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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Another question as a follow on to my previous one on the .45-90 vs the 45-100. This one is barrel length 30"vs32"vs34"?

I am at present piecing together the parts and accessories needed to build a heavy weight [approx 15lbs] Sharps 74 Buffalo rifle. I have the action and barrel ordered. Barrel is comming from Badger and being unchambered, 35.5" length, to finish to desired length. Stocks are organised - native Aussie timber, thought it would be different to traditional walnut and have located the sights. My plan is to fit a Full length Malcom style scope when possible.

This rifle is to be used for casual Long Range target shooting here on my ranch, with friends [no competitions here in my state] and hunting... I am leaning towards the 30" barrel for this rifle! The caliber is to be either a .45-100 or .45-90. I thought I had the cartridge chosen as a definite, but now with so much good info on both, still nutting that one thru. I am interested to hear the pros and cons of 30-34" barrel lengths?

Though they may well be out there, I have not come across any people shooting LR competition with the .45-90 or .45-100 in the 30" barrels! I am sure I have seen original Sharps documented with this barrel length. The 32-34" barrels to me are the the obvious choice for long range competitions! Sight radius a definite plus. I have been told that the .45-100 is not recommend in a 30" barrel as it will not shoot consistantly? I think it had to do with burning the large column of powder in the shorter 30" barrel not being as efficient?

I am asking a lot from one rifle in that I want it to be a rifle that is dual purpose - hunting and Ranch target, this is why I thought of the 30". Most of my target shooting and hunting will be from cross sticks, however the odd offhand opportunity will be there, even with an extra heavy sharps... ;) Fitting an Full Length scope to this rifle maynot be for everyone, with 2 other rifles tang sighted, maybe another by the end of the year, I want to try a Sharps with period scope... The scopes do look as they they are better suited to 30" barrel rifles? Having just received Mike Venturinos book on Shooting the Buffalo Rifles, I see he is using a straight grip Sharps .45-70 with 30" barrel and Scope. This is as close to the type of rifle I am putting together except I am interested in a .45 90 or 100!

I have never handled a 74 Sharps properly, you just don`t see them here, so understanding them roughly on how they handle with different barrel lengths, I really am unsure of... My original .577-450 Rosier Martini actioned sporting rifle only weights 8.5 lbs with 33" barrel. At this weight the barrel is easy to point [though kicks hard]. A 34" sharps maynot be so easy to manouver in the field ;)

I have already thought as Coydog mentioned to me and will more than likely do this - Start with a longer barrel and shorten if need be. Impossible to go the other way ;) I am interested to hear any comments out there on barrel length? Thanks.

cheers,

Cam......
 

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30" barrel

Cheers cam0063 :D

I've got a 45-110 with the 30", 16# barrel from Shilo. First off, be advised - you're NOT going to "off-hand" this rifle - unless you're built like Hulk Hogan! I've seen big men try and fail. You're gonna be off a bench or sticks. ( I find sticks MUCH more comfortable than a bench - it has to do with the way I sit on a bench.)

Even with the big barrel, she's gonna "back-up" hard!

I'd go with the 45-100 - just because if "some is good, then more is better". You'll have to trim brass anyway if you buy RCBS Basic, so trim the least.

When I was flying in PNG, I struck up a deal with a lumber supplier in Vanimo for a chunk of "Ebony" for a new stock for mine, but I was transfered to Irina Jaya before I could get it all worked out. The lumber guy said that other colors of ebony are cheaper than the solid black. Something to think about.

Looks like you've got a good gun coming!

Cheers,
cr
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi there Cr,

Great to hear from you.... I do appreciate your comments. I don`t expect to offhand this 15lb Sharps often or consistantly, just figure you never know when adreneline sets in and you decide you are confident to take that shot! I swear my plough disc targets here on the ranch have legs and move ;) seriously though, I am not building this as an offhand rifle but I will give it a try, if I fail, no problem, no-one here to see. Nearly all of my shooting will be from cross sticks. I enjoy shooting this way and even have a set of sticks in my Ute [pickup] for my Mannlicher .243. My mates use bipods and I stick to my cross sticks which are my own design but handy and also fit under me belt...

I have a mate here with a 14 lb 34" barrel Wesson .45-110 and have fired that several times offhand. You know you are hanging onto it, but I was still able to hit paper at 50 yds regularly... No I am not Hulk Hogan [thankfully]. haha. My rifle isn`t built yet, I am still getting all the pieces together so I am guessing weight to a degree. I am hoping for a 15lb rifle, this will include full length scope. I am advised it will come under 15lbs all up with walnut stocks. However the timber I have chosen may well go heavier, a bit of an unknown quantity at the moment! I will use the scope mainly for target shooting and Hunting would be with open and tang peep sights... Removing the scope will remove weight some, but not lots! For an offhand rifle I am already looking into that one - a 40-82 Crossno, but that is another story and set of questions! :grin:

For Brass I am looking at Starline and Bertram, probably Starline. Bertram though made here in Australia is very expensive and was often cheaper to buy it overseas and re-import it!

