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Thread: Question for the Sharps shooters

  1. #1
    Steve Weems is offline
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    Question for the Sharps shooters

    Over the years the NSSA Sharps competitors and gunsmiths have developed ways to deal with jamming issues . These modern day fixies were not available to the soldiers in the percussion era so jamming must have been a problem in firefights. Are there first hand reports or modern research available that discusses the effect of jamming during active combat?

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    It would be interesting to see. My wife has a very nice original 1859. It doesn't seem to leak and has never seized up. Perhaps she is just lucky? Or perhaps they knew something back then that has been forgotten or dropped from the manufacturing process to save time and money?

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    Jim Wimbish, 10395's Avatar
    Jim Wimbish, 10395 is offline
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    When the Sharps jammed up during the War, they used liquids to loosen the hardened fouling that was keeping the breech from opening. They would even pee on the breech in a pinch. I had an original Sharps that had tap marks from a screwdriver that was used to unstick the breech. So the soldiers used whatever means that they had at their disposal to free up a frozen breech.
    Jim Wimbish

    Member of NSSA since 2000



  4. #4
    John Holland is offline Moderator
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    As for the original Sharps that show various degrees and forms of abuse, remember that they were only used in the Civil War for a mere 4 years. They were also used by the civilian population for another 150+ years, and I suspect that's where the majority of abuse actually came from.

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    Steve Weems is offline
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    Good point John. We have all seen hammer noses and nipples destroyed by constant dry snapping- probably by youngsters back when they were used as play toys. I have been around half the time these guns we love have and I have plenty of dings and scars.

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    Steve Weems is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hal View Post
    It would be interesting to see. My wife has a very nice original 1859. It doesn't seem to leak and has never seized up. Perhaps she is just lucky? Or perhaps they knew something back then that has been forgotten or dropped from the manufacturing process to save time and money?
    Glad to hear she is having such good experience with the original 1859? about how many shots would she fire in a typical carbine competition?

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    Steve,

    She probably fires 10 or so per event. She does not always clean between events, but usually. When she does, she is only concentrating on the bore though. Not to say that some solvent doesn't get to the breech face. At home, she may shoot 25 without cleaning, if we are just plinking.

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    Steve Weems is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hal View Post
    Steve,

    She probably fires 10 or so per event. She does not always clean between events, but usually. When she does, she is only concentrating on the bore though. Not to say that some solvent doesn't get to the breech face. At home, she may shoot 25 without cleaning, if we are just plinking.
    i would be happy with that level of reliability? it would account for a lot of success of the Sharps.

  9. #9
    Muley Gil is online now
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    "
    They would even pee on the breech in a pinch."

    Somehow, I think this fix might get yore team disqualified during a National.
    Gil Davis Tercenio
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    34th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry
    Great, great grandson of Cpl Elijah S Davis, Co I, 6th Alabama Inf CSA

  10. #10
    Jim Wimbish, 10395's Avatar
    Jim Wimbish, 10395 is offline
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    That's really too bad. It would save you a trip to the bathroom between relays.
    Jim Wimbish

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