I have a Sharps, and have reenacted with it for a number of years. Originally I got it for a specific impression, and then have carried it when my rifle was loaned out to a beginner. I would say that as a reenacting arm apart from being inaccurate for a majority of infantry impressions, it has the following shortcomings: 1) It's fiddley. I've replaced several parts, and learned more than I really ever wanted to know about gun repair keeping it in shooting condition. 2) It's a bear to clean. I can clean 4 muskets adequately in the time it takes to clean a Sharps breechblock well. And for the love of mike, never drop the breechblock cleanout screw in the grass. I'd rather look for a contact lens on the floor of the mall. 3) It needs special cartridges. I can shoot regular paper cartridges, but some of the paper is going to blow out the muzzle. Sometimes folks get hyper about that. So I shoot combustable cartridges. If I run out, I can't share with the guy next to me. 4) It's short. Firing from the rear rank is problematic. 5) You have to modify a bayonet to get it to fit. Now, it's an easy modification, but for someone who is all thumbs in the workshop, it's a showstopper. 6) It's a really expensive blackpowder gun. At least historically it's been nearly 2x as much as an off the shelf muzzleloader. It might not seem as expensive compared to a Garand, or to the new muzzleloading repros, but I saved moeny for a year and a half for it. 7) It's greatest advantages: accuracy and fast rate of fire, are meaningless in reenacting tactical demonstrations. A Sharps can be reloaded in about 8 seconds. So can a muzzleloader, if you're only firing blanks and not ramming. In short, although I love my Sharps, love shooting it and love the looks of envy when I fall in on the line, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone as a first or primary reenacting infantry arm.
Pine River Boys, Co I, 7th Wisconsin
"We're... Christians, what read the Bible and foller what it says about lovin' your enemies and carin' for them what despitefully use you -- that is, after you've downed 'em good and hard."
-Si Klegg and His Pard Shorty