My Shiloh Journey

Talk with other Shiloh Sharps shooters.

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Griff
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My Shiloh Journey

Post by Griff » Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:52 pm

A couple of months ago, I started a thread here to ask a specific question about the differences between a couple of Shiloh models (that thread is available here: https://www.shilohrifle.com/forums/view ... =2&t=26718). In that thread, I mentioned that I’ve been around here for a while, but finally ordered a Shiloh rifle (shall I say “my first”?) and now I’m in the waiting period and making the decisions regarding the details. Although my other thread was initially just one question, it of course led to further discussion of the various options that I’m considering. I thought that, as I continue with this journey, I should create a more generic thread.

Again, my overarching goal for this rifle is for a fairly standard or typical rifle that could be found on the hunting grounds during the early days of the buffalo hunt. I don’t plan on any serious competition or hunting with this rifle—it’s more for the experience. I may make a couple of departures from the most common features chosen due to personal preference, but at least I want something that was available in those days. This is all just in case I step into a time-warp and end up on the buffalo range. I don’t want to have my fellow buffalo hunters looking at me like I’m someone from the future or something.

Since I last wrote under that thread, I’ve done some more specific reading in these pages and I’m still learning. One of the main things that I’ve learned is that every once in a while, someone like me comes along and starts a thread about the “typical buffalo rifle”, saying that they are planning on having Shiloh make them one. Then starts the discussion, which is often very similar to the last discussion. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel here, so I’ll try to avoid questions that have already been asked and answered.

At this point, I don’t have any burning questions but I wanted to bring you up to date. It seems that people here like to discuss these rifles and offer suggestions, so I want to give everyone a chance to join in.

I’m over a year away from needing to finalize my decisions with Shiloh, but I’m still kind of locked in on a couple of decisions anyway. One of those is caliber. I considered all of the early Sharps calibers, but I am kind of drawn to .44-77 for this rifle. The fifty calibers were also in the running, but several aspects of the .44-77 was attractive to me. A major downside of that caliber, of course, is the availability of brass. What I intended to do was to watch the market and see if I could come up with a good supply of .44-77 brass during this waiting period. If it got down to the wire without any good options, then I’d lean towards one of the other calibers. Well, Buffalo Arms formed brass came back in stock and I decided to order some over the weekend. I wanted to make sure that I’m set for a while, so I ordered 200 pieces. That kind of locks me in on caliber. Of course if some compelling reason comes along in the next year for me to change my mind, I can likely sell the .44 brass, but I think that I’ll stick with it.

The other decision that I’m (sort of) locked into for now is the rear sight. I managed to come up with one of the Distant Thunder sights that mimic the early Sharps tang sights. Now that I have that in hand, I’ll likely use that with this rifle, at least for the time-being.

As for the other details, I’m planning on a Hartford Model with a (somewhat less common) 32” polished heavy octagon barrel. I’ll ask for the 7 degree chamber leade. I’ll just get the standard wood with a military buttplate. I’m going to ask for fireblued screws and a semi-buckhorn rear sight. For the front sight, I’m debating between a globe (like Shiloh’s #111), a standard blade or maybe an MVA Beech/Beach-type combination sight. I may ask for a blade sight even if I get one of the others so that I can try both.

That’s where I’m at in my journey so far. In the meantime, I’m spending a lot more time here reading and learning about bullet designs for this caliber, loading tricks, and of course the history. Thanks again to all of you for the input and guidance that you’ve offered based upon your experience!

Griff

PS-- The Google custom search link that someone else created has been a huge help in my research. It's available here: https://cse.google.com/cse?cx=008826067 ... oagmmgcm6g
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Lumpy Grits
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Re: My Shiloh Journey

Post by Lumpy Grits » Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:23 pm

With the 7* leade. You plan on PP then?
The std chamber shoots both very well. :wink:
Why don't you call Shiloh, and talk with Kirk or Lucinda.......
I much prefer the MVA Soule sight over the Sharps style sight.
What's your background in loading BP ammo for these rifles?
The .44-77 can be a bit finicky=frustrating.
Gary
"Hav'n you along, is like loose'n two good men"

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kenny s
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Re: My Shiloh Journey

Post by kenny s » Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:29 pm

listen to Lumpy. he's right. bottleneck cases can be difficult. In the late 1800's Sharps went to straight cases and they were right.
Ken

Clarence
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Re: My Shiloh Journey

Post by Clarence » Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:45 pm

If you do very much shooting, you will probably quickly come to appreciate the shotgun butt with the steel buttplate. It only takes one shot with the military buttplate too low on your shoulder to make a very painful bruise...

The 32" heavy octagon will probably weigh 12.5-13 lbs. Some will say that's too heavy for hunting, but I carried a #3 in that configuration for a week in Africa and did just fine with it--I even showed up another hunter who was scared to death of the .30-06 he was shooting, hitting a blesbok in the ham from 100 yd. with a rest, while I hit mine in the heart from 190 yd.

Clarence

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Don McDowell
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Re: My Shiloh Journey

Post by Don McDowell » Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:52 pm

As this is mostly intended as a hunting gun, and you already have the Distant Thunder tang sight, just stick with the barrel sights that come on the rifle. You will likely end up filing that front sight down a tad, to regulate that rear sight.
I watched a fella shoot a buck antelope the other day using an officers trapdoor fitted with a sight similar to that DT sight and a german silver front blade. 1 shot 145 yards in the rain and drizzle, and it was all over and done.

