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Old March 25, 2020, 12:45 PM   #1
Pond, James Pond
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Help needed. Down to two. Buying tomorrow!

I need some objectivity done I’m hoping to import it from the brethren of TFL.

Either way, it’s always nice to know you’ll bring a new gun home but if it’s a close run thing, I sometimes become indecisive to an epic degree!

So I have a short list for my BP purchase.

Please tell me what you think for holding lovingly, plinking and hunting (latter unlikely for now but could be in the future) in that order of frequency and general ease of use/cleaning etc.

A Pedersoli 1859 Sharps Carbine .54, 1:48
All bits total at €1250
Cool. Beautiful. Easy to load. Paper or brass cartridges. But stock drops a fair bit so a proper check weld isn’t really an option.

A used Pedersoli Cook Bros Enfield .58 1:48 musket. Like a 2-band Enfield.
All bits total at €910
Beautiful but used. No preloading cartridges but the cheek weld is more natural.

I prefer the idea and looks/features of the Sharps but the shouldering was not as natural as the Cook which is also cheaper.

Any angles I should consider?
Your feelings on my enjoyable predicament?
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Old March 25, 2020, 04:14 PM   #2
Hawg
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You can make paper cartridges for the Cook. You can get brass cartridges for the Sharps at the cost of smaller powder charges or make paper cartridges. Cleanup is a lot more involved with the Sharps.
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Old March 25, 2020, 04:28 PM   #3
105kw
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Depending on what you hunt, either one will do.
I used a two band Enfield on deer in Georgia, and hunted with a .50-70 carbine Sharps in Washington.
I think I would take the Sharps, purely personal reasons.
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Old March 25, 2020, 06:26 PM   #4
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I would get the sharps and a lace on cheek pad.
Check out the ones at Buffalo Arms Shooting Supplies www.buffaloarms.com
Several styles to choose from ...problem solved... I can tell you want the Sharps...
So get it and a cool cheek pad and go shooting...Life's too short for indecision !
Gary
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Old March 25, 2020, 07:29 PM   #5
Oliver Sudden
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In this part of the world the Enfield could be used in our muzzleloader season as well as rifle season. The Sharps would only be allowed in rifle season since it’s a breech loader. For the lap time fondling the Sharps wins every time. Plinking with a Sharps is a delight and clean up isn’t all that hard. Mine was a 1859 rifle from Shiloh and was simple to clean.
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Old March 25, 2020, 10:48 PM   #6
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In this part of the world the Enfield could be used in our muzzleloader season as well as rifle season. The Sharps would only be allowed in rifle season since it’s a breech loader. For the lap time fondling the Sharps wins every time. Plinking with a Sharps is a delight and clean up isn’t all that hard.
Here in MS either one could be used but we have some wacky primitive weapons rules. Cleaning the Sharps isn't hard but it is more involved than the muzzle loader. You have to remove the breech block and the gas check plate. Fouling gets everywhere inside.
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Old March 26, 2020, 06:57 AM   #7
Pond, James Pond
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Well, as most have guessed, I'm nost likely going with the more expensive Sharps, but its the one I'm drawn to having for a long time wanted a Pietta Smith's. I think the Pedersoli is probably better made.

All the ones I saw were beautiful. The Hawken was a joy to behold, but weight a metric tonnes, although for the 3 seconds I could hold it up to my eye, it lined up perfectly!

The Sharps also has a wealth of material online, with videos etc all the way to a re-printed original manual now published by Cornells.

The cost hurts but I think, even though I'd love the Cook, the Hawken, The Rolling Block etc, I'd still look wistfully at Sharps webpages...

Yet another expense is the comb riser that I'll probably order in the summer.

But I've not got it yet and there's still an hour before I'm scheduled to meet the seller so....

Hopefully this evening will see a further post from a giddy Pond, J.
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Old March 26, 2020, 12:39 PM   #8
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I type this rather slowly. Not for tiredness. Not for despondency.

