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Old July 3, 2013, 06:30 PM   #1
Hawg
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Shot the Sharp's today

First three rounds with 80 grains of powder. Bullet was a Sharp's ringtail 557-490. Hitting low from 25 yards offhand.



Yeah, that's three holes.



Raised the sights and went to 90 grains and the group widened up and further left.

Went to 100 which is a full chamber and they tightened back up and moved closer to center. Stayed with 100 and used a little kentucky windage and put three just under the tape. Yeah, that's three holes there too.



Dunno what happened with that flyer way low and right but it key holed for some reason. That was with 90 grains. Its the only one that did that.
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Old July 3, 2013, 06:36 PM   #2
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Hawg I don't think that's good enough for a sharps. I'll take it off your hands if it continues to disappoint you...
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Old July 3, 2013, 06:37 PM   #3
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Hawg...

That's a paper cutter, right?

Tnx,
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Old July 3, 2013, 06:44 PM   #4
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Noel, I may end up having to sell it if I don't get to go back to work pretty soon.

Doc, yeah its a .54 paper cutter.

I need to make up some more bullets and bench it. I was just chomping at the bit to shoot it cuz I've had it so long without being able to. I do think I'm going to have to change the rear sight out tho. That was full elevation at 25 yards. Gonna be awhile tho.
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Old July 3, 2013, 07:45 PM   #5
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Hawg...

Thanks for the wink back.
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Old July 3, 2013, 07:56 PM   #6
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Nice! How was the recoil with 100 gr? Did it make your teeth chatter or was it bearable? Looks like with a little more tinkering, you'll be able to put one on top of the other. Nice you were able to get out and throw some lead with it . . . thanks for letting us know how it went.
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Old July 3, 2013, 08:38 PM   #7
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Recoil was noticeable but nowhere near teeth chattering but then I'm not recoil sensitive. I need to bench it but I'm sure the rear sight will need to be changed out since it was at full elevation. The front sight is a brass bead so filing is not an option
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Old July 12, 2013, 05:25 PM   #8
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Went out today intending to play with the sights some but decided to see what it did from a prop at 40 yards(that's where the shade was). After 7 shots and six out of the navy I was done. I should have popped two caps on it instead of one. The first was a hang fire low right at the 5 ring. Next one brought it up some. and closer to center. Then three in the 8 ring. Used a little Kentucky windage and put two in the bull. I decided I wasn't going to get much better and called it quits at that point. Maybe next time I'll bump the sights over before I even go out.

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Old July 12, 2013, 06:12 PM   #9
Bill Akins
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I enjoyed the review and target pics Hawg.



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Old July 12, 2013, 06:34 PM   #10
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Thanks Bill
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Old July 12, 2013, 09:32 PM   #11
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Ring tail shoots pretty good. I wonder if you had went to other way on charge if they wouldn't have lifted a little bit and stayed as tight or tighter. BTW hang fire No way!! I think you must have blinked on that low one didn't yaw._
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Old July 12, 2013, 10:20 PM   #12
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Yeah it was a hang fire. 80 grains is about as low as I can stand. 100 brings them up and closer to center and they group tighter but its more flash out the bottom than I like.
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Old July 12, 2013, 11:16 PM   #13
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Hawg, couple of questions about your "paper cutter" Sharps.

(For any newbies out there who might not know, a "paper cutter" Sharps means the lever behind the trigger gets levered down and the breech block (which has a sharp edge) drops down to allow you to load a paper cartridge into the chamber from the rear, and then when you raise the lever it raises the breech block back up and the sharp edge of the breech block cuts off the rear of the paper to expose the powder to the percussion cap's flash channel. Kind of like a guillotine blade. That's a "paper cutter").

My questions are:

1. In a regular single shot rifle, we are taught to make sure our powder and ball are tightly all the way down the barrel so there is no air space. But since your Sharps is loaded from the breech (rear), and the paper cartridge will not be as tightly against the breech block (as it would be as pressed down by the ramrod in a regular single shot), it would seem to me that some small air space would be present behind the cut off paper/powder. Also what if you used nitrated paper cartridges and shoved them in so that they didn't stick out for the breech block to cut, (but the flash channel would still set off the nitrated paper), but you shoved the paper cartridge in so far that there was an air space between the paper cartridge's rear and the breech block. Could any of the above mentioned air spaces create any possible overpressure or problems of any kind in that area?

2. I know it is more cumbersome, but you can also load it without a paper cartridge and just point the barrel downward and load using a ball first with powder behind it from the breech, then raise your lever and breech block, cap the nipple and fire. So my question is similar to my first question only difference being you'd be loading with loose powder and ball. When you raised the breech block, wouldn't there be a small air space behind the powder since you didn't ram the powder down tightly against the breech with a ball like you would do when you rammed the ball against the powder in a regular single shot? So same air space question here.

Never owned a "paper cutter" and always wondered about those questions.




