Advice on my 1874 Sharps

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Advice on my 1874 Sharps

Post by zboneee » Fri Sep 25, 2020 12:24 pm

I have a Shiloh Sharps 1874 in 45/70. I bought it used, it's a nice piece with a factory LH cheekpiece which is quite rare to find but kind of neat since I am left handed. I put top quality MVA sights on it. My gun has a 34 inch full octagon barrel, measuring just over 1 inch near the breach and tapering to a bit over 0.9 inches at the muzzle. In short, it is a beast. After a couple of years of ownership, I have concluded that I really don't enjoy shooting it all that much because it is just so heavy and unwieldly. I am not a competition shooter; I just enjoy field shooting with a variety of accurate modern and classic rifles (no AR-15s!). I like position shooting and with this Sharps and its 34 inch barrel that is pretty fatiguing.

So -- I am wondering if replacing this barrel with a shorter one, perhaps a half-round 28 inch barrel, would make an appreciable difference? I know this is a heavy rifle and nothing is going to change that, but I suspect that removing some of that weight sitting way out there at the muzzle might significantly improve the handling qualities of this piece. What do you think?

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Re: Advice on my 1874 Sharps

Post by Brent » Fri Sep 25, 2020 7:56 pm

It will make a gigantic difference! And you could step down to smaller calibers as well.

Many a Sharps languishes in a safe or closet for just th he reasons you described.
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Re: Advice on my 1874 Sharps

Post by pacecars » Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:20 pm

You could always sell it and order another one. If you don’t want to wait too long you can go through Bill Goodman

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Re: Advice on my 1874 Sharps

Post by parkergunz » Sat Sep 26, 2020 1:59 am

Cut it down to 30". I have a #3 which started life with a 34" barrel. After a few years I had Shiloh cut it back to 30" and recut the dove tail. It is much more manageable now. Give them a call. Any local competent gunsmith should be able to do it also.

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Re: Advice on my 1874 Sharps

Post by SSShooter » Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:58 am

Not only cut it back to 30" but also have it turned half-round. More than one person I know (including me) that has done that has been pleased with the results.