But for the fact I type one-handed as the other cradles a stunning Sharps Carbine.

Tonight the Carbine and I will frolic with decadent quantities of Ballistol, as I clean every nook and get to know the nature of the beauty, I mean, beast.

Thanks to those who took the time to give me their thoughts and advice.
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Old March 27, 2020, 08:20 PM   #9
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You're going to love it but I do recommend getting set up to cast your own bullets.
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Old March 28, 2020, 05:36 AM   #10
Pond, James Pond
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You're going to love it but I do recommend getting set up to cast your own bullets.
Yeah.... I've been looking into this. I think about €200 would set me up with with a .54 mold, a .454 roundball mold (Rem' 1858 5.5" would be nice) and an electric furnace, although I suspect a strong gas stove could also do the trick.

Now I don't know of any decent lead supplies here.... but at the very least I could buy whatever a shop has in the way of lead and melt it down for my own purposes.
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Old March 28, 2020, 07:11 AM   #11
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A good double cavity mold that casts original ring tail type bullets will eat up most of that. I paid 125.00 U.S. dollars for mine. A double cavity Lee mold for the .454's is around 20.00 U.S. dollars. A heating source that will heat to 650-750 F will work just fine. You need pure lead for the .454's, you will want something a little harder for the Sharps.
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Old March 28, 2020, 08:13 AM   #12
Pond, James Pond
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I'm not sure I'll find a double mold here. The single .54 mold sets me back about €70. A bit less for the round ball and about €80 for the smelter pot. I suppose pliers too are necessary, so I guess closer to €250 min for the basic set up.
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Old April 8, 2020, 03:20 PM   #13
maillemaker
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So I happen to own both a Pedersoli P58 (2-band Enfield) and a Pedersoli 1859 Sharps Carbine.

They are two different animals for muzzle loading shooting. One, of course is a muzzle loader, and the other is a breech loader.

Breech loaders are very clearly evolutionarily-superior creations to the muzzle loader, and you will discover that they are much faster to load.

In N-SSA competition, I can typically get off 9-12 shots with a muzzle loading rifle, whereas I can get off 16 or more with a Sharps.

I find cleanup of the Sharps much easier than a muzzle loader. You remove the breech block and clean it separately, and then brush and wipe the bore and wipe the breech a bit and you are done. Muzzle loaders are much more effort.

But, I'm sad to say, you will probably discover that you will have to spend about another $300 to make your Pedersoli Sharps shoot reliably. My Pedersoli Sharps came with a "sliding" chamber sleeve. That is, when you remove the breech block, you will discover that the chamber sleeve freely slides back and forth in the barrel. It will strike the back wall of the receiver and not come out the back though.

This is an incorrect interpretation of the historical "buching" that were in Sharps barrels. The sleeve was indeed adjustable, with a special tool, on original Sharps. This tool would let the armorer set the sleeve back until it properly pressed against the breech block, making a good, gas-tight seal.

Pedersoli somehow interpreted this to mean free-floating, and as a result, most repros leak gas like crazy. This means that the gun will fire about 10 times before the breech block siezes up from fouling. Don't try and force it - you will bend the loading lever.

Pedersoli has made a stab at the "Sam Dobbins" o-ring modification. That is, there is an o-ring in between the gas check plate and the breech block. The idea is that this will provide pressure against the gas check plate, keeping it pressed up against the chamber sleeve. But, alas, it does not work.

I have spoken to Mr. Pedersoli on this, and he tells me that some of their Sharps have a fixed sleeve. So, I don't know if they fare better.

But most people who shoot Sharps in Competition send them off to either Charlie Hahn or Larry Flees to have them fix the problem. You can see my review of Larry's work on my carbine here:

https://www.n-ssa.net/vbforum/showth...Carbine-rework

Charlie Hahn welds on the breech block, which means that when gas cutting eventually wears out the gas check plate you will have a harder job fixing it than with Larry's removable plate. So, I chose to go with Larry's work.

