Suggestions for a rifle in BP shooting

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  • Last Post 01 April 2023
Sirius63 posted this 07 May 2021

Hi everyone,

After shooting a couple of BP rifles at my local range im interested in starting to shoot with my own gun. Ive shot some form of muskatoon, and a Springfield trapdoor (I think). Im less interested in muzzle loading and more interested in single shot cartridge rifles. It's unlikely that I will regularly shoot beyond 100yds, occasionally up to 300, but probably very unlikely beyond that. I have an open mind about original guns v modern reproductions. I would like to be able to play around with loads and bullets in the search for consistency and accuracy. Similarly, I have an open mind regarding caliber, but would like to be readily able to source brass and bullets. 

I would greatly welcome any feedback/suggestions.

Enjoy the weekend wherever you find yourself.

Regards

Ralph

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Tom Acheson posted this 07 May 2021

Original old Sharps, for example, will be costly and should only use loads composed of black powder.

If you like the looks of a Sharps Model 74, (see the movie Quigley Down Under) there are two domestic makers of reproductions. Shiloh Sharps and C Sharps Arms (CSA) , both located in Big Timber, Montana. If you want specific features on a Shiloh, you could be in for a long wait. CSA delivery times have been much shorter.

1885 Winchester High and Low wall reproductions are popular. Remington Rolling Blocks are frequently seen. CPA rifles makes reproductions of older rifle designs.

This is just a starter list. There are other sources.

Tom

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Ross Smith posted this 09 May 2021

32-40 are fun to shoot, accurate, and will bang a gong out 300 yds just fine.

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Dale53 posted this 09 May 2021

I competed seriously for fifteen years in Black Powder Cartridge Silhouette. The best rifle out there is the Browning 1885 Single Shot. It is not only beautiful, it is a DANDY! If I had not lost the vision in my right eye, I would have continued to compete. My choice in caliber was 40/65, but 45/70 is a great choice, also!

FWIW

Dale53

 

 

 

,

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Sirius63 posted this 09 May 2021

Thanks Dale, and Ross,

 

Plenty of research required

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Bud Hyett posted this 09 May 2021

There is good discussion in this thread. My experience is with several rifles, I found reloading the black powder cartridge is another key factor. This requires more time in reloading and testing. Paul Matthews and Pat Wolfe both have good books that will give you a baseline to start

I definitely favor the modern guns since owning both an original Sharps (that I traded six months before "Quigley Down under" came out) and a Shiloh Sharps. The Shiloh is extremely accurate and fun to shoot. I also own a Browning 1885, not the long range target model, that is accurate plus two rebuilt Remington Rolling Blocks. 

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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beltfed posted this 23 May 2021

Just now there is a good deal on a Browning BPCR rifle, cal 40-65 

over on the ASSRA buy/sell forum. (No, I am not the one selling it)

These are great shooters, easy to build accurate loads. Make brass from 45-70 or Starline 40-65 brass.

beltfed/arnie

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Sirius63 posted this 23 May 2021

Thanks friend- and if I was in the USA I’d certainly give it a look, but it’s an awful long way from Northumberland 👍

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Lucky1 posted this 29 May 2021

Being in the UK is a slight twist compared to being here in the land of plenty. Are you currently a reloader? Besides the Martini Henry and Snider being obvious candidates, you may want to consider a Rolling Block. 12mm Swedes are pretty easy to make ammo for. They made a number of other calibers too. We've also resurrected 71 and 71/84 mausers, Vetterli's and Werndels. The continent had alot of good 19th century choices. A good source of info would be to find some more local shooters to guide you through some of hurdles we don't know about. Then if you have some specific issues crop up, we could help you better.

Scott Ingle

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bullshop posted this 31 March 2023

I would suggest keeping the caliber small for a couple reasons  One is component cost where small uses less.  The other is recoil stress from a long day of shooting.  As for gun types and cartridges the choices are endless.  If nostalgia is not an issue one venue also with endless possibilities is to go with the TC single shot either contender or encore then go with a custom barrel from one of the several suppliers.  

Another thing to look at is component availability.  Before I ever chose a cartridge to chamber to I would first hunt for brass.  Bullets are not a problem but brass certainly can be.

There are so many ways to get into this with endless choices for platforms deciding which one is the biggest challenge .  My personal collection contains originals, replica's, custom conversions. modern commercial  and combinations of those.  My most recent is a Hoch single shot action chambered for the 25 hornet which is of course a wildcat made by necking up the 22 hornet case to 25 caliber.  This is an absolutely fun rifle to shoot with a miserly appetite for components using readily available brass.  It is extremely accurate with plain base cast bullets with almost no noticeable recoil all points that keep the fun factor high.

Choose wisely grasshopper !

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Bud Hyett posted this 01 April 2023

Having owned a .50-110 and .45-90 three decades ago before their brass became more available, easily acquired brass is my first thought. Making .50-110 from .348 Winchester required three annealings and six sizing steps to be safe. In the sense of "easily acquired", the .40-65 can be easily made from .45-70 in one pass.

Let me state at the beginning, I love my Shiloh Sharps. But with light smokeless loads, you can feel that side hammer impact the action in a twist. I prefer a straight-line hammer strike. The Remington Rolling Block, Winchester High Wall and Low Wall, Stevens 44 1/2 are commercially available today at reasonable prices. (I have two CPA Stevens 44 1/2 rifles and am very satisfied with them.)

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 01 April 2023

i vote for the versions of the Stevens 44 1/2 ..... mostly because if you happen to have a fetish for fine gun stuff ...

as some of us do ....

on days when your wife hates you ... and your dog bites your hand ... again ...

you can always just fiddle with that amazing rifle ... don't need to even shoot it ... work of art ...  and know that all is actually all right with the world ... let others solve their own problems ... you have solved yours ...

ken

oh, if it is in 32-40, you have truly sinned but are forgiven ...

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RicinYakima posted this 01 April 2023

That is why my only 1874 Sharps is a 50/70 (short barreled hunting rifle) with open sights, not accurate enough for target, knocks animals over. The Winchester 1885's are 30WCF with tang sight and bubble globe and 40/50 Sharps Straight with a 4X scope. 

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