Black Powder Gang is all about the firearms, and their times and people,
that use "black powder" (known back in the day as "gun powder")
as the propellant for muzzleloading and cartridge guns of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Tapatalk has been added to BPGang for all mobile phone users!
About Traditional Muzzleloaders

19th Century Single Shot Cartridge Rifles

Loading Black Powder
Paper Patched Bullet Cartridges
Snapshots of the Past

The American Sharps Shooters

The Denny Ducet Muzzleloader
Video Library


Author Topic: BPCR! new to the game or want to use them for sport and/or hunting?  (Read 3801 times)

Online Rob DiStefano

  • Administrator
  • ****
  • Posts: 670
  • Location: NJ
LOTS to learn and understand about 'em, and see what'll work best for yer needs and requirements - general shooting, hunting, target shooting - or combinations of these categories.

this is a good starting online article - www.blackpowdergang.com/bpcr/

so quickly summarize the firearms, these are all mid to late 19th century breech loaded cartridge guns (essentially single shot rifles, revolver handguns and rifles, shotguns), with a variety of action types from falling block (sharps), rolling block, break action, cylinder (revolver), pump and lever.

please use this thread to ask your questions and hopefully you'll get answers that will both make sense and get you going in the right direction.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

RIFLES, RIFLES, RIFLES .... what should i look for and buy?

having owned, loaded for, and shot more than a dozen bpcr rifles, plus having shot and loaded for rifles of many of my local club mates, i've come to the conclusion that most any GOOD rifle will be more "accurate" than the person behind the trigger.  so, is there a pressing need for a $2000 to $4000 shiloh sharps rifle?  i don't think so.  i feel that a good offshore rifle will more than get the job done, and when it comes to that, pedersoli is the brand to seek out. 

there are more than a few good kind of 19th century bpcr rifle actions - falling block (sharps and others), rolling block (remington), break open (H&R and others).  back a few years ago, H&R was selling break open rifles chambered in .45-70, most notably their "buffalo classic", of which i owned three.  it was a fun rifle for hunting and sport shooting but lacked seriously for match shooting in many ways.  they are no longer in production.  in fact, aside from that relatively cheap $400 rifle, there are no longer any new trad bpcr guns worth buying for much under $1000.  quite unlike trad muzzleloaders, where $500 will get you a decent rifle for hunting or target or just general fun shooting.

for ease of field stripping and general maintenance, the rolling block is number one.  the most prolific of all the buffalo and military rifles, used world wide and made to work reliably in any climate, any venue.  next up is the sharps, and lastly the browning hi/lo walls.  don't know of any break action repro's being offered.  so, in terms of action to acquire, clearly it'd be a sharps falling block or a remington rolling block. 

sharps rifles are recreated here in the USA by vendors such as shiloh sharps, c-sharps, and others.  they are not cheap and most start at $2000.  the sharps rifles offered by the italian maker pedersoli will be priced at $1000-$1500 and are excellent shooters at great value.  i've owned at least 6 so far.

$1100 pedersol .45-70 sharps #3 sporter, 32" barrel ...


with the loss of david at lone star gunsmithing, there are no viable production USA replica builders of the remington rolling block rifle.  you can surely have one built by a gunsmith, but ya better have deep pockets.  for me, once again i go to pedersoli as their rolling block replicas are nothing short of superb, with a price tag that starts at $1200 to $2000.  their $1200 .40-65 is a fantastic way to make meat, bang gongs, punch silhouettes and generally have a good ol'  shootin' time.

$1200 pedersoli .40-65 remington rolling block, 30" barrel (doug used this rifle of his to good use in his hunting thread!) ...


now just buying yer bpcr rifle is for starters ... got to get, or much better yet ya make yer own cartridges, and then there's the little matter of sights.  supplied iron sights and peep ladders are just fine for general shooting and hunting, but if target is the game you'll need to outfit yer gun with a set of vernier soule tang and front globe sights, of which will set ya back a few hundred to many hundreds of dollars.  ain't all this stuff fun?  :)

loading cartridges with black powder is too easy, far easier than smokeless reloading, if ya know what yer doing.  i'll cover that in another post .

shooting .45-70 greasers in a rolling block, with blow tubing for fouling control ...

Offline Shiloh1944

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
  • Location: Texas
Had Pedersoli been making the 1874 Sharps when I first started shooting BPCR there is a strong possibility I would have never owned a Shiloh rifle. I agree with Rob completely that the 1874 Sharps and the Remington Rolling Block replicas produced by Pedersoli are quality firearms at a more economical price range, but I gotta tell ya those Shiloh and C Sharps 1874's are truly quality USA made rifles.