Larry removes the floating chamber sleeve and presses in a fixed one. He also re-works the o-ring modification with one that uses a smaller-thickness o-ring. He replaces the Pedersoli gas check plate with one machined from Ampco bronze.

The work is impeccable. After getting my carbine back, I put 89 consecutive shots through it without cleaning and there was no change in the function of the action. In addition, because the breech seals so well, cleanup is a breeze, because all of the fouling is contained in the breech/barrel.

Before I had it done there was fouling everywhere, even down under the foregrip due to gas leakage.

You can find Larry's contact information on the N-SSA forum. I highly recommend his work.

I shoot the Eras Gone Richmond Sharps bullet in competition. It has a nice long heel that makes it stick to paper cartridges nicely. It is a 2-cavity mold. He ships world-wide.

Steve
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Old April 9, 2020, 04:55 AM   #14
Pond, James Pond
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Indeed, mine has that free-floating sleeve.

I've not been able to shoot it yet, as most places are shut-down right now, even though social distancing was already preferable at the outdoor range, even before we had Covid-19 to contend with.

Being in Europe, I'm afraid that I cannot enjoy Larry's work. The costs would go far beyond $300!

I will try to lube the assembly regularly with ballistol, or the like, during any shooting trips to keep things somewhat freer.
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Old April 9, 2020, 02:25 PM   #15
maillemaker
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Quote:
I will try to lube the assembly regularly with ballistol, or the like, during any shooting trips to keep things somewhat freer.
It probably won't. When mine seized up, I would dribble Ballistol onto the action, and this would get me 1 or 2 more shots before it seized up again.

I tried every kind of recommended lubricant on the gas check plate. It did not make any difference.

You might get lucky though.

Steve
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Old April 9, 2020, 05:38 PM   #16
Hawg
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When mine started to seize I could drop the lever til it started getting hard and then close it. Do that three or four times and it would be completely open. It was a pain but it would keep going that way.
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Old April 10, 2020, 01:05 AM   #17
Pond, James Pond
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Surely its easier to just drop out the breechlock and give it a scrub with a stiff plastic brush...

No?
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Old April 10, 2020, 10:55 PM   #18
Hawg
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Surely its easier to just drop out the breechlock and give it a scrub with a stiff plastic brush...

No?
Easier but messier.
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Old April 11, 2020, 02:19 AM   #19
Pond, James Pond
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....but messier
I'm pretty sure that is half the goal of BP shooting!
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Old April 11, 2020, 03:03 PM   #20
Hawg
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I'm pretty sure that is half the goal of BP shooting!
Not for me. I don't mind messy when I'm cleaning but not while I'm shooting. That's the main reason I don't use over ball lube with revolvers.
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Old April 13, 2020, 08:39 AM   #21
maillemaker
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Yeah it would be a big, dirty, pain in the butt to pull the breech block at the range and clean it. But yes, you could do it. And then have to do it again after the next 10 shots.
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Old April 13, 2020, 08:51 AM   #22
Pond, James Pond
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Then I'll have to think about how to mitigate the fouling problems of the Sharps...

One thing is for sure: no BP experts in Estonia!
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Old April 13, 2020, 02:42 PM   #23
maillemaker
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Someone told me that spraying "PAM" on the gas check plate would help, but I don't believe it. Pam is an aerosol vegetable oil. But I tried white lithium grease, and a "high pressure grease" from McMaster-Carr, and neither helped. Can't imagine PAM would work where those failed.

But, you could try it.

Steve
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Old April 16, 2020, 06:38 AM   #24
eastbank
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go with the brass cases and your action will work way better. i used a dental pic to remove the fired cases.
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Old April 16, 2020, 08:51 AM   #25
Pond, James Pond
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i used a dental pic to remove the fired cases.
Dental pick?!

I’ve gone way classier than that: electrical copper core wrapped around an old champagne cork and bent into a hook at the end!

Bringing urbane sophistication to BP shooting...
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