I was hunched over the bench like I was shooting a .222 Remington with my front stand elevated about eight inches and a small shot bag, with the ears, holding the stock I reached around with my left hand to hold and squeeze the rear bag to vary the elevation from the rear I needed and right hand on pistol grip/trigger. I won't say there wasn't a slight gap between butt plate and my shoulder...I just don't know. I do know the heel of the rifle was very close to the concrete bench I was shooting from...maybe an inch or so. Perhaps everything, including front and rear bags should have been higher to keep me from having to hunch over as much as I did.
I haven't shot rifles in about 20 years...mostly pistols/revolvers and could have forgotten some general rules but as I said, i don't think I shot this one from the bench any different than I did with smaller calibers.
The rifle has a tremendous drop at heel and toes, just like the original but the stock is thin at about 1 1/2" at it's widest point and curved steel. Had it been one with a shotgun stock I sort of doubt it would have been as punishing.
That said, my 45-90 Rolling block (525gr Paul Jones/85gr Swiss 1½)chewed up my shoulder during 55 rounds of a rambash exactly as shown by ColtColt's pic above.
That Rolling Block has a drop at heel as bad as the Sharps I can't imagine 85 gr of Swiss as the 77 gr of 2F was bad enough. I had a Navy Arms Rolling Block Carbine, half round/half octagon barrel back in the 70's in 45-70-crescent shaped brass butt plate. It too was a real kicker at just 6 1/2 pounds.
I watched a guy on YouTube firing a 45-90 from prone! That's got to be worse than from the bench and he wasn't in pain or flinching so, I have to wonder if he was shooting a lighter bullet with less powder as it didn't seem to recoil like mine did.
Shiloh will cost me a small mint to rebarrel, I'm sure but I don't have many options and I'm considering that despite the cost. I don't want a wall hanger. I still think in part it's the shape of the butt plate that caused the pain. Bruises I can live with but I'm not into pain at all. This is what the butt plate looks like for those that haven't seen this style.