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Author Topic: IAB Sharps  (Read 37328 times)
IE300
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IT AIN'T A BIG .50 - IT'S JUST A LITTLE 45-70


« Reply #125 on: December 04, 2011, 08:39:57 pm »

Well I finally got out to the range with my IAB Sharps today. Based on my experience I now am of the opinion that at least in the case of my rifle, IAB stands for Incredible Awsome Buffalo Sharps! I don't doubt that some people may have gotten bad guns made by IAB, and maybe I just lucked out. Maybe it depends on the branding of any particular rifle. Mine's an Armi S. Marco marked rifle, and in fact I didn't even know it was an IAB until I removed the forend and saw the IAB stamp on the underside of the barrel. All I knew until today was that I had finally gotten a Sharps rifle, and that it looked pretty nice. Pretty nice wood, pretty good wood to metal and metqal to metal fit, and overall pretty nice finish. Not the best I've ever seen, but still nicer than a lot of guns I've owned over the years. And after installing the full length Malcolm scope on it, I thought it was a pretty nice looking package. But I didn't get to shoot it until today.
Today I used Ultramax 45-70 ammo I got from Buffalo Arms. First shot I couldn't believe how mild the recoil was; downright pleasent to shoot compared to the other 45-70's I've had, such as my H&R Officer's Model Trapdoor. I guess the weight of that full octagon 28" heavy barrel has a lot to do with it. Since I wanted to get the scope sighted in, I started out at 50 yards today. First shot was about 8" low and 8" to the left. I tweeked the elevation and the second shot was still 8" to the left with the elevation dead on. Next 4 shots I used Kentucky windage by aiming 8" to the right with center elevation and was rewarded with about a 3" group. 2 shots touching each other next to 2 more touching each other, with about an inch between the 2 pairs. Now I'm gettin' happy!
During the break I tweeked the windage to bring everything about 8" to the right, and that did the trick. The rest of my 20 shots were all pretty much where I placed my crosshairs, making 2 and 3 shot gouups around different areas of the target.
Once I had the scope initially sighted in, my point of impact stayed put without shifting. The cheapo Leatherwood precission scope mounts held their settings, at least for this 20 rounds. The scope itself was nice and clear and bright, and seemingly returned to zero even with the sliding mount and my added on spring installed. By the way, my addition of the spring seemed to work like a charm, returning the scope to it's rearward firing position without having to manually return it by hand. I don't know if it helped absorb any recoil, but it definately returned to scope to position automatically, which was my intention when I installed it. I bought the spring for $3.50 at Tru Value, cut it to the proper length, opened it up the slightest amount and installed it around the scope tube under the sliding mount. A little lithium grease, and it's the cheapest add on to the whole set up!
Well, that was all I did with my Sharps today. Next time I'll move out to 100 yards and start to give the scope a little more of a work out. See if I can get some repeatability out of the mounts. Like I said previously, I did have to spend some time cleaning up and adjusting the mounts to get them smoothly operating. And there are definately a few things that I wont be able to correct, just have to learn to live with them. The main thing is that to adjust windage, you basically have to remove the elevator so you can move the scope tube up and out of the way in order to unlock and relock the screw that locks the windage adjustments once that have been made. It is a pain, but I don't see any way to make that lock screw accessable without moving the tube out of the way. The good news is that hopefully I will be able to get the windage dead nut on, lock it in position, and never have to adjust it again. In reality I should really only have to adjust elevation with my distance, and the elevator lock is a knurled knob on the right side of the mount and easily accessable. I could see maybe replacing that lock knob with one a little larger so I could tourque it down with my thumb and forfinger a little easier, but if I decided to do that it would be a piece of cake. Either find a larger know with the same threads, or silver solder a larger wheel to the one already installed.
As I get more range time with this rifle and scope, I'm sure I will find other things that need to be made right, but so far I think that someone with a little skill and patience can take this setup and make it work well.
As for the rifle itself, while some people say that IAB stands for It's Always Broke, on mine it stands for It Ain't Broke. Oh yeah, did I mention that I have about a little under $1,200. into my Sharps Rifle with the Full Length Malcolm Scope? So maybe after all is said and done I could say it's an ISAB, 'cause I got my dream rifle and "I still ain't broke!"
 Cheesy
I'LL KEEP YA' POSTED AFTER I DO SOME MORE SHOOTIN' MY SHARPS Wink
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« Reply #126 on: December 05, 2011, 12:25:58 am »

Cool!
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« Reply #127 on: December 05, 2011, 04:18:38 pm »

Wondering if most of my problems associated with my Armi Sports are sight and 61 y/o eyes related.

