Should I get this rifle???

Support for the 1863 shooter. Discussions of powders, loads, bullets, etc.
Top Dog
Posts: 268
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:51 am
Location: North East USA

Should I get this rifle???

Post by Top Dog » Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:35 am

I have the opportunity to purchase an 1863 Saddle cal 54 from Goodman Guns in MT. This one was made in Farmington and would be a new type of loading for me as I am used to shooting my Sharps 45/70.

I am on the fence on making this purchase and was wondering if I should or not. Yes,I can afford it but I need another piece like I need a hole in the head.

Is the loading that much different??? I know that you put the bullet then the powder in the breech and cap it.

I am interested in getting started in this new area of BP shooting.

Need the advice,should I make the purchase. I think I already know the answers I will get.

Top Dog
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Choose them soft and sweet
Yopu never know which ones you're gonna eat

jackrabbit
Posts: 1382
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:04 pm
Location: Carpenter Wyoming

Re: Should I get this rifle???

Post by jackrabbit » Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:38 am

YES!! Snatch it up now before someone else gets it!! Hope this helps, take care, Cody

Top Dog
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:51 am
Location: North East USA

Re: Should I get this rifle???

Post by Top Dog » Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:54 am

Cody,
I did not need much of a push,but thank you for getting me off the fence.

I will be sending Mr.Goodman and e-mail right after this to tell him to hold on to it and I will send him a check next week when he is back open for business.

Where do I go to get loading information for the 1863????? Probably right here,correct?

I will be ordering 54 cal mould so I can start making some bullets for my new piece.

Final question,where do I put it/?? Both vaults are filled???

Top Dog
Be carefull of the words you speak
Choose them soft and sweet
Yopu never know which ones you're gonna eat

George Babits
Posts: 177
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Re: Should I get this rifle???

Post by George Babits » Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:29 pm

You can store it in my safe!! Goodman was a bit high though. A couple of months ago I bought a Farmingdale military rifle in 54 caliber for around $1500 off GunBroker. Also, a couple of years ago I got a very nice original Sharps .54 carbine original that was missing a few parts which I was able to replace with originals. Has a great bore and no pitting of the breech. Total cost was less than $1800. I haven't shot it yet.

Now as to loading and shooting: I use the Lyman 54 caliber minie and 70 grains of FFFg. There are probably more original bullets available, but I've had very good luck with the hollow base. If you can get the book there are instructions for making the paper cartridges. There is probably information on the www as well. I like to use nitrated paper cartridges, but it takes time to make them, The extra KNO3 makes the powder burn cleaner. Get a 1/2 aluminum rod to roll the paper cartridges on if you want to go that way. You can get SPECTRACIDE "STUMPOUT" which is 97% KNO3. It is about %6.50/pound on Amazon. I bought 4 pounds to get up to the free shipping amount. That is probably a lifetime supply. Hard to find on the shelf these days.

In reality you don't need the nitrated paper. Newspaper pretty well disappears if you make cartridges out of them. Also, the Subway sandwich wrappers. I got a half dozen clean ones just for asking last time I was at a Subway.

Hann makes "tubes" which are designed for these rifles. I'm an incurable cheapskate and won't pay the 10 cents each for them. I know there are people on this site that use them.

These rifles and carbines are both fun and ecconomical shooting. Probably this winter I will get "brave" and drill/tap the tang of mine for an MVA sight as I don't do well with the open sights.

George
Salmon, Idaho

Top Dog
Posts: 268
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:51 am
Location: North East USA

Re: Should I get this rifle???

Post by Top Dog » Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:05 pm

George,
I kind of figured one of you folks would offer "rental space" in your safe for my "new" Sharps!!!
I guess pretty much paper cartridges are the way to go although I guess loose powder would be OK but a bit messy.

I used to see "stumpout" on the hardware store shelves years ago but no longer.

I see you are from Salmon. Did you happen to know Elmer Keith. I was just reading one of his books about his hunting Buffalo. Being that it was printed in 1965,the statements about the almost non-existant herds is pretty much a thing of the past.

I was thinking of trying to go on a buffalo hunt but I am not about to put a Sharps in the hold of a plane for the handlers to "loose". Being that they "lost" 1200 firearms last year,I do not want mine to be one of them. Besides me a TSA really do not get along too well.

I did see a hunt in PA about 300 miles from me but that is pretty much a canned hunt,not to my liking.

Thank you for the information.

Top Dog
Be carefull of the words you speak
Choose them soft and sweet
Yopu never know which ones you're gonna eat

George Babits
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Re: Should I get this rifle???

Post by George Babits » Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:41 pm

Yes, I used to see "Stump Remover" on the shelves too, but not anymore. There is another product called "Stump Out" produced by Bonide. it is NOT KNO3. You want to be sure you get the right stuff. The Spectracyde is 97% KNO3. I can't remember if that is marked on the container or not. I looked up the MSDS sheets on the internet to be sure. Back in the 1980's when I had another paper cartridge Shiloh, a chemist told me about that.

When we moved up here in 1981 we lived in town and Keith was just 4 or 5 houses south of us. A few months after we got here he went into a rest home in Boise so I never had a chance to meet him, although we had coresponded off and on since back in the 1960s.

I've gotten a couple of buffalo, both cows for meat. Used an original 1874 Sharps that had been rebarreled before I got it. It was a 45-110 business rifle when I got it. Had the barrel milled octagonal and then turned half round. With some trading around I got a really good stock job on it. I think that ws about 1974 or so. Had it ever since.