P.S, if you have Kirk use the reamer with the 7 degree lead built in it will handle patched or grooved bullets with ease and accuracy.
AKA Donny Ray Rockslinger :?

Kurt
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Re: My Shiloh Journey

Post by Kurt » Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:09 pm

Lumpy,
Kenny.

The only thing that makes a .44-77 or the .44-90 BN hard to make shoot or get frustrating to make shoot is finding brass.... :roll: :lol:
The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery"Winston Churchill

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J.B.
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Re: My Shiloh Journey

Post by J.B. » Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:35 pm

I'd agree with Kurt with regard your choice of 44 x 2 1/4". Once correct cases were located ..the calibre has been a joy to shoot and no harder to get to perform than others I've tried. I believe the standard Shiloh reamer for 44/77 has the 7 degree transition now... and it works a treat with gg or pp. You've 200 cases now which is a good start but I'd probably lay in another 50 every now and then as availability and finances allow just to be on the safe side. They will likely shorten up a little on fire forming as the shoulder fills out...so " try before you trim"... if indeed you need to trim at all. The Distant Thunder ..traditional sight will be a nice touch also. :)

rgds.. J.B.
"an experimental weapon..with experimental ammunition ? ...Lets experiment "

Yellowhouse
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Re: My Shiloh Journey

Post by Yellowhouse » Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:34 pm

Get the shotgun butt!

The 7 leade will work for greaser or PP but to use greasers depends on how tight the chamber is. Much less than .464 won't take a greaser but I bet Shiloh's reamer will work for both.

If brass is available by all means get the 44-77!
Sam

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VenisonRX
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Re: My Shiloh Journey

Post by VenisonRX » Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:43 pm

I’m with the other guys in the caliber choice. You should be fine no matter what you chose. Being consistent and methodical is the key. The process is the same. Some cartridges (or individual rifles for that matter) just take longer to find the sweet spot than others so you may have to try more things... one thing at a time... to find it. Some don’t have the desire, time, or patience for that. Others enjoy the process.
—Tom

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VenisonRX
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Re: My Shiloh Journey

Post by VenisonRX » Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:03 pm

Certainly not meant as a stab at traditionally less picky calibers. I learned on 45-70 and started with smokeless because I didn’t have the desire to spend the time and money figuring out black powder. Eventually I wanted to challenge myself and made the switch and it’s quite enjoyable figuring it out now.
—Tom

Griff
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Re: My Shiloh Journey

Post by Griff » Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:08 pm

Thanks, gents. The caliber choice has been a struggle, but I'm comfortable with my choice. I've been loading for 45-70 for some time for my Pedersoli Sharps and this will be a retirement project, so I'm not opposed to a challenge. I'm also not depending on long-range precision from this rifle.

As for the shotgun butt, I was a little torn there too. I like the look of the checkered shotgun butt plate and that was my first inclination. My Pedersoli has a military butt and I know how it feels to get that one a little misplaced when the trigger is pulled. My first criterion with this rifle, though, was the historical configuration and I just haven't seen shotgun buttstocks on the early rifles. No doubt someone will chime in an prove me wrong, but the military style butt seems to be the most common by far. Since I have some idea of the disadvantages of the military butt, I'm comfortable with that choice too (maybe my shoulder will be less comfortable, but it will be authentic pain).

Someone asked me about PP bullets. I have not explored paper patching before, but that is something that I'd like to try, thus the 7 degree leade. I will likely start with greasers, but I hope to branch out before too long.

I did think of one question for the group. Ideally I'd buy a bullet mould and have everything ready to go before the rifle arrives. Is it safe to order my mould based upon the standard Shiloh dimensions or should I wait and slug the barrel? With my other guns I've always slugged the bore prior to ordering a mould, so that seems to be the safe thing to do.

Keep up the comments!

Griff
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Don McDowell
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Re: My Shiloh Journey

Post by Don McDowell » Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:26 pm

Starting with a greaser have Steve Brooks cut one of his original postel bullet at no longer than 1.3 inches long
.447 or 448 diameter
AKA Donny Ray Rockslinger :?

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Lumpy Grits
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Re: My Shiloh Journey

Post by Lumpy Grits » Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:42 pm

Don McDowell wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:26 pm
Starting with a greaser have Steve Brooks cut one of his original postel bullet at no longer than 1.3 inches long
.447 or 448 diameter
THIS :!:
Again, I suggest you call Shiloh and speak with Kirk or Lucinda. :wink:
Gary
"Hav'n you along, is like loose'n two good men"

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Don McDowell
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Re: My Shiloh Journey

Post by Don McDowell » Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:45 pm

And just to cover both bases have him cut you one of his Sharps style dual diameter paper patch bullet. 1.3 inches long and .435 on the base,
AKA Donny Ray Rockslinger :?

Griff
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Re: My Shiloh Journey

Post by Griff » Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:57 pm

Lumpy Grits wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:42 pm
Again, I suggest you call Shiloh and speak with Kirk or Lucinda. :wink:
Don't worry. I will be talking to them before I finalize the details! I'm pursuing my research from several different angles, but I know that it would be foolish not to take advantage of their expertise!

Griff
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