Author Topic: New guy with a Sile Sharps  (Read 2176 times)

Offline ccarley

  • Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 2
New guy with a Sile Sharps
« on: July 28, 2019, 09:44:29 pm »
Howdy all,

It's been a few years since I picked up this old Sile Sharps.  I was then a member of a muzzleloader group here in Sonoma County (SVML) shooting a 50 cal Thompson Hawken, when one of the guys was retiring from shooting his BPCR guns asked if anyone was interested in his Sharps.  At the time, I jumped on it!  Nothing special for sure being a Sile/IAB Sharps with plain wood and round about a 28" barrel, but it's mine nonetheless.  The gentleman threw in a box of 50 rounds 45-70 to go with it.  At the time, all I knew was they were the right cartridges for the rifle.  Took a few shots with it at the range and wow, the thing kicked with those hand loads but was accurate enough to hit steel at 200 yards (all I had at the time).

A lot of reading later... and more reading... I learned a bit about these guns.  The hand loads I got with the rifle are probably too hot, I recall he mentioned they were some grains BP along with some grains smokeless.  Looks like a 500 gr lead bullet.  Those cases swell upon firing.  I picked up some Federal 300 gr hunting loads which do not swell and am now reloading with 405 gr lead lubed bullets and smokless powder for the time being.  Haven't shot any of those loads yet, but I may need to pick up some more brass since those original 50 rounds seem to be loaded too hot.  I may not even shoot the rest.

As for the action, it's been worked on.  There's a custom set trigger assembly, that only cocks & fires once the set trigger is set.  Pulling it apart, the primary trigger will only release the set trigger which has too much tension on it, so the set trigger needs to be pulled to cock the hammer.  I'm really hoping to find a better solution for this but missed out on a double trigger set online a while ago.  I noticed that the hammer can be released from the half-cock position as well; I need to look at that notch more to see what's up there.  The barrel though looks great.  I believe the PO shot silhouette with it.

I'll do some disassembly and get some photos of the internals.  Here's some photos of the rifle as it is now though.

Clay Carley

Offline ccarley

  • Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: New guy with a Sile Sharps
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2019, 09:46:54 pm »
Had to rotate a couple of the photos.

Offline Coffinmaker

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 5427
Re: New guy with a Sile Sharps
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 11:26:41 am »

First .... A CAVEAT:  I don't personally shoot BPCR any more.  Unless you count my 38-55 Handy Rifle as BPCR.  My serious BPCR rifle, I gave up years and year ago.

My concern is the ammunition you were sold (given) with yours.  Duplex loads are NOT SAFE.  I con't care who loaded them.  If you're not associated with a Ballistics Lab, one has no business even thinking about doing duplex loads.

So my strong suggestion to you, is take those duplex loads apart.  Salvage the case and primer for your own use.  Use the unknown powders for fertilizer (works great in the garden).  DO NOT shoot them.  NOT in any rifle.

Offline Reverend P. Babcock Chase

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 132
Re: New guy with a Sile Sharps
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 09:55:01 pm »
Howdy CC,

Without having the triggers in hand I have to guess that the tension on the rear trigger has the extension sitting too high and is holding the lock's sear out of engagement. Look for a small screw on the trigger plate between the two triggers. Turning it up and into the plate should both let the trigger extension sit lower and reduce the tension on the rear trigger. The other screw ( in front of the front trigger) is just to adjust the trigger sear (not the lock's sear) engagement. Try fiddling with that middle screw with the trigger plate out and see if that helps.

Based on an ancient history with muzzleloaders, that's all I understand about what I know about that.

Reverend Chase