartridges (I'm looking for those at Buffalo Arms).

    I'm not opposed to reloading my own cartridges, but I'd like to shoot the rifle a bit before I spend more money on reloading equipment.

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    It depends on how much you enjoy cleaning your rifle. I hunted with various Armisport and Pedersoli 1874 Sharps in .45-70 (of the latter, the “Billy Dixon “ model) for several years and never used anything but jacketed 300 and 405 grain smokeless ammo for any serious purpose. After trying black powder a few times for fun and education, I stuck with remanufactured lead smokeless for practice. Black powder is obviously more period-correct, but a pain in the patootie to keep clean since obviously it requires much more than your standard muzzleloader.

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    A late friend shot a US Springfield Trapdoor rifle frequently. He would take one case with him, a bunch of bullets, primers, powder and a Lee hand loading tool kit to the range. He told me he would shoot that case all day and used the Lee tool just to punch out primers and put the new one in, the bullets were just pressed into the case by hand. Since it was a single shot, you didn't have to worry about the bullet setting back into the case as it would in the magazine of a repeater. I don't know how he dealt with fouling as he did shoot black powder but I would guess a brush down the bore after every few shots would work. I am pretty sure he also used an older 45-70 case - the balloon head type as that will hold the 70 grains of powder. A modern case will only hold about 65 grains.
    Modern rifle barrels are made with alloys hard enough to handle repeated use with jacketed bullets, the barrels of original guns were softer since they only had to deal with lead bullets.

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    My dream was to shoot a Sharps in the then new BPCR competitions I read about in the 1980s in gun magazines. I was in the Navy, and it had to wait til I got out. Then I ordered a Shiloh, it had to wait 4 years to be manufactured. But I shot only black powder in it. It's not that hard to clean, really easy actually. You remove the lever and block, wipe it off (thought there won't be much soot on it at all). Run 4-5 patches through that are wet with blackpowder solvent (water works fine). Dry patches. Then I switch to Hoppes for 4-5 more passes. Oil, put it away. I can clean my Shiloh in about 10 min.
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    I shoot an 1874 and found that heavier bullets in the 465-535 grn range are more accurate. Stay away from jacketed bullets and if you can load black powder instead of smokeless. Check this forum out; it is a wealth of info and a great bunch of guys.



    https://shilohrifle.com/forums/
    Last edited by MikenAZ; 07-07-2019 at 07:30 AM.
    -Mike

    “I'd like to know why well-educated idiots keep apologizing for lazy and complaining people who think the world owes them a living.”

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    In competition a "blow tube" is used between shots to keep the powder fouling soft. A small section of rubber or plastic tubing is inserted in the breech to slowly blow into the bore, and the moisture in your breath keeps the powder fouling soft from shot to shot.


 

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