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"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".

Last edited by Bill Akins; July 12, 2013 at 11:32 PM.
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Old July 13, 2013, 07:59 AM   #14
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Sharp's seems to be the exception to the rule on airspace. There is no way to get rid of it completely. If I load a ringtail bullet and then fill the chamber it will hold 100 grains of powder but even that still has an airspace because of the breech block. That load makes very tight groups but has excessive flash out the bottom. I haven't found anything to form paper cartridges with but it appears that it will hold 80 grains with them. I've been loading 80 gains of loose powder and let the air space go hang. I did my research first tho because I had the same questions. This is the main most reason you can't get rid of it. The breechblock has a built in airspace. The breech plate is off in this pic.



The back of the breech plate.

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Old July 13, 2013, 09:36 AM   #15
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Wow!

Nice shootin' Hawg!



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Old July 13, 2013, 12:24 PM   #16
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Thanks Bill and Hawg - I have often wondered about the things Bill brought up.

It's been many, MANY years but I had a friend who had a Smith Carbine (an original) that he let me shoot a couple of times back in the early 60s. I know that the Smith utilized a "tube" for holding the powder and slug with a flash hole in the rear - I think I'm remembering that part correctly?

Anyway . . . I'm trying to remember . . . can the Smith be loaded in the same manner that Bill mentions? i.e. the slug inserted followed by loose powder and then closing the breech (without utilizing a "tube" to hold the powder)?

I've never shot a Sharps but I remember the Smith was a lot of fun. Jumpin Jeepers . . . I suppose a guy could get hooked on these carbines just like C & B revolvers and then get in all kinds of trouble with the 'better half"!
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Old July 15, 2013, 04:32 AM   #17
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Quote:
Hawg Haggen wrote:
Sharp's seems to be the exception to the rule on airspace
Why is that?

Quote:
Hawg Haggen wrote:
I haven't found anything to form paper cartridges with
Form nitrated paper around a wooden dowel.

Quote:
Hawg Haggen wrote:
I've been loading 80 gains of loose powder and let the air space go hang.
Is that safe to ignore air space behind the charge and projectile in a barrel?
If so, why?

Quote:
Hawg Haggen wrote:
I did my research first tho because I had the same questions.
What did your research tell you regarding air space behind the charge and projectile in the barrel like that?

Quote:
Hawg Haggen wrote:
This is the main most reason you can't get rid of it. The breechblock has a built in airspace.
You mean most people don't want it because of their concerns about an air space behind the charge and projectile in the barrel? Which begs the question of "why?" and if people are concerned about that, that goes back to my question of what did your research tell you about safety and overpressure concerns regarding said air space behind the charge and projectile?





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"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".
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Old July 15, 2013, 12:11 PM   #18
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First off I cant find a dowel the right size to have bullet and powder together. I could wrap the charge in a smaller or bigger cartridge but to me its kind of defeating the purpose. Paper doesn't have to be nitrated to work. I've always used tea bags for cartridges and they work very well. The charge and projectile are not both in the barrel. The bullet is seated to the first ring in the rifling and the rest sticks out into the chamber which is a lot bigger. Bore size is .544 and the chamber is around .580 or so. A .577 minie will drop right in and no I wouldn't dare try to fire one. The recommended charge is 80 grains but the chamber will hold just over 100, so even with a paper cartridge the chamber isn't filled, plus there's the hole in the breech block. Its not like having both powder and charge in a barrel together with nowhere for the pressure to go. And too the Sharp's chamber isn't airtight. There is some flash out the top and bottom.

Quote:
You mean most people don't want it because of their concerns about an air space behind the charge and projectile in the barrel?
No I meant you cant get rid of the airspace. That's why I posted the pic of the breech block.
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Old July 15, 2013, 01:51 PM   #19
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The air space bothered me too when I once owned one, my solution was to buy a set of the brass shells for the Berdan (which won't work in a carbine) and insert the brass washer that came with it that surrounds the flash port....don't know if it helped make the rifle more safe to shoot or not, but it gave me piece of mind. BYT, nice shootin' Hawg!!
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Old July 15, 2013, 02:03 PM   #20
Hawg
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Thanks. I know it can do better once I get the sights adjusted. I think I'm going to go to a tang sight once i get back to work and get the bills caught up.
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Old July 15, 2013, 09:13 PM   #21
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Possible cheap solution instead of a $185 tang site. If your eyes are well adjusted to your glasses (I won't even ask about bare eyeballs....guy's of a certain age don't think about those days anymore LOL), I did this on my antique Winchester 32-20 by changing the blade on an adjustable Marbles sight. Just a suggestion./
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Old July 15, 2013, 10:37 PM   #22
Hawg
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That's a thought
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Old July 16, 2013, 01:11 AM   #23
Bill Akins
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Quote:
Hawg Haggen wrote:
Sharp's seems to be the exception to the rule on airspace

Bill Akins wrote:
Why is that?
You didn't answer my question on that Hawg.