I heard that the bigger cases donto burn all their powder consistantly in a 30" barrel? I guess this is not so! Are you Long Range shooting your .45-110? I imagine the .45-110 is plenty enough gun for hunting in Hawaii! I believe Shiloh produce just a 30" barrel in the 16lb, if it were available in 32 or 34" would you have still chosen the 30"? Is you .45-110 a straight grip or pistol grip [just for interest]?

As for stock, I have a couple of Native Aussie timbers in mind. One is a native Blackwood [not actually black] and a couple of timbers from our Goldfields region. Trouble is Goldfields timbers, though exceptionally beautiful, they weigh very heavy.

I see you are a Helecopter pilot and was in PNG. PNG really is a wilderness! Exciting times for a pilot I would have thought. Becoming a fishing mecca for Aussies lately! Thanks for your input Cr. Will keep you posted on how I progress.......

cheers,

Cam........
 

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Cam,

I'm not 100% sure (I'm only about 98% sure :lol: ), if you look in either the Sellers Sharps book or the "Little Red" sharps book, I think you'll find that at least a couple grades of the original 74 Creedmoor rifles were equipped with 32” tubes. If my memory serves me correctly, only the lowest grade was offered with a 30” barrel on it. In later production the Express rifle was produced with the 34” barrel as standard.

I believe that you will see some small velocity gain with the longer tube, something on the order of 7 FPS per inch or so. My personal preference is for 32” tubes. They seem to balance just about right, have slightly increased velocity, and don’t seem to be as prone to fouling problems as some guys claim the 34” tubes are. My 45 2.1” had a 34” and I never had a problem with it though. I was surprised to learn that Garbe shoots a 32” 38-55 for silhouettes

IMHO, a pistol grip helps control torque some and is easier to shoot off-hand, at least to me. Another consideration is that with most of the current manufacturers, the pistol grip stock seems to have less drop to it. This can be a consideration when cranking the rear sight way up. I used to own a C-Sharps 75 with a straight grip that was miserable to shoot at 500 meters even. Even at that short range, :lol: I was barely able to keep my chin on the stock

As for brass, I would definitely go with the Starline. I’m working on my second batch now, and the consistency is amazing. Two different 250 piece lots with the highest deviation of only 3.7 grains. It's a little heavier and may have slightly less capacity than the stretched stuff, but with the 2.6" you won't miss a couple of grains less powder :grin:


Good Luck,

Chuck
 

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cam, I have a C. Sharps 1874, 45-110 (2 7/8") with a 30 inch barrel and love it!! I bought it last year at the Mathew Quigley shoot in Forsyth, Montana. It has the French Grey finish on the receiver, lever, buttplate, etc. and is an absolutely beautiful rifle. I am currently working up loads both paper patched and grease groved bullets, and trying different powders for it such as Goex Ctg, Swiss 1 1/2 Fg, both Swiss and Goex 2 FG and different rates of compression and charges for each as well as crimping, not crimping, and taper crimping by running the loaded rounds into the sizing die just enough to give a slight neck size to the completed round. I am looking for the most accurate round in anticipation of again attending the Quigley shoot, and also Kenny Wasserburgers shoot in Wyoming this Spring.

I haven't really noticed any punishing recoil with this rifle any more than shooting a 45-70 with potent (not maximum) smokeless loads. It is fun to shoot, but does have more bite than say a 40-65 of the same weight.

Go for the 45-110 in either of the 3 barrel lengths. BTW mine has a #3 heavy barrel which brings the weight of the rifle with sights to BPCR upper limits. :D Have fun, Omaha
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi there Omaha...

Your rifle sounds very nice! The .45-110 I think is just a little too big for my shooting needs ;) Not to say it is not a good caliber. A great, authentic buffalo cartridge! Do you prefer the 30" barrel to the longer lengths for the shooting you do? How much does your rifle weigh? I donot know what the #3 barrel will weigh! Thanks for your input, much appreciated!

cheers,

Cam.....
 

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long barrels and big cases..........

Long barrels and big cases seem to go together don't you think? You are planning to use the heavier/longer bullets with more lube grooves,yes? If this is so then you will be better off with a 34" barrel in my opinion. My own 45-70 has a 34" barrel 1&1/8th" octagon straight and weighs 13 pounds it works great and I shoot it offhand with no problems. You just have to have enough lube to make things work right! :shock: :shock: :shock:
 
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