George

Top Dog
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Location: North East USA

Re: Should I get this rifle???

Post by Top Dog » Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:53 am

My Sharps should be arriving late next week. I already ordered a .54 cal mold for it.
I thought that it would take the #11 caps that I use on the Ruger Old Army but I see that I have to use musket caps. They look a bit pricey.
I make my own caps with a Tap-O-Matic that I got from Forster (I think) a number of years ago.

I could make caps for less than a penny a piece.
Top Dog
Be carefull of the words you speak
Choose them soft and sweet
Yopu never know which ones you're gonna eat

George Babits
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Re: Should I get this rifle???

Post by George Babits » Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:06 am

Yes, the caps have gotten pretty pricey. Musket caps are hard to get here and #11 are expensive. Guess that is why I have always preferred a flintlock for muzzle loading. I have a couple of sources of natural flint so no cost for the "primer" other than a pinch of powder. I grab musket caps whenever I find them.

You can probably change the nipple for a smaller one to fit #11 caps, but they may not have enough flash for reliable ignition. Having done a fair amount of shooting in cold weather I much prefer the musket caps because, with their larger size, are a lot easier to handle with frozen fingers.

George

Straightneck
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Location: Western North Carolina

Re: Should I get this rifle???

Post by Straightneck » Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:36 am

they are pricey, but they are available at powder valley,,
http://powdervalleyinc.com/
SCHUETZEN MUSKET CAPS 4-WING PER 1000 $72.95
CCI U.S. MUSKET CAPS 4-WING PER 1000 $61.50

Question,, what is the difference in the two ?

Mason
Three "G's" made AMERICA GREAT
GOD-Girls-Guns

George Babits
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Re: Should I get this rifle???

Post by George Babits » Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:00 am

Yes, they are available, but it is the hazmat shipping fee that makes mail ordering them unaffordable when ordered in small lots. I had one of the local shops order me 1000 a couple of years ago; and last time I asked him he had another 1000 so I got them too. Well fixed now for the rifles and carbines that use them.

George

Top Dog
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:51 am
Location: North East USA

Re: Should I get this rifle???

Post by Top Dog » Sat Dec 03, 2016 12:32 pm

Straightneck,
I noticed that the musket caps from CCI are designated for "re-enactment" use and I think are not hot enough to set of a charge in the Sharps. Am I wrong on this???

I would order a large number to offset the hazardous shipping rip off charge.

Top Dog
Be carefull of the words you speak
Choose them soft and sweet
Yopu never know which ones you're gonna eat

Straightneck
Posts: 301
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:28 pm
Location: Western North Carolina

Re: Should I get this rifle???

Post by Straightneck » Sat Dec 03, 2016 2:52 pm

I agree the hazmat fee ups the price, since I also load lots of smokeless when I order powder I add primers, the local price on powder is high enough that a 5lb. powder order plus hazmat and shipping fees is less than 4lbs. powder at local price,, but for the fun of shooting still not all that expensive for just a 1000 Schuetzen caps and fees $115.00 is only 11-12 cents each, heck 22lr cost that much,,, it is what it is and it sure ain't 1970 prices anymore

Mason
Three "G's" made AMERICA GREAT
GOD-Girls-Guns

George Babits
Posts: 177
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:53 am

Re: Should I get this rifle???

Post by George Babits » Sat Dec 03, 2016 4:37 pm

I've been using the CCI "re-enactment" musket caps in my paper cartridge Sharps, a Parker Hale Enfield, and a Maynard. They are working fine for all three. It takes just as much fire to set off a blank as it does to shoot a live round. I think the last CCI musket caps I got locally were under $6.00/hundred. My dealer friend has a way to beat the hazmat fee on both powder and primers. Something to do with quantities ordered. As for powder and caps together - - I didn't think they would allow that since the primer/cap connotation, in today's burocracy, is the same as shipping dynamite and detonator caps together. I do remember when muskets were $1.00/100 and powder, in the can, was $1.25/pound; or $25 for the 25 pound keg. Last 22 long rifles I got were bulk packed Winchester and it worked out to 6 cents eack. Any more than that and I can shoot my 25-20 SS cheaper.

George

Top Dog
Posts: 268
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:51 am
Location: North East USA

Re: Should I get this rifle???

Post by Top Dog » Sun Dec 04, 2016 7:08 am

Straightneck & George,

Thank you for the advice. I will first go to Cabelas and Bass Pro to see if they have the musket caps before going on line.

Going back in time,and I am dating myself when I say this,I remember when a 500 round brick of Remington 22lr went for $8.00 and my first Winchester '94 was $58. over the counter. No forms,just a sales receipt. Gas was $0.29.9 a gallon. Standard primers were about $6.00 per M



I was glad to hear that the CCI "re-enactment" musket caps will set off the round in the Sharps,as I had heard some comments that they did not do too well.

Top Dog
Be carefull of the words you speak
Choose them soft and sweet
Yopu never know which ones you're gonna eat

Top Dog
Posts: 268
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:51 am
Location: North East USA

Re: Should I get this rifle???

Post by Top Dog » Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:14 am

My "new" 1863 Sharps arrived yesterday and it is perfect!!!
Hopefully the LEE mold will arrive soon so I can start casting some bullets for it.
A trip to Cabelas tomorrow to see if they have musket caps,if not,I will have to go online.

Top Dog
Be carefull of the words you speak
Choose them soft and sweet
Yopu never know which ones you're gonna eat

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