Quote:
Hawg Haggen wrote:
I haven't found anything to form paper cartridges with

Bill Akins wrote:
Form nitrated paper around a wooden dowel.
Quote:
Hawg Haggen wrote in response:
First off I cant find a dowel the right size to have bullet and powder together. I could wrap the charge in a smaller or bigger cartridge but to me its kind of defeating the purpose. The charge and projectile are not both in the barrel. The bullet is seated to the first ring in the rifling and the rest sticks out into the chamber which is a lot bigger. Bore size is .544 and the chamber is around .580 or so.
I understand the situation exactly. But I don't understand what you meant when you said: "wrapping the charge in a smaller or bigger cartridge would be defeating the purpose".

Defeating the purpose of what? Since the front of the projectile is seated to the rifling but the rest of the rear of the projectile is sticking back into the chamber, then I see no reason why you couldn't glue the rear of the projectile to a paper tube that you formed to fit the chamber. Why can't you do that?

Quote:
Hawg Haggen wrote:
I've been loading 80 gains of loose powder and let the air space go hang.

Bill Akins wrote:
Is that safe to ignore air space behind the charge and projectile in a barrel?
If so, why?
You didn't answer that question Hawg.

Quote:
Hawg Haggen wrote:
I did my research first tho because I had the same questions.

Bill Akins wrote:
What did your research tell you regarding air space behind the charge and projectile in the barrel like that?
You didn't answer that question Hawg.

Quote:
Hawg Haggen wrote:
This is the main most reason you can't get rid of it. The breechblock has a built in airspace.

Bill Akins wrote:
You mean most people don't want it because of their concerns about an air space behind the charge and projectile in the barrel? Which begs the question of "why?" and if people are concerned about that, that goes back to my question of what did your research tell you about safety and overpressure concerns regarding said air space behind the charge and projectile?
Quote:
Hawg Haggen responded:
No I meant you cant get rid of the airspace. That's why I posted the pic of the breech block.
That's the only one of my questions that you even half answered, since you only answered the first half of that question and didn't answer the other half of that question nor any of the other questions I asked Hawg. Can you answer the other half of that question that asks what did your research show you about the safety and overpressure concerns regarding said airspace? I'm very interested in what your research taught you and what your research sources were, since I'm interested in overpressure research in BP firearms and would like to myself read those sources your researched. Also could you please answer the other questions I asked that you didn't answer please? Thanks.




.
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"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".

Last edited by Bill Akins; July 16, 2013 at 01:25 AM.
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Old July 16, 2013, 08:05 AM   #24
Hawg
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I thought I answered it sufficiently Bill. My research consisted of checking out other forums for people with the same guns and finding out what they did and their results. No, I don't have facts and figures that you can put down on paper and say this load is safe and that one isn't. From what I found the only people that are concerned about an airspace are people that never had one.

You can't simply glue a ringtail bullet flush onto a paper cartridge. Well I guess you could but you would have to be very careful with it to keep it from breaking off and tearing open the cartridge. That might feasibly work if the base of the bullet were the same size as the cartridge but the base of the ringtail is a lot smaller.



By defeating the purpose I meant you cant load it as one unit. First you would have to seat the bullet and then load the cartridge. While it might be a little faster than loading loose powder its not fast enough to justify the trouble of making it.

Kinda funny the way you keep saying in dark bold letters that I didn't answer the question and then saying I didn't answer any of your questions when most of them are all the same question. Now I may not have answered it to your satisfaction but I did answer it to mine. Just roll your eyes and call me a dumbass, but I can tell you this from personal experience, you can load anywhere from 80-100 grains of loose powder in a Sharps with no ill effects other than flash out the top and bottom which you're going to get anyway. The more powder you use the more flash you get. There's even a few people that only load forty or so grains of powder and that is a major airspace and no I'm not going to go back and try to find links for any of the stuff I found over several months of looking.
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Old July 16, 2013, 09:00 AM   #25
Bill Akins
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Thanks for your response Hawg.
I do think you could glue a paper tube to the 1st or 2nd ring up from the bottom base on the projectile you pictured without it breaking off from the tube, since you said the projectile went into the barrel's rifling only up to the topmost first ring. That leaves you the other two rings to glue to, that are above the very bottom base. If you carried your paper cartridges flat instead of vertical in your cartridge pouch, you shouldn't have any problem with the projectile breaking off from the tube. Why don't you give that a try. Might decrease your loading time.

Would be nice to find out more information regarding any possible problems regarding air space behind the projectile and powder charge though. No problem, I'll find the research myself. If your research only consisted of people at forums writing, it may not have gotten into the precise lab science explanations I was seeking anyway to determine if it causes any overpressure safety concerns with heavy charges. Although sometimes there are some bonifide lab scientific results pressure scale data that is posted at online forums.




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"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".
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