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45-120

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Sabertooth, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Josephine County Active Member

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    Any one out there shooting a 45-120??
     
  2. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    Will a 45-110 suffice? (actually a .45 2 7/8ths to be precise). If so then yes!

    By 45-120 I'm surmising your referring to a case length of 3.25"? Correct?
     
  3. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Josephine County Active Member

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    Yup, you got it. I have a Marlin 45-70 and am looking to up my game with a reproduction Sharps or some type. Still trying to digest all the reading about the straight case rifle calibers. For the price of the reproduction rifle I want to make the right choice and not have to do a redo.
     
  4. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    Smart man! Cry once. They're a lot of fun but come with their own set of challenges. I've made every mistake possible with this technology. You must forget much of what you know about modern technology, reloading, and shooting modern smokeless propellant. People don't believe me when I say this but it is true. Be prepared to go back to beginner status. The 110 and 120 cartridge is an experts round. I'd suggest you start with the .45 2 1/8th even tho it isn't sexy or ubber cool like the 110 or 120. Seriously I didn't start messing with these larger case rounds until several years of working out the bugs with the 2 1/8th. And if I didn't make two trips to Texas to train with Goex's load-developer I'd still be frustrated. Please contact me if you want a resource. I'm hunting this year with my Shiloh Sharps!
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
  5. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    Oh I can be reached easier at dan@oregonfirearmsacademy dot com.
     
  6. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Josephine County Active Member

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    Been shooting muzzle stuffers for 40 years but it sounds like I need to learn some different rules on reloading. For the 45-70 most people use smokless powders, booooo. But then I might. Sharps made in Montana?? Been looking at them and the Pedroseles. $2 grand is a big ouch. Hows your Sharps for accuracy out at 500 yards?
     
  7. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    Shooting Muzzle stuffers for a long time...as have I. Using Black Powder in cartridges is a totally different ball game. Yes, you'll need your past knowledge for smokeless and Muzzle Loader but it will only get you so far...and unfortunately not that far...especially if you want consistency, reliability and accuracy. This is a new world altogether and it was almost a dead science and art save for one generation of shooters who kept the art alive.

    Yes, this is not a cheap or inexpensive project by any means. I went into this with a budget and some knowledgeable expectations but still was surprised. I was fortunately to have several highly experienced Master Class BPCR shooters as mentors.

    The Shiloh is at the top of the food chain for USA made Sharps. The Pedersoli are the same for European made arms. Pedersoli Sharps are very good and win many matches each year. It was a toss up for me...but I went American...if I'm going to own a Sharps it had to be American - that is the traditionalist in me.

    Accuracy is relative....they're not on par with modern optic mounted sub-MOA bolt guns so it isn't even fair to compare. The Shiloh is built to exacting standards (I've toured their factory three times) and their barrels are some of the best made. So if a person has reasonable expectations of the technology then the Shiloh is extremely accurate. The rifle is much more accurate than I and most people can shoot them. Being an effective reloader is the secret and that takes years to master unfortunately to be any good at it. 500 yards is fairly easy stuff to do...hitting a gong 8/10 times consistently. My personal best is 7/10 at 1000 but I average 3/10 and that is considered very good. The second key with shooting at this distance is having a really effective spotter.

    Keep in mind with BPCR ballistics we deal with transitioning to transonic and that creates a whole new set of issues unlike modern cartridges shot within their effective range. A BPRC after about 400 yards is basically like an artillery piece and the bullet is dropping down to the target instead of striking it almost straight on.

    I certainly not trying to scare or talk anyone out of this...but I want people to enter into this experience with their eyes wide open. I do not shoot smokeless propellant in my Sharps and only use all cast bullets. Think of a Sharps barrel using black powder like seasoning an expensive Griswold cast iron pan. You wash it in soap and water one time it ruins the seasoning. Shooting smokeless in a seasoned black powder barrel is similar. If you're shooting close distance and don't care about consistency then no biggie. If you want to hit longer distances on a regular basis then biggie. Same with jacketed bullets... I stick with BP and Cast!
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
  8. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    Wally did you use the stock sights?
     
  9. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Josephine County Active Member

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    Spotter? Whats that. Must be something new. :)
    Reloading the BPCR's sounds like reloading rifles and handguns with one exception NO AIR SPACE IN THE CASE. Unless you want your rifle to blow up in your face. Same as with the muzzle loaders. The rest is matching bore, bullet and powder charge.
    Why is it non of my friends will shoot my .54 Hawkins? Load is 480 gr mini, on top of 110 ffg. Hits the gong at 260 yards every time. I don't think it kicks at all.
     
  10. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Josephine County Active Member

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    If any one wants to get rid of one or two of your bpcr's hit me up. I might have enough money. But have no idea of how I will explain to my wife why I need another rifle. Maybe if I tell her if I got a 50-140 I won't need the 50 BMG.
     
