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Thread: 50-90 Sharps

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    Member akula682's Avatar
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    Default 50-90 Sharps

    Does anyone know of some good web sites for the 50-90 Sharps? I have been looking but I cant seem to find anything. I am having a hard time getting 50 Alaskan brass from starline but they have 50-90 sharps in stock and I was tossing the idea around of just getting the Sharps... but I would like more info on it. Like can I use smokeless powder in it with my Encore or do I need to stick with black powder? I did find that the 50-90, 50-100, and 50-110 are all the same brass but can I use the same reloading dies (I assume I could, would just need to change the seating depth between the heavy and light rounds). I can find much info on reloading that I don't have to pay through the nose for... any help would be great.
    Josh
    Back in Afghanistan, I hope for the last time.

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    Dunno about the other points, but for years I've used 50-70 dies to load my 50-140. I'm not pushing pressures with smokeless and swelling the cases much, but it sure works fine with BP and sub loads. From the BP side rather than smokeless, Buffalo Arms Co is a great source of info, components and accessories. The BPCRA is a great source of info, but requires some digging around. Google Black Powder Cartridge Rifle, and you'll get an avalanche of sites. As for modern smokeless loads, dunno.

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    Go to Shiloh Sharps (http://www.shilohrifle.com/). They are expensive but well worth the wait. Mine shoots wonderful and kills moose with aplomb! Since black powder is difficult to get it Southeast Alaska I use 5744. You don't need to hot-rod it beyond BP velocities either. I would not hesitate to shoot a brown bear with this rifle, I'm pushing a 500 grain lead bullet at 1500 fps and it went through two vertebra in a moose and exited out the bottom of the chest; both vertebra were pulverized (I shot down from a high vantage point). You can sometimes get one by contacting Jim Kidwell (jekidwell@bellsouth.net or 770.330.1505). He buys new sharps rifles and then resells them. Jim

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    Thanks for the info guys.


    Quote Originally Posted by jdb3 View Post
    Go to Shiloh Sharps(http://www.shilohrifle.com/). They are expensive but well worth the wait. Mineshoots wonderful and kills moose with aplomb!

    Ive been looking to get one since I saw Quigley Down Underback in the early 90’s, not sure I want to pay the $4k for the “Quigley” modelbut I am still looking at the $2k models… it may take me a bit longer to makethe call but im sure I will. (looking at the “1874 Long Range Express” and the “1874 Sporter #3” and maybe the “1874 MontanaRoughrider”)
    Glad to hear that they shoot really well!
    Im just not sure what peep sight to get… and as much as theveneer sights cost I don’t want to screw this one up. I may, shortly before Ileave Afghanistan, put a call in for one and tell them I will pick it up on theway to Alaska and pick out my Rear Tang sight on my way across the country so Ican make a more informed decision by getting a “hands on” feel for them.
    Josh
    Back in Afghanistan, I hope for the last time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akula682 View Post
    Im just not sure what peep sight to get…
    I'd get the rifle and worry about the vernier sight later, if you ever get around to it. I have a nice one on my 50-140, but almost never flip it up and use it. The barrel mounted rear sight is what I use hunting and most of the time for casual shooting. Let the "right" gun jump up and bite you for now, then someday just the right sight will announce itself to you.

    BTW- JDB3's experiences with a 500 @ 1500 correspond with my own. I'm usually shooting 600's at about the same speed, but they kill like high speed freight trains. For that matter, lotta guys are pushing their 400's a lot faster from 45-70's at 1900 or so, but I find they're just dandy down around 1500. You can beat yourself and your gun senseless with lots hotter loads, but why?

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    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    I completely agree with BrownBear. I've wanted to try a larger bullet but have had such good luck with the 500 gr that I haven't tried the 600+ yet. All you need to do is ask the nice ladies at Shiloh which sight to get. they are most helpful. Unless you are shooting over 300 yards you don't really need the tang sight. I got the full buckhorn rear sight (shot to many muzzle loaders) and since it is a Lawrence type sight you can shoot out to around 500 yards with it. Order it and don't look back, you will really enjoy it. I had the wood upgraded but nothing else. Just love it. Jim

    PS. look at my avitar to see the wood on this rifle!

    JIM'S BULL 05.jpg

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    sounds good on the sight. And im not looking to beat the heck outta my shoulder, I like the big odd ball rifles that toss heavy slow moving chunks of metal. I have 2 “magnums” a 338WM that I bought 20 years ago and I haven’t used it in over 15 years, and I just got a 375HH for my encore…then a buddy here in Afghanistan suggested the 50 Alaskan to me and that was pretty much it (I was asking for a cool odd ball cal for Alaskan hunting). I have mostly non magnums now, a 280Rem, 338Fed, 6.5 Grendel for my encore (that im thinking of making a 260Rem) a 25 year old 30-30 and a 454 Casull… and that’s about it.

    But like I said earlier, I cant get brass for it now and I was starting to wonder about the bigger stuff and this would be a good excuse to get the Shiloh.
    so how does your brass do... does it stretch too much, how many reloading's does it last?
    What kind of dies are you using?
    Which model Shiloh is that, looks sweet, and what did you upgrade on the wood, checkering or just up the quality of wood?

    Any other info you can give would be really helpful.
    Thanks
    Josh
    Back in Afghanistan, I hope for the last time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akula682 View Post
    ...so how does your brass do... does it stretch too much, how many reloading's does it last?
    Can't say for sure what Shiloh is selling these days, but the 50-140 I got from them long ago is BELL. At the low pressures involved the stuff lasts forever. Be careful of how much you bell the case mouths for bullet seating, because that's where the work hardening will occur and you'll get case mouth splits without annealing. I just barely bell mine, then use a carefully adjusted crimp die to knock the bell back out rather than true "crimping."

