Author Topic: Got around to shooting the '59 Sharps  (Read 3226 times)

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Offline mike116

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Got around to shooting the '59 Sharps
« on: December 18, 2016, 12:55:38 PM »
I acquired this 1859 Sharps Infantry rifle back in June and finally got around to testing it out last Thursday.    I tried to sight it in at 100 yards but had a lot of trouble using the sights that came with the rifle.   I wear progressive lens glasses and could not focus on the rear sight block at all.   The block on the factory sight is very small with a "V" shaped cut out.   When trying to line up with the front blade the tiny rear site block completely disappears.    I'm going to need a sight with a much larger block or better yet a tang sight like I have on my other Sharps rifle. 



As you can see in the photos I made some paper cartridges using a 470 grain bullet cast from a mold I ordered from Old West Bullet Moulds (http://oldwestbulletmoulds.com/products/sharps-54-heel-bullet-550-dia-470-grain-single-cavity-mould) perm papers and then dipped in my bullet lube.   
The cartridges worked very well and the old rifle seemed to function perfectly except for one misfire caused by what I think was a faulty (weak) musket cap.   The breech block started to get stiff after ten or twelve shots but the bore stayed clean.  I had to remove the block and wipe it off but the fouling was soft and the block easily cleaned up.   A more generous application of lube to the breech block may help the problem next time.



Going to see what I can come up with for a new sight and maybe get the thing sighted in a little better next outing.

Offline snake-eyes

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Re: Got around to shooting the '59 Sharps
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2016, 01:49:12 PM »
Mike,
       Keep on,keepin on! I know you will make it work.  (T^      snake-eyes  )&&  :9)
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Offline Len

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Re: Got around to shooting the '59 Sharps
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2016, 02:04:49 PM »
Nice gun, nice pix. What powder did you use?
I now and then punch a small hole, say 1/8", in a strip of black electric tape, and attach the tape to my glasses. I don't know why (probably electronic), but I can then see back and front sight and the target simultaneously.

Offline prof marvel

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Re: Got around to shooting the '59 Sharps
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2016, 02:15:54 PM »
Great job on the Sharps. I too have the same problem with focus, but i stick to plain bifoculs, can,t get used to progressives.
I usually put on "distance" glasses, then Like Len I poke a needle hole into tape or cardboard to put over one lens.

Len - it's the "aperture" effect well known in the optics and camera world - the smaller the aperture, the more "stuff" is in focus;
this effect is however at the cost of "brightness" . I am adding tang mount aperture sights to darn near everything, and fixed scopes to
my few cartridge rifles that they won't look out of place on.

yhs
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Offline mike116

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Re: Got around to shooting the '59 Sharps
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2016, 03:08:40 PM »
Nice gun, nice pix. What powder did you use?
I now and then punch a small hole, say 1/8", in a strip of black electric tape, and attach the tape to my glasses. I don't know why (probably electronic), but I can then see back and front sight and the target simultaneously.

Goex 3f,  70 grains.     
I tried the peep hole technique a while back,  couldn't get the hole positioned in the right spot on these progressive lenses.   I've seen a couple guys with a disc that attaches to their glasses that can be flipped up or down sort of like a jewelers loop.   I do pretty well with the Creedmore sight I have on the 45-70 Sharps.

Offline mike116

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Re: Got around to shooting the '59 Sharps
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2016, 03:15:23 PM »
I too have the same problem with focus, but i stick to plain bifoculs, can,t get used to progressives.
I usually put on "distance" glasses, then Like Len I poke a needle hole into tape or cardboard to put over one lens.

yhs
prof ( can't see either) marvel

I have astigmatism in addition to being near sighted, without correction for that everything is blurred beyond recognition.  "Distance" glasses alone would be of no help.    I'm way past due for a new prescription,  maybe new lenses will help.

Offline prof marvel

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Re: Got around to shooting the '59 Sharps
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2016, 11:56:31 PM »
I too have the same problem with focus, but i stick to plain bifoculs, can,t get used to progressives.
I usually put on "distance" glasses, then Like Len I poke a needle hole into tape or cardboard to put over one lens.

yhs
prof ( can't see either) marvel

I have astigmatism in addition to being near sighted, without correction for that everything is blurred beyond recognition.  "Distance" glasses alone would be of no help.    I'm way past due for a new prescription,  maybe new lenses will help.

My Good Mike -
me too - both astigmatism and nearsited. astigmatism is so bad the opthomoloo optomitrist eye doctor equated my eyeball to
a football.  I once got a "distance only" prescirption, and an "arms-length only" prescription for work. Having tried both with rifles and pistols I found what works for target shooting is the "distance" script plus an aperture on the lens -or- a tang-mounted aperture.

hope this helps
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Offline mike116

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Re: Got around to shooting the '59 Sharps
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2016, 05:53:44 AM »
Same thing my eye doctor said,  football shaped.   Progressive lenses work well for me but not for shooting.   I tried the lenses my doctor called "computer glasses",  or "arms length" lenses.   I ended up breaking them from switching glasses all the time.   I'll see what the eye doctor says when I go in January.
Thanks for the suggestions Prof.

Offline DD4lifeusmc

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Re: Got around to shooting the '59 Sharps
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2016, 07:34:27 AM »
I can see generally. except close up  I need reading glasses.
I have general glasses for driving.
Hate bifocals so have two pair from the VA  regular ones and the upclose.
when shooting the revolver out to about 30 -35 ft I can focus pretty good
get to 50 ft i have to focus one or other. I usually put the front sight where I want it.  that 4x4 chunk wood I use for my target
gets hit pretty good.    but as I get older I see I need two hands more and more as getting shakey with old age.

so far not much trouble sighting the sharps.  Hope to do some regular shooting this spring. My neighbor has a better range.
Says I can come over when he's there.
A tang sight is about $200 -$250   a malcolm scope about $100 more.  Might look into that this new year.
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Offline mike116

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Re: Got around to shooting the '59 Sharps
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2016, 11:03:14 AM »
I have less trouble with the sights on my lever actions.   The rear block on this military Sharps is smaller than any other I have seen.  It's not bad with the ladder folded up but shorter range with the ladder down I just can't see the sight.   I'm going to look into a soule sight with adjustable aperture disc,  they are expensive though.   Maybe find a good used one on a BPCR forum.   

Offline ssb73q

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Re: Got around to shooting the '59 Sharps
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2016, 11:34:59 AM »
Hi Mike, as we get older, either a red dot or scope makes a lot of sense. While not historic, scopes help with old eyes and lets one shoot rifles accurately.

This is a 30-30 1894 of mine with a scope that allows 1 moa ability:



Neat rife you have there.

Regards,
Richard
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