  11. Simonpie

    Simonpie Portland Active Member

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    I shoot a 45-70 rolling block next to guys with 45-90 and 45-110 out to 1000 yards. In my experience, at 500 yards, you won't gain anything with the longer cases. It won't hurt, however. At 1000 yards, the longer case lets you add more powder and get the amount of powder compression you want. I have to trade 1 for the other.
    A good wind reading book may be more important than your choice of rifle.

    I'd assume the stock sights on a Shiloh Sharps are exceptional. I use the Lee Shaver long range. The adjustable aperture (Hadley cup) is worth the extra money.

    The sport will never be super cheap, but you can learn, do well, and have fun on a pretty basic rifle. Much of the cost is in the accessories, so if you lock into a caliber, stepping up a notch in rifle quality isn't a big waste of cash.

    Have fun.
     
    OFADAN likes this.
  12. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    Sage advice Simonpie! Where do you guys shoot? At a match or informal?
     
  13. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    Regarding Simonpie sights comment... The first couple years I had my Shiloh I used the stock sights. I did fine with then young eyes out to 400 yards easily. Beyond that was humbling and frustrating. The flip up rear ladder is not repeatable like a Soule but with some help and tenacity one can eventually get onto target. It is tough to stay consistent. It wasn't until I plunked some serious cash on a MVA long range Soule and globe front with level that hits became very consistent and repeatable even with aging eyes and glasses. The Lee Shaver and Kelly are both top sights!

    Honestly 20-20 hind site: the 45 2 1/8th (45-70) is the best cartridge to start out with to learn this disciple. It is the easiest to get up to speed, most forgiving and a great cartridge anyway. I shot one at 1000 yard matches and never out grew it as I learned each time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2014
  14. Squidly

    Squidly Sandy Active Member

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    Nice read.

    I just bought an old Springfield trapdoor 45-70. Don't know much about them other than stick to the low pressure loads.
     
  15. Simonpie

    Simonpie Portland Active Member

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    I do a monthly paper silhouette at 200 yards at Tri-County using a trapdoor relined to 38-55.
    A couple of times I've gone out to Tri-Cities for the 3,4,5,8,9,1000 3 day matches. Fun, but windy. That's where I use the Rolling Block.
     
  16. Simonpie

    Simonpie Portland Active Member

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    The trapdoor can be a decent BPCR rifle. Some clubs have an "old soldiers" match that requires them to be totally stock. If you aren't hooked on black powder, think about a vintage military rifle match like at Tri-County. I've done quite a few modifications to mine, but I managed to keep everything reversible so I can get it back to "wall hanger" status in a few minutes. The hardest is mounting a decent sight without cutting into the stock.
     
  17. Gaucho Gringo

    Gaucho Gringo Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Simonpie, did you buy your rolling block already converted or did you have someone local do it? The reason I ask is I have an Argentine rolling block in .43 spanish that I am thinking of having converted to a more useable round. The rifle is in good condition and the bore is like a mirror but the cost of even reloading for .43 spanish is very high. If you had it done locally I would appreciate the name of the shop or person who did it. TIA.
     
  18. Simonpie

    Simonpie Portland Active Member

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    My rolling block is a Pedersoli reproduction (I think Navy Arms branded) that was 45-70 from the manufacturer. Some people poo-poo the Italian stuff, but quality has climbed constantly from the 70s junk.
    I did the Trapdoor 38-55 reline myself, but there's a lot of tooling costs there. It was my first (only) reline and I'm really happy with it.
    I don't know much about the .43 Spanish. If the bore diameter is similar to something else, then a simple rechamber might do the trick. Be careful that the extractor will still work and that the new cartridge will still fit over the hammer. This is why you don't see standard rolling blocks with 45-110. They can't be loaded.
    I hate to send people to other web sites, but the grumpy cranks at castboolits.gunloads.com probably have 10 threads on loading the 43 Spanish. They love their yester-year exotica.

    Pictures?
     
  19. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    If my memory serves me correctly the .43 Spanish and the 44-77 Black Powder Cartridge are one and the same except for bore diameter. the .43 is .439 and the 44-77 is .446. RCBS makes a bullet mold that will work in the smaller diameter Spanish. BELL and Huntington used to make brass for it...I think they're both out of business now. But someone else probably makes brass. If you're wanting a genuine Buffalo gun then it doesn't get much better than the 44-77. The 44 was the most popular cartridge during the buff'r hunt after the 50-70 until the 45-70 was introduced. The 44-77 is not known for being the most accurate of the BPCR's but it is a dandy.

    Mike Venturino let Tom Selleck train and shoot his Sharps 44-77 in preparation for his Quigley movie. For nostalgia and history the 44-77 is a great cartridge. If I had that .43 I'd be doing my research and getting the dies, cases, bullet molds and having a blast with it!
     
  20. ogre

    ogre Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Bertram brass has always served me well for the .43 Spanish cartridge. Standby for sticker shock should you decide to purchase some of it though.