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Old July 9, 2013, 12:12 PM   #1
ColColt
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Too Much gun

I bought a Sharps 45-90 recently, got a couple molds and cast some 530 gr bullets for it. I loaded 20 rounds ranging from 75-78 gr of 2Fg powder and went out to the range to try it out with my neighbor. I was only able to get two shots off before my shoulder started killing me. We were shooting from the bench as I can't hold this 12 pound rifle steady off hand plus I was shooting for groups and sighting in.

Having driven 20 miles to get to the range I wasn't going to leave having just shot two rounds so, I painfully continued and managed to get though about 12 rounds before I just had to stop. It felt like I'd been kicked by a mule 12 times. I've caught hell at another forum by smart a**es telling me it shouldn't bother me like it did and that I was doing this and that wrong. Bottom line is it kicks hard and I'm going to have to sell it it seems. I'm not into pain. My shoulder, bicep and breast area are totally purple. I've shot the 375 Weatherby before and it was nothing like this. I've read of mercury recoil reducers but that means sending it back to the factory and waiting for months to get it back. I did use a shoulder worn pad but it was totally useless with that crescent shaped steel butt plate. Suggestions...comments?
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Old July 9, 2013, 12:22 PM   #2
Gbnk82
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Have you tryed slipping a butt pad on the end of it?? It may nlt help alot but mayne enough for you to handle it..tbis would be the cheapest easiest route to try..
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Old July 9, 2013, 12:29 PM   #3
arch308
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I would consider lighter bullets and lighter charges. I think you'll be suprised the difference a lighter bullet would make in the felt recoil.
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Old July 9, 2013, 12:29 PM   #4
ColColt
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I was using a shoulder pad. A butt pad would just extend, the already long for me, the length of pull but, it could help some but don't think it would solve the problem.

I may try a lighter 475 gr mold I have but don't know how much that would help.
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Old July 9, 2013, 01:21 PM   #5
Hawg
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I've caught hell at another forum by smart a**es telling me it shouldn't bother me like it did and that I was doing this and that wrong.
I don't understand it either but not going to chastise you for it or second guess you. Some people are just recoil sensitive. You could lighten the loads some and use wads to take up the air space. I wouldn't use a filler in cartridges because it can migrate and mix in with the powder. I have a paper cutter and have used 100 grains of Swiss 2F behind a 490 grain bullet and didn't really notice it.
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Old July 9, 2013, 01:48 PM   #6
Magnum Wheel Man
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sometimes shooting from the bench is punishing... this is especially so with big bore "magnums" & especially with rifles that have a straighter stock like I'm sure yours does...

it would not look period, but if you are really wanting this as a shooter, trim about an inch ( more if the length of pull is too long ) & add one of those decelerator recoil pads ( it's no shame, I have a couple on guns like my 416 Rigby ) they don't make the gun recoil less, they just absorb some of the concussion between the end of the wood, & your bones... I can shoot my 416 off the bench, longer than my wallet will put up with... if you are worried about a traditional look, cover the recoil pad with a leather butt cuff...

I also have a range shirt I made out of a modern light weight fishing shirt... my wife quilted a camo shoulder patch, & inside the shoulder we added a pocket for the Browning style "pocket type" recoil pads... I only keep one in the pocket, but they are thin, & I could easily add a 2nd if needed... I use my range shirt for straight stocked, steel butt plate mil surps that I wouldn't want to alter the rifle...

as far as shooting dynamics, make sure you are pulling the stock in tight to your shoulder, & not flinching ( pushing your shoulder forward, which can result in an air gap when the trigger is pulled, & worse flinching from then on )

you could also try shooting sticks that will allow you to shoot accurately from a standing position, which I'm sure you'll find much less punishing, & once that skill is mastered, you'll find you may shoot better with shooting sticks, than shooting painfully from the bench...

you'll be surprised how much less painfull lighter bullets or lower charge loads can be

