Newby trying to understand 1859 Sharps

Support for the 1863 shooter. Discussions of powders, loads, bullets, etc.
bakerj
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Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:11 pm
Location: arizona/illinois

Newby trying to understand 1859 Sharps

Postby bakerj » Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:28 pm

Hi all, I recently got interested in black powder shooting. Quickly became aware of Shiloh but couldn't wait two years for my first rifle so I bought a Pedersoli 1859 in 45 cal. From the reading I've done it looks like their copy is accurate in the sense that it has a sliding sleeve in the counterbore of the breech and a plate on the breech block- gas pressure forcing the sleeve back and in reverse forcing the plate on the breech block forward. Is this right and is this the same as the Shiloh 1863??
Thus far I have shot using the Pedersoli reusable brass cartridge cases. I also bought a Pedersoli Hawken 54 cal (shooting with 70 grains ffg). Thus far the Hawken seems more accurate so I need to experiment/learn with the Sharps. With the Sharps currently using recommended bullet which is 380 grain with 50 grains fffg. Assuming I could use paper and get to at least 60 grains and it might shoot better. If anyone is familiar with the Pedersoli 45 cal I would appreciate any help/advice. Also, after shooting both rifles, the Sharps seemed to 'gunk up' the breech more than the Hawken. I had nothing to lube the bullets with so hand smeared some 'bore butter' on them before loading (that may have been part of the problem)- without equipment how can I lube bullets and what do I use?
I hope I am allowed on this site having bought a Pedersoli, I will offer that I am about to put in a deposit on a Shiloh '74 and will wait my two years for the 45-70.
Any help/advice will be appreciated
JimB

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snapcap14
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Postby snapcap14 » Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:02 am

welcome to the 59 63 club.
for lube I use beeswax olive oil mix. starting w/ a 50/50 mix liquid form
to start. thin it out w/ more olive oil if need be.
i just dip mine in melted lube after they are made. I use a coffee cup warmer to melt my lube.
I would start w/ a lighter load
I shoot a 54 cal. my one bullet weighs in at 439 and i shoot it w/ 38 grn 2ffg swiss. my other bullet weighs in at 490 and i shoot 42 of 2ffg. swiss. and it is a tack driver at 50 yrds about 4" groups at 100yrds.
more powder dose not always eq. better accurace.
have not played w/ 3ffg to any extent yet.
Standing on the ROCK
14th VA. Cav.
N-SSA

bakerj
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:11 pm
Location: arizona/illinois

Postby bakerj » Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:52 am

Snapcap, thanks for the reply. Re bullett lube, I am going to try beeswax and olive oil. Fadala also talks about toilet bowel ring, beeswax and lard; that confuses me because I thought bowel rings were beeswax?? I am surprised at how light your powder load is (but if it works for you I will try it) relative to bullet weight. How much drop do have at 100 yds? Do you have any comment on basic design of rifle (sliding sleeve +breach block seal) compared to original Sharps 1859? Is your ARMI and the Shiloh same design as Pedersoli? Again, thanks for the reply, Jim
JimB

bakerj
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:11 pm
Location: arizona/illinois

Loose Powder?

Postby bakerj » Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:57 am

Snapcap, that brings up another question. As light as your loads are doesn't that leave a lot of open space in the chamber? Again, I thought that powder had to be compressed (at least somewhat) to burn quickly and well.
JimB

Kirk
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Location: Big Timber

Postby Kirk » Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:50 am

Hi Baker,
Our Shiloh 63's are made like the original models, there is no floaty sleeves and gas plates. When and if they burn out, they have to be sleeved with a non-removable sleeve and broached so as to fit a new gas plate to make the seal. They found in the old days that if you make your cartridge so the gas plate doesn't cut paper and pinch powder particles between the mating surfaces it prolonged the life of the system. When using loose powder, this can cause the same problem, along with powder buildup under the forearm that will someday ignite and break the wood. I have put quite a few new forearms on even the originals.

If the proper lube is used, and you make your cartridges like they did at the last end of the percussion era, the gun will last many shots.

My son Levi shot a whole silhouette match once with a military rifle which with sighters made it 60 shots total. He didn’t clean the gun until the match was over and did not have lock up problems. He did a lot of research on the old timers and did the same as them. If the breech started to feel a little stiff, he would spit on it and would be back in business. He didn’t hit any of the offhand chickens, but he did hit 22 of the 30 lay down targets which included 6 of the ten rams at 500 meters. I couldn’t hardly believe it, but he is lucky also.

Kirk,

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snapcap14
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Postby snapcap14 » Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:34 am

kirk coversd the basices on the shilohs. my armi sport is a diffrent story.
now my armi spot has a short chamber. the most powder i can get int a tube that is just over the size of the ringtail is 42 grn of 3f. If i make a tube the size needed to gule to the bottom band I can get 44-46.
whth my shiloh the chamber is longer and i use felt wad on top of the powder then grits on top of the wad to take up the rest of the space.
I use the wad because i do not like my grits mixing w/ the powder.
i use no compression no need to. the tubes or papers i use are 1/16" short of the chamber so there is no cutting.
the A.S. has a custom made stainless steel. chamber sleeve it is 2 pcs and milled to take an O-ring.
The breech block has also been modified to shorten the flash channel.
you may be sprised to know the flash channel ifrm nipple to end is about 1 1/2" long w/ 2 90 deg bends. with the mod. i had done there is now only 1 90 deg bend and only about 3/4" lg.
w/out the o-ring I could only get 3-5 shots off before the breech would seze up tight. there was no floating chamber.
a friend of mine got to shoot an original 59-63 sharps guess what the breech froze up just after a few shots.
I shoot w/ the N-SSA. as a few others on this board do. you will find that most of the guys have done chamber or breech block modifications of some type to their sharps no matter the make.
Standing on the ROCK

14th VA. Cav.

N-SSA

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snapcap14
Posts: 231
Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:07 am

Postby snapcap14 » Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:48 am

drop at 100 yrds is about 6-8" using my 50yrd sight. my rear sight is set up for the 50 yrd when i flip the ladder up w the side all the way down it is set right on at 100. I only shoot 50 and 100 yrds. So to me nthing esle matters. I can shoot 15 rounds w/o cleaning the bore. and w/ out loosing accuary. my fouling never gets dry. got to love the right lube.
If you want pics of the armi sport mod let me know i will email them
don't know how to add photos here.
Standing on the ROCK

14th VA. Cav.

N-SSA

bakerj
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:11 pm
Location: arizona/illinois

Thanks

Postby bakerj » Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:56 am

Kirk and Snapcap- Great and informative responses, thanks. Snapcap, I would enjoy seeing pictures, my email is jmbvette@aol.com. Regards, Jim Baker
JimB


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