I saved and looked for almost two years for a Shiloh/C Sharps rifle. Back then before the split they were in partnership. I finally found one in Dallas, TX. at a gun show that I had intentionally gone to in order to try and find one. There were a few at the gun show but after seeing the price tags I was painfully aware I had not yet saved up enough money. I was just about to leave and make the long drive back home when at the entry door I noticed a guy coming in the door and sticking out from under his rain coat, as it was raining outside, was an octagon barrel. I decided to wait inside as he checked in to see what it was he had. When I saw him pull the rifle out to check it in I knew immediately it was what I was looking for. I waited as he paid his entry fee and had the rifle checked and as soon as he was through I stopped him and began to question him about the rifle he was carrying. I asked him what he was going to do with the rifle and he replied that he was either going to sell or trade it so he could buy his wife a firearm. I then asked what was his asking price and upon his reply I almost ripped my pocket off trying to get my wallet out to count out the six one hundred dollar bills he wanted for the rifle. I didn't even care what model or caliber it was. After buying it I took it to show one of the guys that had a few of them at the show that I had talked to for some time about them. He immediately wanted to know where I had found it. He looked it over and identified it as the Long Range Express model and in 45-70 caliber. He wanted to buy it from me and offered me a substantial profit but I told him I had been looking too long and would not dream of letting it get away now that I had found one. Eventually I sold it to fund a Hartford Collar model in 45-70.

Anyway, that was the beginning of my journey perusing the 1874 Sharps rifle.   

Online Rob DiStefano

  • Administrator
  • ****
  • Posts: 670
  • Location: NJ
yessir, while i'm totally hooked on the pedersoli rollers and sharps, i've always had that yen for a u.s.a. built shiloh, and ordered one last year - a sporter #1 in .45-70 and with the orville loomer paper patched bullet chamber ream.  it's due to get built around december of this year.  i already sent the lee shaver super grade vernier soule tang and front spirit globe sights to shiloh for mounting, too.



however, when it comes to rolling blocks, and with the demise of lone star rifles, pedersoli is clearly #1 for those kinda actions and guns - highly recommended.  i currently have the pedi 'adobe walls' roller in .45-70.  for anyone wanting to get into BPCR, a pedi roller in .40-65 or .45-70 is just the ticket - superb guns in every respect, and that rolling block action is a breeze to maintain.

Online doc nock

  • BPG Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 854
  • Location: TN
I then asked what was his asking price and upon his reply I almost ripped my pocket off trying to get my wallet out to count out the six one hundred dollar bills

Now, I enjoyed that story immensely, especially the line about nearly ripping your back pocket off...  ;D  That's rich!!!

Those guns sure have a "curb appeal" look to them, but out of my price range, definitely....

Neat story with a bit of old irish luck involved...should've bought a lotto ticket on your way home! :)

Offline Shiloh1944

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
  • Location: Texas
Rob,

If the photo you posted is an example of what your Shiloh rifle will look like it will be a beaut! Fit and finish will be exquisite.

I do not yet own a rolling block but have always considered one. I have seen a few Hepburn, Ballard, and Stevens rifles that would turn your head as well. I have long had a weakness for those old west firearms and that would include the lever rifles also. Especially the 73's and big bore 86's. Actually all of them.

For me personally they are just so much more a pleasure to shoot than the new modern stuff. I just like the nostalgia. 

Online Rob DiStefano

  • Administrator
  • ****
  • Posts: 670
  • Location: NJ
Louis,  mine will have a 30" heavy barrel in .45-70 with an Orville Loomer paper patch bullet chamber, no checkering, a polished pewter forearm tip, no rear barrel sight or dovetail, my lee shaver super grade sights are already at shiloh for them to install (rear vernier micrometer soule, front spirit globe).  hoping it will arrive at me no later than the spring of 2018 - need to get 'er dialed in for the quigley match in july!  8)

Offline Shiloh1944

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
  • Location: Texas
Rob,

Sounds like it is going to be a great rifle. You like those paper patch cartridge guns. I have never tired the paper patch cartridges. I have mainly stayed with the plain 45-70 government rifles. I am confident you will spend many hours becoming familiar with the rifle when it is finally in your possession.

I do have a Saddle Rifle, 26" standard barrel, in 40-70 government. It is one of my hunting rifles. It is a 45-70 case necked down to a 40 caliber. I believe it is actually one of Shiloh Rifle Company's own chambering's although they did have two other true old 40-70 chambering's.

I also have a #1 Sporting Rifle with a 30" heavy barrel, pewter forearm tip, steel shotgun butt in 45-70. I have the improved long range Red River Soule tang sight and globe/spirit level front sight. It weighs a little over 12 pounds. It is my target rifle. Just too heavy for hunting.

Although I have shot silhouettes on a BPCR range and watched sanctioned shoots I have never shot competition myself. It is one of those sports you need a partner so one can shoot while the other spots and visa versa. I have never had a friend that enjoyed shooting the old guns as I have.

   

Online Rob DiStefano

  • Administrator
  • ****
  • Posts: 670
  • Location: NJ
ppb's have a learning curve.  i paid my dues to understand them, and now they're no big deal.  ppb's are not for everyone and they have certain limitations that the buffalo runners learned to live with and overcome.  but on the plus side, there's never any concern over barrel leading.    8)


Offline Shiloh1944

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
  • Location: Texas
Rob,

Can you get 10 shots of in the allotted shooting time given at BPCR matches using paper patch bullets?

What is that long flexible device you are using to swab the barrel between shots?

Online Rob DiStefano

  • Administrator
  • ****
  • Posts: 670
  • Location: NJ
in a recent match i got off 3 sighters and 30 rounds for score in 33 minutes of the allotted 45 minute shooting time.  in the above video i was trialling the BACO bore wipers for only the second time, so i went a bit slow and added in the swab-on-a-stick check to make sure the chamber was dry - that's no longer needed.

that's a solid delrin rod with a jag turned end, from arizona sharp shooters.