& if you find you can't bear it any more... I can send you my local FFL's address ... hope this helps
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Old July 9, 2013, 01:51 PM   #7
NoSecondBest
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As an owner of multiple 45-70 rifles, I have to ask the question.....what are you trying to accomplish with this rifle and loads? Long range silhouette or some type long distance target shooting? Hunting? Shooting very heavy bullets, even in a heavy gun, with moderate to full powder charges is going to have heavy recoil. If you're shooting for fun, or hunting, cut the bullet weight WAY back and shoot some lighter charges. I've never found any load that is in the middle-to-top of the recommended load range that was fun to shoot. I now shoot 300 to 405 grain bullets with middle-to-low charges and they are about as much fun as I like. Even my lightest loads completely pass through every whitetail at any angle and drop them pretty quickly. They also shoot moa or less at 100 yds off the bench for five shot groups. If you're doing this for fun, or trying to have fun, cut the loads down and start enjoying shooting the gun.
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Old July 9, 2013, 04:27 PM   #8
ColColt
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I'm not recoil sensitive as I've shot everything from the lowly .308 to the 58 cal Zouave rifle from the bench. I wasn't expecting such a "lively shove" from this one, however. It has quite a drop and heel and toe and no padding on the butt, just steel on a skinny stock against a skinny shoulder-not much for shock absorption.

The bench will always tell the tale whether you're shooting a .222 or .458 Winchester. It's always the worse position for feeling recoil other than prone. Well, I don't know if I'll keep it or not. I'm getting too old to be beat up by a rifle.

I'm just trying to have a little fun-no competition in mind, no rams and chickens or 1,000 yard target in mind just a paper puncher at 300 yards max but I had read the long, heavy bullet in this caliber and especially the one I'm using-the 530 gr Postell bullet, is among the most accurate so; that's what I went with and spent quite a bit on a custom mold. The lighter(somewhat) bullet mold I have throws a 485 gr bullet and once I heal from this ordeal I may try that before giving up on things.
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Old July 9, 2013, 06:20 PM   #9
MattShlock
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The guy's purple and you sensitively say he's "recoil sensitive"!?

Sorry the gun isn't working out. I would try downloading it before selling it too...
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Old July 9, 2013, 06:45 PM   #10
KBP
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Too much gun

The lowly .308? Who told you a .308 is lowly or impotent? What are you hunting? A well placed bullet from a .308 caliber rifle will kill just about any animal in North America. Dead is dead. If needed, a follow up shot right on target will just about insure a successful hunt. Far better a hit with a .308 than a miss with a 45/90. If you want to hunt elephants, maybe you need something bigger! If the recoil from this 45/90 big bore hurts, you will not enjoy shooting and missing everything you shoot at. Lighter bullets and smaller powder charges will help some, but bullet drop will be significant.
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Old July 9, 2013, 07:39 PM   #11
NoSecondBest
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Quote:
The bench will always tell the tale whether you're shooting a .222 or .458 Winchester. It's always the worse position for feeling recoil other than prone. Well, I don't know if I'll keep it or not. I'm getting too old to be beat up by a rifle.
Not actually true. Shooting off a bench that is too low makes a bad situation even worse. A lot of big bore shooters found out a long time ago that shooting the big guns is a lot less painful if you shoot standing up off a higher bench. The farther forward you lean, the more recoil you'll absorb. Try shooting either in a more upright position or standing and you'll see a big difference. I agree with the other comments on the 308. I'd hardly call it "lowly". About the only gun I'd hang that title on might be a couple of rimfires. Anything in centerfire above 25 caliber can give you a wake up call.
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Old July 9, 2013, 09:13 PM   #12
myfriendis410
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I believe he was referring to "lowly" purely from the recoil department. Give him a break, guys.

I shoot a 45/70 using heavy (518 gr.) cast bullets and smokeless. When I'm shooting paper patched around 1,500 fps it gets VERY sporty. I'm not recoil shy: 6' 4" 220 lbs. but I've come off the bench with a nice rosebud more than once.

