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  #1  
Old 03-22-2020, 08:50 PM
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David LaPell David LaPell is offline
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Default Cimarron Arms Chiappa Sharps Carbine .50-70 Government

I finally got my hands on a Sharps 1863 carbine last month, this one being a Chiappa version, Shiloh Sharps no longer offers this one anymore. Not to mention I wanted something different than .45-70 so I went with the .50-70 Government.
With the weather and of course the panic over everything, it took a while to get to the range, which I did this past week. I found brass and bullets easy enough and found a Lyman mold but I haven't cast for it yet, I bought fifty 50 bullets from Montana Bullet Works, these being 425 grain #515141's. I loaded it with 12 grains of Unique which is on the lower end of the power band. I finally got it to the range, I only fired a couple rounds just to see where it ends up. I threw the first one to the right, but the next three grouped pretty nicely, at 30 yards the group is about 1 1/4". Recoil is pleasant, and the sound the gun makes is enough to make you get the vapors.
The Chiappa gun is beautiful, case coloring is excellent, and the gun is just a joy overall. Can't wait to load up some more rounds and stretch it out a bit.







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Old 03-23-2020, 09:19 AM
ACP230 ACP230 is offline
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Very nice!
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Old 03-23-2020, 10:35 AM
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Beautiful! Do you hold it whils't watching "Quigley down under?" lol
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Old 03-23-2020, 11:13 AM
Wyatt Burp Wyatt Burp is offline
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That’s a good one. I like the Cimarron .50 “McNelly” Sharps that looked just like yours. If you want to see your gun, or one close to it in a movie, watch either version of True Grit.
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Old 03-23-2020, 01:56 PM
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Big hunks of lead will do the job.
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:03 PM
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Is there a big differences between .50/70 and .45/70 ?
The U.S. Army went from .50/70 to .45/70 so I assume that .45/70 was an improvement ?
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyj View Post
Is there a big differences between .50/70 and .45/70 ?
The U.S. Army went from .50/70 to .45/70 so I assume that .45/70 was an improvement ?
I can speak a bit from experience as I owned original Sharps rifles in both 50-70 and 45-70. The 50 cal is similar to 20ga shotgun slugs. They leave a big hole. IIRC my history of Army cartidge evolution, the Civil War era sharps were originally 54 caliber breachloading percussion guns. When these rfles were changed to metalic cartridges from the 54 paper carts/tape primer , the barrels wer arsenal relined to the 50-70. Remington also made #1 Rolling blocks in this new cartridge.

The 45-70 carts gave better trajectory through higher velocity. I think the first military Shars in this cart were the Borchardts but I'm not sure of that. Springfield also made 50-70 chmberings in their trapdoor rifles but had switched to 45-70 by the 1873 model which Gen. George Custer carried to his death.

Single shot historians, please correct any errors my foggy memory injected.
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Old 03-23-2020, 07:24 PM
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The more I use the 50-70, the less use I have for the 45-70. I use a Springfield Single Shot Rifle (Trapdoor) Model 1866. The Model 1865 was converted from musket and was a 58 rim fire. The 1866 was also a converted musket but the bore was sleeved to 50 caliber. The next model, the 1868, used separate receivers and barrels as the surplus muskets started drying up.

The Sharps was converted by the carload with one of two methods. If the bore measured .52 or less, the barrel was merely rechambered for the 50- 70 cartridge. If the barrel measured more than .52, it was sleeved and chambered for the 50-70.

Because mine is the converted musket, I use black powder only. The converted muskets are the “weak trapdoors” of history. (The Model 1868s and beyond that had separate barrels and receivers are actually quite a bit stronger than some would believe.)

The switch to the smaller bore, 45-70, followed other countries doing similar. It gave a flatter trajectory and may have weighed less but neither was a decisive issue.

Both cartridges belted the lightweight troopers of the day. Eventually, Springfield came out with a Carbine load, a 405 grain bullet loaded on top of 55 grains of powder. Still a formidable load it less punishing on the shoulder.

Anyway, enjoy your Sharps! I recommend black powder and soft lead.

The big problem with the 1873 grain as not the action but the cartridge. The cartridge was built using inferior or improper cases that swelled when fired but did NOT spring back. The cartridge stuck to the chamber walls rendering the firearm useless.

Kevin
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Old 03-23-2020, 11:21 PM
Eltioloco Eltioloco is offline
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How cool is that!
The 50 Sharp’s carbine has been on my buy list since I was 10 years old.
I have a Chiapas Spencer rifle and Chiapas did an OK job on that.
Is Chiapas still building this model?
Ken

Last edited by Eltioloco; 03-24-2020 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:47 AM
TIMETRIPPER TIMETRIPPER is offline
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I have an old New York State Militia rolling block in 57-70. It is a hoot to shoot and not too bad in the accuracy department despite the crappy military sights. You will want to get a copy of Croft Barkers "The 50-70 Shooter's Handbook" to guide you on reloading and shooting that sweet carbine. It has lot's of good info and history on the rifle and cartridge.

John
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