Time will tell when I come off the bucks for some decent Soule sights with an adjusable eyepiece.
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« Reply #128 on: December 05, 2011, 05:18:18 pm »

WARNING! AFTER WRITING THIS POST i REALIZE I DID IT AGAIN AND WROTE WAY TOO MUCH. WISH I COULD SAY I WAS SORRY, BUT i AIN'T! I JUST GOTTA LET IT OUT WHEN THE URGE HITS. OK, I'M A LITTLE SORRY. Cry
Not to get things any more confused than they already are, but my IAB Sharps is an Armi S. Marco ( or so marked as such on the top of the barrel) and from reading lots of posts on different forums, I have been given to understand that Armi Sports is a different company altogether. To further confuse things there is also an Armi San Paolo, and all three of the Italian companies are in similar businesses. There seems to be a lot of crossover in these businesses, and many of them are either affiliated directly or indirectly.
Here is the way IAB, Armi San Marco and Armi Sport are described by Blue Book of Modern Black Powder Arms - Online Subscription.

Armi San Marco
Previous manufacturer located in Gardone, Italy, acquired by American Western Arms, Inc. in 2000 and reorganized as American Western Arms, Italia. See American Western Arms Inc. listing. Previously imported by E.M.F., located in Santa Ana, CA, and sold through E.M.F., Traditions, Cabela´s, and other retail gun stores.
All Armi San Marco black powder cap and ball and cartridge conversion models were discontinued in 2000.
In 1993, the Hartford line was introduced by E.M.F. These models have steel frames with German silver plated backstrap and trigger guard, inspector´s cartouche on grip, and trade for approximately $20-$40 higher than standard Armi San Marco versions.

Armi Sport
Current manufacturer established in 1958, and located in Brescia, Italy. Currently imported by Chiappa Firearms, Ltd. located in Dayton, OH. Currently distributed by Cimarron F.A. Co. located in Fredericksburg, TX, Collector's Armoury, Ltd. located in Lorton, VA, Maxsell Corp. located in Coconut Creek, FL, Taylor´s & Co., Inc., located in Winchester, VA, Traditions Inc. located in Old Saybrook, CT, and Valor Corp. located in Sunrise, FL. Previously distributed by I.A.R. Inc. located in San Juan Capistrano, CA, KBI Inc. then located in Harrisburg, PA, and until 2009 by E.M.F. Company Inc., located in Santa Ana, CA.
Armi Sport manufactures top quality reproductions of famous rifles/carbines. Please refer to the distributors' listings for current information on these models, including U.S. pricing and availability. For more information and current pricing on both new and used Armi Sport firearms, please refer to the Blue Book of Gun Values by S.P. Fjestad (available online also).

IAB
Previous manufacturer (Industria Armi Bresciane) of modern firearms, black powder replicas, and historical Sharps rifles located in Gardone, Val Trompia, Brescia, Italy until closing July, 2009. Previously imported by E.M.F., located in Santa Ana, CA, Dixie GunWorks, located in Union City, TN, Kiesler's, located in Jeffersonville, IN, and Tristar Sporting Arms, located in Kansas City, MO.
Please refer to individual importer/distributor listing in this text for model information and pricing.