I would say to try to stay in the 1,200 fps range with the Postell bullet and that might make a big difference. Probably going to need a filler or fiber wad to make up the difference, especially shooting black powder. Back it off to 55 gr. or so and see how it does. The Sharps is a simply wonderful rifle and is my favorite on the range. I've killed a couple of animals with it and hope to take a mule deer or elk someday with that big bullet. I'd hate to see you get rid of it.
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Old July 10, 2013, 08:05 AM   #13
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I shot a 45-110 one time. I was happy I had a 40-65 to shoot, and even that had a noticeable poke in the shoulder with FF. I truly feel your pain, as I felt your pain. One time! Ow!

Something you might consider is to have your barrel cut and rechambered to a more friendly cartridge like 45-70, the lesser recoil and ready availability of brass might be just what the doctor ordered. It may be 2" or so shorter, but I think you will be much happier shooter. If you have an octagon barrel, you might just see about a Green Mountain barrel, and start over, as I am unsure whether there is enough of a "round" tenon left to cut and set back.

Shameless plug: If you do decide to rebarrel, might I recommend a 40-65?

As I compared trajectories of the big ole thumpers like yours to others, I determined that they all had nearly the same path to the rams at 500, and as long as the bullet was heavy enough to knock a ram over, it was "enough."
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Old July 10, 2013, 08:14 AM   #14
JerryM
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What is the advantage of punishing yourself, especially when it is with a rifle that is not really needed?
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Old July 10, 2013, 08:24 AM   #15
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I'll 2nd the 45-70 or 40-65... I have many 45-70's, & a nice 40-65 Navy arms Rolling Block with a tall tang sight... I shoot pretty much only smokeless, but the 40-65 is a natural with black

this is kinda a woulda coulda shoulda story, but I used my 40-65 to shoot a long range steel buffalo shoot at a CAS match, ( my 1st time to try it ) I walked up the hill, rather than jogging or running, forgot to put in my ear plugs, so put the rifle down & rolled the foam plugs & inserted them, I didn't have any shooting sticks, so I shot sitting, bracing off my knee... I shot 10 for 10 & was only off the winning time by a couple seconds...

love that 40-65... don't remember my loads, but they were heavy bullets, & Trailboss, that I used on the steel buffalo shoot... mostly I just putter of the bench, on my own range, & usually only out to 200 yards with the tang sight
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Old July 10, 2013, 10:46 AM   #16
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I have a Marlin 45/70 Guide gun and in researching loads for it I found some pretty stout loads. When I started to load for it I started at the low end and worked up from there. When my loads stated to hurt me from the bench I dropped to the next level of loads that gave me the accuracy that I wanted and stayed there. My load ended up being 44 grs IMR 4198 behind a Hornady 350 gr FN for a velocity of 1800 fps. I can shoot 20 rounds from the bench without too much trouble. As I get older I seem to notice recoil more. My suggestion would be to try a lighter load especially with a curved metal butt plate and a straight stock.
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Old July 10, 2013, 10:56 AM   #17
Magnum Wheel Man
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also... I know it's not black powder, but you could easily do a reduced recoil load with Trailboss, with no filler needed
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Old July 10, 2013, 11:11 AM   #18
ColColt
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Maybe I should have clarified "lowly" in that it(the .308) kicks like a new born kitten compared to the 45-90 with a case nearly full of 2Fg black powder. i started out with an M14 in the Army with the .308(7.62 Nato cartridge) and know of whence I speak on that.

The load(s) I chose were recommended by those who have been shooting BPCR's far longer than myself and it was recommended to start with that caliber at 75 gr and go up to about 80 and see which would give better accuracy so, that's what I did. Also recommended was the Lyman Postell 530 gr bullet-I ordered the mold, cast about 100 and loaded those behind a Federal 215M primer. Rifle looked good, ammo looked good bullets turned out beautiful so all was rosey until I pulled the trigger.

