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Thread: Berdan's Sharps

  1. #11

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    Hallo!

    In the CW, my Garrett based BC NM1859 Sharps' double action/double set triggers required "frequent" tuning to stay functionally balanced- something "not really" needed for reenacting or living history blank firing purposes. I suspect it was due to jars and bumps, as well as the movement of stockwood due to changes in heat and humidity.

    (In the 18th century longhunter/scout/spy.. in my group DST's were highly discouraged because the opinion/ruling was that they were more a "rich man's gun" on fine and better gunnes rather than working class or lower class frontier folk's.)

    Curt
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    Not a real Civil War reenactor, I only portray one on boards and fora.
    I do not portray a Civil War soldier, I merely interpret one.

  2. #12

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    FWIW - there's not a single one pictured in George Neumann's "Weapons of the American Revolution." (Mine came with it as basic hardware, so I'm stuck with it.) In any case, reenacting there is no need to set a hair-trigger, regardless of time-period. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming...
    Rob Weaver
    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

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    174

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    Quote Originally Posted by Josafoot View Post
    Looking to get a sharps rifle in general.

    I found a pedersoli Carbine (1859) for 1095.


    I prefer the look and use of the infantry or berdans model. I can't afford the Pedersoli model, but there is the Armi-sport model.

    The army sport is 1300. I have heard pedersoli is superb quality over the armi-sport.

    I have also heard the armi sport has less issues firing due to the vent hole being lower in the breech, however, this also makes the use of brass casings impossible. Here is what I am asking, in terms of the following, which would be a better rifle to get.

    1. reliability/ ease to use for reenacting
    2. ease of cleaning
    3. looks and cosmetics

    Also would it be possible to make the cavalry carbine into a infantry model? My guess is no but i will ask anyway.
    The Sharps Infantry rifle is a very interesting rifle and one I have liked for a long time. I have used my Pedersoli Berdan Model at a few events. However part of the problem that some have with the Sharps rifle is that not very many were used in the Civil War. The NM1859 had a production of 6,989, that is far less than the number of Henry Repeating rifles that were used in the war. The NM1863 had a total production of 7,000 again less than the number of Henry repeating rifles used in the war. So doing an impression based on a Sharps rifle would be very limited. At least that is what many have said about the Henry repeating rifle and the Spencer both of which have greater numbers than the Sharps NM 1859 or NM 1863.

    With that said the Sharps rifle is a unique and interesting rifle that has its place in reenacting.
    Andrew L. Bresnan
    Victory Thru Rapid Fire
    National Henry Rifle Company http://44henryrifle.webs.com/index.htm
    LBL Tactical 1991 7th Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry Henry Company
    Bentonville 2010

  4. #14

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    Hallo!

    Yup.

    The other side of that of that same coin is use.

    By and large, if one were recreating a unit that was historically armed with them, like say some of the Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, or Pennsylvania infantry regiments.... that is historically one thing.
    But in some segments of reenacting where units have no standards for arms, and where lads can go out and buy most any long arm they fancy... a random Sharps rifle in a unit that did not have them is another.

    Curt
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    Not a real Civil War reenactor, I only portray one on boards and fora.
    I do not portray a Civil War soldier, I merely interpret one.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Galion, Ohio
    Posts
    1,103

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    I have used and currently own both the AS and the Ped Sharps. I was told by several that the Peidersoli was the better reproduction. In my humble opinion it is not. The Peidersoli is clunky, harder to drop the block, and the block itself less authentic than the Armi Sport. As far as live fire, I get the same results from both. As far as the brass casings I don't use them for two reasons....they are difficult to remove after firing without using a ram rod to drive them out, and they are harder to load than simply rolling a paper cartridge. However, that being said, the brass casing will allow better control of the powder load resulting in tighter groups. The cone has a ridiculously small ignition hole in both models and I opened them both slightly just to get consistent fire reliability. You must use a hot cap. I really miss the 6 wing CCI caps.

    With regards to how many there were, I agree with Curt in that if a unit had'em they should use 'em. But, like the Henry's and Spencers and such, if your unit didn't have them then don't use them. Fancy weapons are for the weapons demo's in the camp and stuff, not for a macho "I own one soz I'll use it" mentality during a battle demo. It's hard enough to get guys to die without throwing in a "machine gun Henry" or two and not getting any casualty results at all. I always grin when I attend an event and see Gatling guns on display and demonstrated as if they were in common use during the war, aside from the few that Butler had in New Orleans. While I say this I must add that they didn't have 6 pound 1841 smoothbore cannons at Gettysburg either, but there many of them at both BGA and GAC events.

    I don't know how anyone could think a Sharps is as easy to clean as a musket! It ain't. And more than that, a Sharps must be immaculate in order to fire dependably and to keep that chamber sleeve from getting stuck.

    IMHO, the Armi Sport Sharps rifle and carbine are the most user friendly and certainly well suited for both live fire and reenactment purposes.

    There was a link posted once to a guy who did a critical comparison of the 4 most common Sharps rifles. Good reading. I will try to find it and post it.

    Harry
    Member 5th Texas Co. A/1st NC Artillery. Disabled Viet Nam veteran, 1970. I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4UcaLHaabY

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Galion, Ohio
    Posts
    1,103

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    Here's that link. Very informative!

    http://www.berdansharpshooters.com/E...ing_Sharps.pdf

    He doesn't say much about the Armi Sports because at the time the article was written the AS was a brand new introduction and little was known....and he had not even had a chance to use one himself. Were this article to be written today I'm sure his conclusions would be far more favorable towards the Armi Sport. The info he had was negative as with any new introduction before the improvements can be done and the natural tendency for some to lambaste anything Armi Sport before actually seeing one.


    Harry
    Last edited by Artyman; 08-26-2013 at 04:28 PM.
    Member 5th Texas Co. A/1st NC Artillery. Disabled Viet Nam veteran, 1970. I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4UcaLHaabY

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