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50/70 Sharps
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I understand the old 50/70 maybe a little underpowered for serious range work compared to 45/70 or 45/90 but I still love any range session with my 1874 Sharps long range rifle.

Has it fallen from favour?

It is very accurate with a Lyman 450gn boolit over a full 70 gn of Wano 2P.



Hold still varmint; while I plugs yer!
If'n I miss, our band of 45/70 brothers, will fill yer full of lead!

 
Posts: 1772 | Location: Kingaroy, Australia | Registered: 29 April 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Underpowered? It was the rifle cartridge who took out most of the buffalo herds.

I have now bought a Swedish model 1867 rolling block which is very similar to 50-70 exept it have a .497 bore barrel and use .505-.510 bullets. Can you tell more about the loads i have also some Wano powder.
 
Posts: 3552 | Location: Sweden | Registered: 02 May 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Bad Ass, very nice shooting. I have a Swede rolling block rebarrelled to .50-70 with a 1:24 twist Green Mountain barrel. I am eager to try the 650-grain Buffalo Arms bullet in it once I get the rifle finished.


There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.
– John Green, author
 
Posts: 14352 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The smaller .50s are among my favorites. At this point I'm down to one, a sporterized 12,7mm Swedish roller that still has the short 42mm chamber with a sparkling shiney bore and the deepest rifling I have ever seen; the muzzle looks positively hexagonal because of the deep rifling. It is also astonishingly accurate.

The best 12,7x42R load I have used is 55 grains of Swiss 1-1/2 Fg with the Lyman 515141 450 grain bullet cast quite soft. Velocity is not high, but I have taken bison with it and it works great. The cases are made from .348 Winchester brass, although I did manage to score a box of Bertram 12,7x44R brass a while ago when it went on close-out sale at Midway. It also likes 350 grain bullets and my shoulder does too!
 
Posts: 796 | Location: paradise with an ocean view | Registered: 09 April 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Not underpowered, but the 50 cal bullets need to be pretty heavy to equal the BC of a 45 or 40 cal. For which a 70 might not be suited. For long range shooting I mean.
These don't rely on velocity to kill stuff; I dropped a bison with a 45-60 with BP and lead bullets. Yes, in the lungs.
As for loads, no one can give you loads for a BP cartridge; you have to develop your own; fill the case to the base of the seated bullet, and compressed however much you want; if you want to compress more than 1/8th inch you need a compression die. You could get Venturino's books and read what he did, also his and Garbe's BP load book. I had one of the first ones, left it on an Airplane; that made me angry. Got another one though.
 
Posts: 14329 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tom, I had the first edition of the SPG loading manual and have been a charter subscriber to the SPG Blackpowder News. Great resources for loading these wonderful old black powder cartridges.
I believe the late Dave Higginbotham of Lone Star Rolling Blocks was successfully using heavy bullets in his .50-70s with the faster-twist Green Mountain barrels before his tragic death.


There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.
– John Green, author
 
Posts: 14352 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes, me too; I have every issue.
 
Posts: 14329 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't know about out of favor. I have a rolling block sporter and a trapdoor, both in .50-70 and hope to kill a bison with one or the other one of these days. In the mean time, they are just plain fun.


One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know. - Groucho Marx
 
Posts: 3604 | Location: Eastern Slope, Colorado, USA | Registered: 01 March 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Bill/Oregon:
Bad Ass, very nice shooting. I have a Swede rolling block rebarrelled to .50-70 with a 1:24 twist Green Mountain barrel. I am eager to try the 650-grain Buffalo Arms bullet in it once I get the rifle finished.

Fun, fun, fun.
".50-70 Little Bighorn" is my Pedersoli Rolling Block with an Oregon Barrel Works .510"-grooved 1:24" twist, 28"-long full octagon.
A Hoch nose-pour in 30:1 is .512" and 680 grains.
I get it just past 1300 fps with H322 and a bit of foam wad filler.
It works !
Standard .50-70 Govt. chamber.

Other .50-70 Govt. rifles I shoot:

1:26" twist Pedersoli 1874 Sharps .512"-grooved "Long Range" is a hoot with lighter bullets, smokeless or BP.

1:42" twist Springfield Trapdoor .514"-3-groove antique "Second Allin" is my only BP-ONLY BPCR, with 435-gr to 450-gr Lyman and Lee cast bullets.
That "Needle Gun" was good enough for Buffalo Bill to feed an army.
Fun, fun, fun.

1:18" twist Eeker Cimarron replica Sharps McNelly Carbine is charming with the Trapdoor BP loads.
Should I try 777-gr FNGC NEI bullet with smokeless in it ?
Might be too much fun.

I might choose a 1:20" twist for a long-barreled .50-70 Govt. BPCR silhouette rifle, for heavy bullet use,
should I ever need to re-barrel.
 
Posts: 28032 | Location: KY | Registered: 09 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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RIP, I always admired that Pedersoli McNelly carbine. That is a very fast twist for .50!


There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.
– John Green, author
 
Posts: 14352 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I own and shoot a Remington rolling block New York Contract .50-70. A hoot to shoot with black or smokeless. The sights and length of pull suck but it's still fun.
Cal


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Cal Pappas, Willow, Alaska
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Posts: 7050 | Location: Willow, Alaska | Registered: 29 June 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A 30 inch barreled '74 Sharps in 50-70 with a 450gr flat nosed grease groove bullet over 70gr Old Eynsford 2FG would make a fine 200 yard hunting rifle with buckhorn ladder barrel sight and copper penny front sight.

Nice bone pack case colors, pewter nose cap, with shotgun steel butt and fire blued screws old make a right fine looking rifle too.
 
Posts: 789 | Registered: 18 February 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I use two loads in mine, the 450gn and a 510gn custom mould both sized to 0.512"



Hold still varmint; while I plugs yer!
If'n I miss, our band of 45/70 brothers, will fill yer full of lead!

 
Posts: 1772 | Location: Kingaroy, Australia | Registered: 29 April 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Bad Ass, how fast are you moving that 510?
Cal, I passed on a New York contract roller at a gun show 30 years ago. Always regretted it.


There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.
– John Green, author
 
Posts: 14352 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Took my original 50-70 and 45-70 roller sporters to Montana for an elk hunt. No shot offered but I had both dialed in for 100 and 200 yards. the .50-70 would put 5 rounds in a jagged hole at 200 yards. I was using both Accurate Mold 450 grain with flat meplat and Lyman 515141. 65 grains Swiss 1 1/2 and .04 compression, SPG pan lubed. A great hunting round. Served the buffalo runners very well.

My next project is to reline and rechamber an original roller early round top receiver sporter that's in 44 long c/f to 44-77 SS.
 
Posts: 2703 | Registered: 10 March 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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