You can't load smokeless in this cartridge or Shiloh tells you not to. It's a large 3.400" case and it would take a lot of 5744 or any other smokeless powder to fill the case and I'm not into fillers like Dacron or cream of wheat fillers. The cartridge is for BP so, that's what I used.

The shoulder looks worse today than this past Sunday and sore as hell. I guess it'll be a week or two before I can give it a go with any rifle. I hate to sell this beauty or even have it rebarreled but something's got to give. This is what it looked like Sunday-moreso today.


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Old July 10, 2013, 11:27 AM   #19
Romeo 33 Delta
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How'd the other guy look?
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Old July 10, 2013, 11:30 AM   #20
Magnum Wheel Man
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didn't take any time at all to find a Trailboss load for the heavy bullets in the 45-90 on the WWW
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Old July 10, 2013, 11:46 AM   #21
NoSecondBest
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The Lyman 49th edition lists a number of smokeless loads for this caliber. The reason Shiloh doesn't recommend using smokeless is that there is always some idiot out there who'll see how much powder the case will hold and how fast he can push the bullet. The gun just isn't designed to work at ridiculously high pressures and they don't need the hassle of fighting with that idiot as to why their gun blew up. As stated above, Trailboss is an alternative. I've tried it and don't care for it but it's very low recoiling. I'd suggest using 5744. As far as fillers go, they aren't that difficult to use. You just need to know the difference between a filler and a wad. I use fillers on some of my 45-70 loads and they work great. Go to the castboolit board and see the sticky on fillers by Larry Gibson. He's an expert on using them and it's not voodo trying to figure it out. If you want to try some, I can send you some pics on how to do it. Even though this isn't a 45-70, it can be loaded up with the same velocities and lower recoil as one. With the right load you won't get any brusing at all and will actually enjoy shooting the gun. One of my Sharps weighed around twelve pounds and had almost no recoil. I could shoot that gun all day with no problems what-so-ever. My Win 1886 at 6.6 lbs is a whole new ball game. Everything hurts in that gun except the lightest loads. It's still fun to shoot. Don't give up. This can be corrected with the right loads and a little change in bench technique.
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Old July 10, 2013, 11:47 AM   #22
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
You can't load smokeless in this cartridge
Trail Boss is a unique powder, designed to fill cases that were originally BP.

IMR's instructions are to load to the base of the bullet (do NOT compress) and start at 70% of that measurement. In other words, if it takes 10gr to reach the base of where the bullet would be seated, start at 7.0gr and work up to 10.0.

As a point of clarification, the gun wasn't actually on your arm/body where those bruises are, was it?
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Old July 10, 2013, 12:42 PM   #23
NoSecondBest
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As a point of clarification, the gun wasn't actually on your arm/body where those bruises are, was it?
I got back on here after thinking about that. How'd the bruise get some far down your arm instead of in the "pocket"? Gun fit or shooting technique are part of this problem somehow.
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Old July 10, 2013, 03:51 PM   #24
ColColt
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I had the butt of the rifle against my shoulder. I bruise easily. When you get older(67) and are on three blood thinner it don't take anything to bruise you-a scrape from a bush will bruise my arm! You should see what it looks like today. It's worse than that photo and the purple has traveled down my arm. Blood travels in accordance with gravity and that's why it spread out and has gone down now about half way down my forearm and across the chest about eight inches. I can live with bruising it's the pain that was hard to endure. I'll have a knot on my shoulder for a week I'd say and won't be able to shoot again for at least a week or two.
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Old July 10, 2013, 04:13 PM   #25
AllenJ
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ColColt, sir, after looking at that picture I can't believe that you'd even consider keeping that rifle! Shooting is supposed to be fun, enjoyable, a way to relax and sharpen our skills as marksmen. The pain I see in that photo screams none of those, but something else entirely
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