new life, old Sharps

skunkmarshal
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:29 pm

new life, old Sharps

Postby skunkmarshal » Sat May 02, 2009 10:03 am

While back I acquired an original 74 Sharps in 44-90 DOM 1874. Bore is excellent. Two problems had to be solved to test the oldster for accuracy: 1) put on some decent sights 2) get the correct bullet

1) After much run around by the top tang sight makers I found one who would alter a base to fit on the gun without drilling/tapping sight base holes in the tang. No way, no how would I drill an extra hole or two in this gun!

2) I Used the MM design program and designed a bullet I thought would give the best chance at top accuracy in this gun. The groove diameter in "Billy Dixon" my nickname for this rifle, is .448. The throat is old style tapered. I selected single cavity, iron mold. Selected cast diameter at .449 with a tapered front drive band. Weight selected at +/- 425 gr. Nose length at .510. Meplat is minimum at 41% since all the originals had long roundnose profiles. Selected 4 groove/band option with GC shank.

Got the mold as spec'd. As usual.... perfect! Thanks again Dan.

Cast some up using an alloy of 10 BHN, my standard for lower pressure, lower velocity for most old original guns. Sized with push thru to crimp the check and pan lubed with modified Felix lube.

Used some 44-90 JASS brass I found locally and tried a mild load of 5744 plus 1gr Dacron fluff filler and seated bullet to just touch lands. No crimp.

Went to range on calm day, set up chrono to get baseline velocity, and shot 2 foulers at the gong. Shot 5 thru chrono on a bull set at 50 yds. Below is a pic of the gun, cartridge, bullet and target. I think it speaks for itself.
Success!
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mtngun
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:45 pm
Location: Where the Salmon joins the Snake

Re: new life, old Sharps

Postby mtngun » Sat May 02, 2009 11:47 am

Awesome !!!! :o :o :o Thanks for sharing.

How do you feel about gas checks on those types of cartridges ? In theory, it shouldn't need a check, but it has been my experience that a check never hurts anything (except your wallet).

skunkmarshal
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:29 pm

Re: new life, old Sharps

Postby skunkmarshal » Sat May 02, 2009 12:32 pm

mtngun wrote:Awesome !!!! :o :o :o Thanks for sharing.

How do you feel about gas checks on those types of cartridges ? In theory, it shouldn't need a check, but it has been my experience that a check never hurts anything (except your wallet).


mtngun,
For a long time I was uncertain that GCs were necessary for best accuracy with cast bullets. After a bunch of shooting in a wide variety older calibers I came to some subjective conclusions, at least in my own head:

>>Plainbase cast bullets might or might not shoot well.
>>Plainbase cast bullets seem to shoot fine in shorter, milder cartridges like, 38 Spl, 38-40, 44-40 and even 45 ACP with smokeless at milder pressures and velocities.
>>Plainbase, really soft, cast or swaged paper-patched bullets are excellent for blackpowder.

>>GC'd cast bullets allow more accurate smokeless shooting of slightly softer alloy than comparable plainbase cast bullets.
>>GC'd cast bullets generally shoot better than plainbase in the larger, rifle type cartridges.... all other things being equal like alloy, pressure, velocity, weight and design within the smokeless loadings.

GC's add some cost and labor to loading but seems small when looking for very best accuracy and when compared to other reloading/shooting costs... and not too bad by buying bulk from Gator.


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