When all is said and done, my guess is that they amount to one big consortium with each company having certain specialties regarding models produced, qualities offered, etc., and that it is probably difficult to determine who actually makes what. Back in the 1980's I owned a company that imported knives from a number of Italian companies, and I had the pleasure to go in person to a town called Maniago Italy. The whole town is basically dedicated to knife making, with companies like Beltrame and at least a dozen others located there. To do business there you had to work through a representitive who would make sure that not only the customers interests were met, but also make sure all the different companies had a shot at getting a reasonable amount of business. One of the ways this was accomplished was to structure the purchases so that sometimes you would be buying from someone other than the actual manufacturer. Not a manufacturers rep, but another manufacturer who might not be able to produce the actual item being purchased. I never came close to understanding the whole system, but in essence it was in place to assure that all companies had opportunities to make sales, thereby allowing them to stay in business even during times when their particlar product might not be in high demand. It was a very Italian way of doing business, and I would guess that it is somewhat similar to the way the gun businesses run. And probably all manufacturing in Italy is done in a similar way.
 I'll tell you one thing. At the end of the day the business people took us out to a local outdoor cafe for a glass of wine. Between the beautiful girl serving the wine and the view of the mountains of Northern Italy, there was something to be said for the Italian way of doing business.
Getting back to your comment, my eyes are only 58 years old. But they aren't getting any better, and I sure do appreciate the view I get through that Malcolm scope. The 3/4" tube doesn't give you a real wide view, but once you get used to it, it sure seems to beat the heck out of trying to shoot with my bare eyes. I hope you get that Soule sight you're thinking about, and that it does the job for you. I know the good ones will set you back as much as a scope, but I also know that a lot of people swear by 'em. One thing is for sure. Both the good Soule sight and the Malcolm scope look awful good on a Sharps rifle. Whatever you choose, keep it close to your Cowboy Heart and it'll bring you a lot of pleasure. After my first 20 rounds in my cheapo Sharps, I'm hooked. I've never had a rifle that looked or felt so good. Cant wait to see what I can do with it when I get out to a couple of hunderd yards!

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« Reply #129 on: December 05, 2011, 06:42:57 pm »

IE300;  No problems today.  I'm in a better mood, and healthier than when we "spoke' earlier. 
In fact, this post contains a wealth of information.  I commend you for your research.
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IT AIN'T A BIG .50 - IT'S JUST A LITTLE 45-70


« Reply #130 on: December 06, 2011, 02:35:13 pm »

Why Thank you Sir Charles!
        I never took offense at anything you said. One of my few strong points is having a good sense of humor about myself and my many shortcommings. Since we can't be perfect, we may as well be able to laugh at our own imperfections. And that's all I have to say about that. Pretty short, huh?
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« Reply #131 on: December 06, 2011, 04:48:56 pm »

HOWDY PARDNERS! THOUGHT YOU ALL MIGHT LIKE TO GET A LOOK AT THE GUY WHO WRITES THOSE GOD AWFUL LONG POSTS! I WAS NEVER PRETTY AND I'M GETTIN' MORE NOT PRETTY AS I GET OLDER. BUT MY CAT AND DOG'S DON'T CARE AND MY WIFE ONLY HAS TO LOOK AT ME A FEW TIMES A YEAR. I GOTTA LOOK IN THE MIRROR EVERY DAY, BUT I JUST SAY "DON'T PAY ANY ATTENTION TO THAT OLD GUY IN THE MIRROR. HE DON'T BITE, AND IF HE DID HE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TEETH TO HURT YOU TOO MUCH ANYWAY." HASTA LUIGI AND BONEY NOTCHES!

PS- SIR CHARLES LOOKS A HECK OF A LOT BETTER THAN ME. HE'S GOTTA LITTLE BIT OF A TOM SELLECK THING GOING ON. BEST WATCH OUT THAT THE GIRLS DON'T CROWD YOU TOO MUCH SIR CHARLES! (I'M ASSUMING THAT REALLY IS A PICTURE OF YOU)
I GUESS STEEL HORSE AND ME WILL HAVE TO FIGHT OVER SIR CHARLES LEFT OVERS!
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« Reply #132 on: December 06, 2011, 05:50:36 pm »

Yep! That is the real me.  I have to admit that it was taken on a analog camera and scanned later.  I'm sure there is at least another 10 years on that Ol Mug by now!
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without the Blood, Sweat, and Tears.
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IT AIN'T A BIG .50 - IT'S JUST A LITTLE 45-70


« Reply #133 on: December 06, 2011, 07:25:15 pm »

Well don't go takin' it the wrong way, but you were at least a handsome cowboy back 10 years ago. For myself, I don't think anything's finer than a perty girl dressed in western style with a skirt and cowgirl boots to frame her legs. But at my age I have to settle for just lookin' now and then. You know yer gettin' old when your wife just laughs at you when she see's you lookin' at a young girl. But I guess as long as my eyes still work, I'll still look at the girls and the bullseyes. On a good day I even get to reach out and touch the bullseyes every now and then. The girls I have to settle for just lookin' at. Not allowed to shoot my pistol much anymore, just get to play with it a little and then put it back in it's holster. I best change the subject next time before I get myself in trouble. See you on the horizon!
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« Reply #134 on: December 07, 2011, 08:20:00 am »

Lookin' at girls ...

