View Full Version : Percussion Sharps problem

El Chimango Pete
August 30, 1999, 03:02 PM
Here in Argentina, technical problems with an imported gun can be a nightmare - import procedures and freighting is complicated with tangled regulations, so we usually try to fix them before going through the regular 'return on guarantee'...

I just got an Italian Pedrersoli replica Sharps 1859 (percussion, black powder) "Sporting Rifle" in 45 cal - Very nice, good finish, double set trigger but...

The 'gas check' - a floating chamber tube that slides in the breech and takes powder charge - cant be removed. As I see it, it should slide out along the groove in the receiver when the sliding block is lowered but it butts up against the hammer side - as if out of alignment. The interference is about .10". The Pedersoli instructions state that it should be removed often for cleaning. Makes sense as otherwise all sorts of crud will accumulate between the chamber and its seating, compromising the gas seal and even preventing the block from sliding closed. It can't be done in this case without removing the barrel, and I guess something is wrong.

Now the dealer here (a personal friend) has asked about others with these Sharps... and they all have the same problem though they seem to have been unaware of it (the manual is in English, those that may have bothered reading it - RTMF - may not have understood the problem - or don't care).

I've sent an inquiry to Pedersoli but have no reply yet. I guess I will (apparently they are on holiday over there). Meanwhile, my question is to anyone that has experience with real Sharps, classic or new (as well as Shiloh models) - does this 'gas check' slide out via the receiver groove as I imagine?

If its a lemon, dealer is willing to take it back but can't let it lie too long.

Peter Knight

[This message has been edited by Elchimango (edited August 30, 1999).]

James K
August 30, 1999, 04:54 PM
I have experience with the original Sharps, but they have nothing like you seem to be describing. They have a gas check but it is just a ring in the face of the breech block, not a tube.

A thought - have you tried half or full cocking the hammer before opening the breech?


El Chimango Pete
August 30, 1999, 05:35 PM
Thanks for the input Jim - getting anxious about this but as I've never handled any kind of Sharps before, appreciate the help.

Its a tube sho' nuff - about 1/8" thick and a little less than 2 1/2" long, butts up within the barrel at the forcing cone - or the start of the rifling. It can be slid out within the rectangular cavity taken up by the sliding breech-block, and so is independent of the hammer position. It either comes out via the groove or the barrel has to be unscrewed.

Could be an Italian invention?

[This message has been edited by Elchimango (edited August 30, 1999).]

September 1, 1999, 11:59 PM
I belive it's an Italian thing just as aforementioned by another gentleman. The original Sharps used a "ring" but were still dangerous in that powder sometimes found its way under the forearm. This was a residual effect from the shearing action on the nitrated paper cartridges when the action was closed. Sharps are very easy to disassemble by the way. The safety ring was not added I belive until the 1874 model was introduced in 1871. The legendary (now deceased) gunwriter Elmer Keith had a primer explode on an original 1869 model 44-77 Sharps in the 1920's sending metal bits into his eye! My past experience was with Shiloh (the best!) repros, however I regretfully parted in 1983 with an Italian EXACT repro of the Sharps 50-70 conversion carbine. I've never seen another. Later this week I will go to my local gunshop and ask. They sell Pedersoli but percussion Sharps in the U.S.A are only popular with Civil War reenactors. Mucha suerte!

David Schmidbauer
September 2, 1999, 02:57 AM

I'm glad my Shiloh Sharps uses a 110 "Gas Check" ;)

Schmit, GySgt, USMC(Ret)
NRA Life, Lodge 1201-UOSSS
"Si vis Pacem Para Bellum"

El Chimango Pete
September 6, 1999, 07:56 AM
Well, a reply from the folks at Pedersoli:

From: "Davide Pedersoli & c. snc" <[email protected]>
To: "Peter J Knight*" <[email protected]>
Subject: Problem with a Sharps 1863 Sporting Rifle?
Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 09:53:10 +0200
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V4.72.2106.4

Dear Mr. Knight,

Thank you for your enquiry and for the preference in our guns.

There is a translation mistake in our manual, instead of "remove" we
should have written "move", infact we know that the gas check butts
against the receiver.

What you have to do is to move it back-forwards and to rotate it
cleaning it with a detergent and oil it, in order the gas check will
keep performing its work.
You should not leave the rifle dirty never, nor for one day.

Our next new manual will be more complete and corrected, we hope.

Best regards,

Thanks all for the replies. Guess I'll just have to live with a "gas check" in the butt - er, that butts up against the receiver.

Must say in passing that these folks have always shown good customer support, here anyway.

Measuring up that tube properly - its inside dimensions are very like those of the post-percussion Sharps 45/70...