Saturday, November 08, 2003

Sharps Rifles and Carbines

I can't hit the broad side of the barn with a rifle, but I love my Sharps. I have two, a rifle and a carbine. I've owned five or six over the years, both cartridge and percussion. I don't currently have a cartridge sharps, 45-70's ain't cheap and I'm not set up for reloading. 'Sides I kinda like the big boom the .54's make.

The carbine is a Taylor & Company I got a couple of years ago, I doubt I've fired it more than 20 times. I've never carried it on horseback, or in a reenactment. I thought about carrying it when I rode staff at the big Chickamauga event a couple of years ago, but I decided that a belt gun and two horse pistols were plenty. (I was baby-sitting a battalion commander who didn't know how to ride and figured I'd be better off without the encumbrance)

My rifle is a Sile that once was a sporting rifle that I had a friend of mine convert to a three-band military rifle (with a little help from a new forearm that I found at Wildman's Civil War Surplus down in Kennesaw along with some barrel bands from Dixie Gun Works). I think there is either half an inch or an inch and a half difference in the barrel length between it and the real one. John did such a good job with it, the first time I took it to an event; a guy stopped me and started bitching at me for carrying an original. I can't hit anything with firing live, but it's more fun to shoot than anything else I have with the possible exception of my horse pistols (Walker & a second model Dragoon).

Hmmp, in the nature of a public service announcement, let me state that it is always wise, when using a percussion sharps, to check the top of the breechblock for any powder left over after the breechblock tears the end of the cartridge... it can be embarrassing to throw it up to your shoulder to fire and drop the damn thing while screaming "ARGH my eyes!" Especially in front of a crowd....