Just 'cause I'm on a diet, doesn't mean I can't read the menu!

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IT AIN'T A BIG .50 - IT'S JUST A LITTLE 45-70


« Reply #135 on: December 07, 2011, 06:55:46 pm »

Be nice to have a pretty cowgirl help me reload my 45-70 shells now and than, though. Ya' know.....somebody who could seat my primers and cast my bullets.  Just have to settle for holdin' my Cheapo Sharps real close on those cold Winter nights, and do my own reloadin'. Oh well. Maybe next lifetime......


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« Reply #136 on: December 07, 2011, 10:53:13 pm »

Got to love it, where else can discussions go from what some consider an inferior pore quality rifle to pic of a gal that appears to have absolutely nothing wrong with her!!!!!
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« Reply #137 on: December 08, 2011, 08:10:24 am »

That's exactly the point. My opinion is now that contrary to what some have said, the IAB Sharps Rifle, at least the one I have, is the firearms equivalent of this young lady in terms of quality. I didn't put this picture up for gratuatous reasons at all, but to make an analogy between the actual fine quality of the rifle in question and the obvious quality of this fine western gal. This was posted strictly for the purpose of enhansing the intellectual aspects of this discussion by means of comparrison.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #138 on: December 08, 2011, 10:56:42 am »

This was posted strictly for the purpose of enhansing the intellectual aspects of this discussion by means of comparrison.  Roll Eyes

Yeah! Right!

Like this;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5O29Q0BpJ8
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« Reply #139 on: December 08, 2011, 11:13:13 am »

I'm glad your rifle is working for you, but 20 rounds is won't even get the barrel broke in, let alone be a test of the quality of the rifle.
 Yes those rifles are fun, yes they can be accurate, but they didn't get the reputation of "it's always broke" for nothing.
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« Reply #140 on: December 08, 2011, 11:25:17 am »

Let's hope his rifle is the exception!

I only studied the photo of the cowgirl for an hour or so.  For purely scientific reasons, of course.

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« Reply #141 on: December 08, 2011, 11:51:01 am »

I have a friend that finally ended up having the rifle rebarreled, and then went in and reworked the lock.. It's as good as any rifle now.
 Yes I hope 300 has that rifle that is the exception to the rule, it's never good when a rifle goes bad.
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« Reply #142 on: December 08, 2011, 12:53:22 pm »

