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Old March 24, 2011, 11:13 PM   #1
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falling Block, Rolling Block, Trap Door, Tip Up

I don't have any experience with BPCR guns, but I have been shooting and reloading rifles and handguns for 50 years now. I have shot blackpowder (a flintlock Hawken) but not BPCR. Some smokeless actions are generaly more accurate than others, i.e. bolt actions are generaly more accurate than lever actions and pump actions. Now don't go balistic on me, I know that there are some very accurate rifles out there of all types of actions, but as a general rule what I said is true. Now among BPCR rifles what are the inherrently more acurate actions. Are falling block actions more acurate than trap door actions? How about rolling blocks or tip-up (top break) actions?
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Old March 24, 2011, 11:44 PM   #2
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Boy thats a tough one. I think if you ask 50 different folks you will get 50 different answers. I have been shooting BPCR for about 35 years and I still don't know what is the most accurate single shot action. The falling blocks are definitely the strongest followed by the tip-up style actions depending on who made them. I have seen some very fine rolling blocks and swinging blocks (Stevens 44) that may not be the strongest action in the world but they shoot extremely well. Mostly what you see at BPCR silhouette matches are the falling blocks and the rollers. I own some of both they all shoot very well. I haven't seen to many trap doors or tip-up's at silhouette shoots. Its really a matter of getting your hands on a good quality rifle and working up a load to shoot the style of shooting you want to do. Maybe go out to some of the matches and ask lots of questions you will find most shooters will be happy to show you what they shoot.

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Old March 25, 2011, 07:16 AM   #3
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Fallin block

I just bought an 1874 Sharps by Pedersoli about a month ago so I would say I'm partial to the falling blocks. It is a really good shooter out of the box and I'm working on a load to get it even better.

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Old March 25, 2011, 07:57 AM   #4
Mike Irwin
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I would say that yes, falling blocks are generally more inherently accurate than trapdoors simply because action block is better supported and has less flex on firing.
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Old March 25, 2011, 11:01 AM   #5
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I'd go with the falling block too. The Ruger #1 is a falling block action. I'd say the tip up is the least accurate but even they can be very accurate.
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Old March 25, 2011, 01:52 PM   #6
Gator Weiss
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You cant beat that falling block action.

If you want a good quality, authentically styled BPCR in single-shot form, the falling block action is probably the longest lasting and safest action you will find.

Many of the Sharps copies are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Also, the Ruger #3 can be obtained in BPCR chamberings and it will last you a lifetime. The Sharps style rifles look better and to some, they feel better. The ruger offers modern steel and retains value, and there are plenty of potential buyers for the#3 if you need to liquidate it if you decide you dont like it.

The 45-70 is a good cartrdige for you to begin with. There is plenty of components out there for it, plenty of brass, and it is easy to load.

If you want something different, something expensive and excellent, try Shiloh Sharps rifles. You can get them in the good old 45-70 or you can go all the way to the big 50-140. They cost a king's ransom, but they look fantastic, they shoot fantastic, and the steel and wood in them is good stuff.

If you are just experimenting, find one of the little break-over H&R topper style guns in 45-70. H&R is not making them, another company has the patterns and is making them - I cant remember the name - but it is the model 158 topper pattern style breakover. They are ugly, they feel a little strange to shoulder and fire, but they most certainly work very well and they do last. They are by no means "authentic" in old world style. But you can get different barrels for it, and you can experiment with it.

Trapdoor is a favored gun by many - my first rifle ever was a trapdoor and I still have it and enjoy it - but you have to keep in mind the action can be weak and you have to keep those loads relatively down. Wonderful rifles and carbines in the trapdoor, but you have to know what you are doing if you intend to load your own cartridges for this rifle.

A rifle that I have been searching for is the 1888 Siamese Mauser conversions that Navy Arms sold off years ago - these were converted to 45-70. Hard to find, but an excellent conversion.

Another attractive idea is the Gibbs Summit rifle - enfiled bolt action conversion to 45-70. Gunsmith can ream that chamber out very quickly to accept 45-90, and that will fit into the magazine well with no modification. It is no longer being produced, but occasionally you run across them on auction sites.
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Old March 25, 2011, 04:58 PM   #7
Ideal Tool
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Hello, Jimmin Texas. As far as accuracy goes, the Ballard and Stevens 44 1/2, probably have the edge because of their camming action, which can seat a ctg. case positively every time. For this reason, these actions were very popular...especially the Ballard for match rifles, especially .22 R.F. by makers such as Pope, Zischang, and Schoyen. However, there was an article in the Single Shot News, about an accuracy test between a Remington rolling block, and a Stevens 44 1/2. These were chambered in .25-20 S.S. I think. The Remington did a little better..but not by much. You can seat your bullet out a bit so the closing motion of the block,,be it either a roller, or Sharps seats it into the lands. I do this as it improves accuracy. While the trapdoor isn't thought of as a match gun now days, some mighty fine shooting was done by the military marksmen firing long range at Creedmoor. And speaking of Creedmoor matches, the split was nearly even..sometimes even favoring the long range creedmoor Remington rolling blocks, and later the Remington Hepburns, as opposed to the sidehammer 74' Sharps. And remember, these guys sought the latest state-of the-art rifles for this very serious international competition. When the Sharps Mod. 78', or Borchardt came out with it's hammerless action, there was quite a folllowing on both sides of the ocean, but it never really caught on with the hunters out west.

Last edited by Ideal Tool; March 25, 2011 at 05:05 PM.
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