    I got two boxes (40 cases) about 15 years ago, and I'm still reloading 38 of them. Lost one in the grass and gave one away to a friend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I got two boxes (40 cases) about15 years ago, and I'm still reloading 38 of them. Lost one in the grass andgave one away to a friend.


    So I guess the 500 that I was going to get from Starline will last me at least a few years then… lol
    Josh
    Back in Afghanistan, I hope for the last time.

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    I bought 250 cases from Starline and will probably never wear them out (I'm still using Federal cases I bought in the 80's for my 45-70 and they seem to last forever). Go to the Shiloh forum (http://www.shilohrifle.com/forums/) to get really good information. I had to anneal the Starline cases because they are very big and not real ductile until they are annealed. Not a difficult task and there are plenty of helpful posters on the forum, including Mike Venturino, who wrote the book on using Sharps rifles.

    I started with the Montana Roughrider but switched to the No 1 Sporter. I really like the pistol grip over the straight stock model. I did not have the pewter tip put on it because this is a hunting rifle and I did not want the reflection. Only upgrade was the extra fancy wood. I did have the shotgun butt put on it too. Don't worry about recoil, not any worse than your normal non-magnum rifles (at least with the 500 grain bullet). I shot 130 rounds the first outing and did not feel it at all the next day.

    I'm using Lyman dies, go to midway USA, they have everything you will need including bullet molds, I'm using the 515-500 mold. Jim

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    PS, Shiloh usually has a rifle give-away to active duty military each year. Look for it and register. Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdb3 View Post
    PS, Shiloh usually has a rifle give-away to active duty military each year. Look for it and register. Jim
    Thanks for the heads up but im a private contractor now. What kind of BP do you guys use? Ive only used Pyrodex P in a BP pistol, how is the Pyrodex RS?
    Josh
    Back in Afghanistan, I hope for the last time.

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    RS is a much better choice for the 50-90 due to its bulk. I bet you'd need to use fiber spacers with the P.

    Gotta watch the Pyrodex though. The residue from firing has perchlorates in it, and they're NASTY on steel if you don't get them completely out. Much worse than black powder residue if your cleaning isn't perfect. I use the RS when my supplies of real black are low, but the real black (Goex 2f in my 50-140) is sure a lot easier to clean well. I know, Hodgdon claims Pyro is easier to clean, but they're full of beans. It might look clean after a quick wash, but those perchlorates..... I've seen nasty things happen in apparently clean guns after months of storage.

    Lotta long range competitive shooters use Scheutzen powder because it cleaner and more consistent than any other true black. Nice stuff, but quite a bit more expensive.

    Another possibility for you is Triple Seven. It's more expensive than Pyrodex, but uses a little less volume. Almost certainly have to use spacer wads even with 2f, but that stuff really is better about cleaning.

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    As I said before, with the difficulty in obtaining BP here in SE I use 5744. I use 38 grains with the 500 grain bullet for 1500 fps. 5744 will not detonate due to small amounts of powder in the round and it is accurate. I have some BP and have played with it but not enough to help you out with your question. Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdb3 View Post
    As I said before, with the difficulty in obtaining BP here in SE I use 5744. I use 38 grains with the 500 grain bullet for 1500 fps. 5744 will not detonate due to small amounts of powder in the round and it is accurate. I have some BP and have played with it but not enough to help you out with your question. Jim
    I will be driving up and taking the ferry from WA state so I can bring some with me. But I like the idea of a small amount of powder driving it the same fps. but that begs the question, have you ever had a misfire due to so little powder in a large case? seems like there wouldn't be enough powder in there for the primer to ignite it if you had any kind of a down angle and all the powder was up front.
    Josh
    Back in Afghanistan, I hope for the last time.

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    Scroll down to the bottom of this page for an assortment of .510 wads used as fillers for loading BP cartridges. Dandy if you're using BP or one of the subs, but if you're worried about air space with the 5744, they'd take care of that too. I doubt they'd be needed in a case as "short" as the 50-90, but all the guys in the know recommend them for my 50-140. I just haven't got around to trying them yet, so that's secondhand.

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    On the Accurate Arms sight they explain the use of 5744 in large caliber rifles. It says:

    "This makes the powder very ignitable, which makes it ideal for low loading density applications, such as reduced loads on bottle neck rifle calibers, and low performance “straight case” designs, such as the old “black powder” calibers i.e. 45-70 45-110 50-110 etc.

    The powder is virtually insensitive to powder position, and there is no need for “fillers”. It will deliver consistent results at low performance levels. Although there will be some un-burnt powder (see paragraph below) the performance will remain consistent.

    Due to its ignitability, any strength rifle primer can be used."

    Hope that helps. Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdb3 View Post
    Hope that helps. Jim
    It does help, Thanks.
    Josh
    Back in Afghanistan, I hope for the last time.

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    I hope I can pick your brains a bit more... MGM can make me a 50-110 sharps they do not list a 50-90. I know a 50-90 will do the other two, 100, 110... but will there be any issues going the other way? I cant really think of any, but before I drop $1000 on everything I want to be sure.
    Josh
    Back in Afghanistan, I hope for the last time.

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    Sharps never loaded a "50-90" the case is really called 50 2 1/2. Most of the loads were with 100 t0 110 grains of BP over a 465 or so grain bullet (can't remember the exact weight of the bullet). You will have trouble getting that much powder in a modern case unless you compress your load. I'm not sure who MGM is. Hope that helps. Jim

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