Well Ranch 13,
You are right about 20 rounds not being much, and I will certainly be putting a lot more through it assuming it holds up. On the other hand, some of the horror stories I've read relate instances of rifles failing within the first few shots, and so far mine has passed the initial tryout. Now these Sharps rifles are certainly new to me, but firearms in general are not. My previous experience has been that if I have a bad piece, the problems show up pretty quick. And that isn't just with .22's, but also with centerfires that generate enough stresses and pressures to cause failures fairly quickly.
Like I said, these Sharps rifles are indeed new to me, and they may have design issues that cause problems not usually encountered with other rifles. Obviously, you can't prove a negative and the fact that I haven't experienced a failure in the first 20 rounds only proves that it hasn't happened yet, not that it won't happen in the next 20 rounds. I can only keep a close eye out for potential problems by checking my rifle and fired cases and hope that I got a good one and not one of the "It's Always Broke" ones.
It seems to me that since my examination of the rifle reveals a properly reamed chamber with smooth walls, good mechanical fit of the mating components, and an overall appearance of a rifle that was manufactured with reasonable attention to detail and quality, any potential problems would probably relate to things that can't be seen. Aspects of manufacture relating to the quality of the steels used and their heat treatment are issues that, while it's possible to test some of these qualities, usually are discovered through use. Thats why we pay attention to things like fired cases, changes in tolerances between mating components, etc. If we start to notice such changes we start to keep a closer eye on things, and if these changes are substantial or happen over a short period of time, we stop using the rifle and have it checked by someone who has the skill and equipment to make an assessment and suggest repairs or replacement of components in question.
Reviewing the posts regarding the IAB Sharps rifles, it would certainly seem that while some people have obviously gotten dogs, other shooters have gotten rifles that they are very happy with. And some of the satisfied people are people who have been around the block more than a few times with various Sharps rifles. When I read about things like long chambers and broken firing pins, it seems obvious that quality control at IAB has been problematic in the past. It would be very interesting to cross reference dates of manufacture with problem rifles. Most companies that have found quality control problems and taken the time and efffort to rectify these problems, usually don't want to revisit their problems. They often find that once the problems are corrected, it doesn't cost them any more to do things correctly. My point is that quality control doesn't usually fluxuate up and down that much once ithe ssues are resolved. So I'm going to make the assumtion that there were problems up to a certain point in time, and that for the most part, rifles made after that time will be of better quality. My guess is also that my rifle was maybe manufactured after the issues were resolved.
That being said, if someone can advise me as to how to determine when my IAB Sharps rifle was made, I would be happy to share that info. And if we can make that determination, we should determing when all the problem rifles were made and see if a time line developes. This would be a useful tool for anybody who might consider buying a used IAB Sharps in the future.
I will hopefully be at the range this weekend again, and will let you all know how it goes. I for one, still believe that the dream of the good usable "Cheapo Sharps Rifle" is a definate possibility, in my case, with the IAB which Isn't Always Broke. I'm rarely accused of being an optimist, but in this case I think my optimism will continue untill I have a reason to change it.
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« Reply #143 on: December 08, 2011, 12:57:42 pm »

Well, as long as the cat is out of the bag...
As far as a quick Google search indicates, the above-pictured Cowgirl is one of the 'dancing Playmates' seen in the redux version of the Marlon Brando film APOCALYPSE NOW.
She was one of the group landed by Helo at a USO show in-country where Martin Sheen is being transported via a Riverine crew to seek out Brando. She dances in the Cowgirl outfit on the Helo pad til the crowd gets unruly and then gets put back onto the Helo, showing up later at a riverbank camp, totally out of her element.
The name of this young lady is Cynthia Woods, she was the Playmate for February 1973 and the Playmate of the Year for 1974 per the IMDB, a website for movie data seen at:www.imdb.com
Other data searches will probably come up with more info.
Best regards and good viewing!
'Ol Gabe
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« Reply #144 on: December 08, 2011, 01:22:21 pm »

I remember Miss Woods ... fondly, I might add ...

 Wink
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SEE MY PHOTOS: http://s17.photobucket.com/albums/b70/m1a1mstrgn/
NCOWS #1919 for Life, SASS Life #27463, NRA Life, Honourable Master of the Black Arts, GAF#98, SBSS, WARTHOG, STORM, American Legion Post # 495
*and a few other organizations*
F.&A.M. - Wayne Guthrie Lodge #753 *** Hiram's Rangers #105
(former) US Army M1 & M1A1 Tank Master Gunner
AKA - Jeff Bailey  A Three-Percenter & Sheepdog

Take me out to the black, tell 'em I aint comin' back. Burn the land; boil the sea: you can't take the sky from me. Have no place I must be; since I found Serenity:  you can't take the sky from me.
by Joss Whedon 2002 - Firefly
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« Reply #145 on: December 08, 2011, 02:38:52 pm »

300 where you're most likely going to find trouble is in the lock and the trigger springs will all of a sudden call it quits. The sear can chip a chunk out of the clear blue and that will cause no end of trouble, same with the notches on the tumbler. Stuff seems to work harden or soften, and that's when the breakages begin...And 9 x out of 10 it will be at a real in opportune time.
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« Reply #146 on: December 08, 2011, 03:02:42 pm »

Certainly a memorable scene in a memorable movie. The girls strutted their stuff to Creedence Clearwater Revival singing "Susie Q", and aside from Cynthia Woods dressed in cowgirl style, two other girls danced with her. One was dressed as the prettiest squaw I've ever seen, and the other wore an outfit inspired by the U.S. Cavelry. Seems like Miss Woods stole the show though. Must have been that matched pair of Colts she was carrying.
Not to change the subject back to the subject of "Cheapo Sharps", but there is another aspect to the whole IAB issue that makes it all the more confusing. My rifle is marked on top of the barrel as Armi S. Marco - Made In Italy, but under the forarm it is clearly stamped IAB. So was it manufactured by IAB for Armi San Marco, or made by Armi San Marco and marketed by IAB? The whole Italian gun manufacturing issue of quality is really confusing for a number of reasons. A lot of these companies do manufacturing for themselves as well as for other affiliated companies, so a gun's brand often doesn't really indicate who actually produced it. And most of these companies will produce any level of quality requested by the purchaser and charge accordingly. With some companies you have to wonder if they actually manufacture anything at all, or if they just purchase components from different vendors than assemble the components themselves into completed rifles. When that happens, it's an act of faith to accept the vendor's word that any given component will actually be of the quality requested.
With my own rifle, I certainly have to keep my eyes open. I have not only heard both good and bad things about products from Armi San Marco, but have actually owned a couple of their revolvers. If it wasn't for their markings, I'd have bet that they were made by two different companies. One was top quality in the fit and finish department, and the other looked like it had been assembled from a kit by a kid with no attempt to fit the components together. If you held two Ruger Bearcats next to each other, you might pick one over the other, but the difference in fit and finnish would be pretty slight. Not so with the Italian companies. When it comes to cap & ball revolvers, I think Uberti is a lot nicer than Pietta (the Pietta's are a bargain, though), but when it comes to their cartridge revolvers, they seem to be very close in their quality level. I guess that's what makes horse racing, at least in Italian guns.
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« Reply #147 on: December 08, 2011, 03:13:46 pm »

Thanks Ranch 13,
That is exactly the kind of specific information that myself and other owners will find truly helpful. Fortunately for myself, I'm for the most part just a paper puncher. When I have a problem at the range I pack up the problem and get out another rifle. But your words are good warning for those of us that might invest in a hunt or travel to a match.
The good news from what you tell me is that often the springs are the problem, and since springs are pretty cheap it would be a good policy to have some extras. The other components you mention could be more money than you would want to have tied up in a part you may or may not ever need. I wonder if it would be worth the effort and expense to have these components re heat treated before you ever encountered a problem? I have no idea what that would cost or who could do a good job for you. I guess for myself, I'll just play at the range and see what happens, but I do think I'll probably try to get replacement springs. Thanks again!
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« Reply #148 on: December 08, 2011, 03:23:41 pm »

Well I can tell you it sucks bigtime to have to spend 2 hours filing a sear to get it to work in the lock, after you've waited for two weeks to get it, on the practice day before a match. It also doesn't do your scores anygood when in the middle of a match the trigger spring softens up, and you pull the set trigger then when the sights get dead center of the target you all of a sudden discover for your rifle to fire you have to pull that front trigger clear thru...... Embarrassed Just doesn't do your confidence much good at all....
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« Reply #149 on: December 08, 2011, 03:59:06 pm »

A couple of questions for you Ranch 13,
You are talking about your own personal experience, I assume with an IAB Sharps rifle? What model Sharps is it, and do you know when it might have been made? Again, I'm trying to see if we can determine some sort of time line regarding problem IAB Sharps, or if they are problematic regardless of when they were made. Also, if certain models seem to be more prone to quality issues, although I think that's less likely than finding a timeline of quality problems. For that matter, are there reports of non-Sharps IAB rifles with similar problems? My last question is regarding the replacement sear you got. Were you able to get an actual IAB sear or did you have to get a sear for another manufacturer's Sharps and have to file it to make it fit? And last, did you get your parts from VTI Gun Parts, and if so why did it take 2 weeks to get it. Sorry to ask so many questions, but maybe your experience can help me and some of the other owners out there. I am sorry for the problems you have had, and hope after all you have been through you have ended up with a rifle you are happy with.
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