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OT Shiloah Shartps Loading Question

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Jim Porter, Nov 5, 2008.

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  1. Jim Porter

    Jim Porter Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    OT Shiloah Sharps Loading Question

    Long story short. Have a 45/110 for several years and have never been able to make it shoot well with cast bullits (bunch of moulds and combinations)and black powder. Have two more different calibers that produce 3" five shot groups at 200yds. Owner of Shiloah said to send it back, could have a bad barrel. I have bought some 450gr Barnes copper bullits to try. If these shoot, then maybe its not the barrel. Ouestion is, the only loads for this bullit in Barnes dada is for 458 Win Mag. I think the Shiloah will take but I don't want to test the theory. If there was a load for Ruger #1 or even an 1885 Marlin for this bullit it would be more in line with my thinking. There are lodas for lighter bullits but not this big one. There are no 45/70 loads listed for a jacketed bullit of this weight or I would just duplicate it with the bulkiest powder because of 40 more grains of case capacity. Anybody have any ideas???
  2. Savage99Stan

    Savage99Stan Active Member

    Dec 27, 2007
    Central Illinois
    I don't believe the Shiloh is up to taking .458 loads. My suggestion, if you want to have some fun the old way, would be to try some scheutzen loads. I used to get one inch groups at 100 and 3.5" at two hundred out of a converted rolling block using them (Numrich barrel on smokeless powder 7mm action).
    This is for 45-70 but would see no reason it would not work for 45-110. Prime with a good match grade large rifle primer. Five to seven grains of Dupont shotgun buld smokeless (still some around)...or even try trail boss, fifty five to ninety grains of FFg black (I used Dupont but GOI would be o.k.), a card wad, a wax wad, a card wad and then a cast bullet in the 370 to 400 grain range (for a 1 in 20 to 22 inch twist). I used to seat the bullet out to touch the rifling if I was loading a batch of shells but for matches I used a homemade breech seater and seated the bullet into the rifling--here you want the base of the bullet to touch the top card wad at the mouth of the case. We found that exact charge of black was less important than the uniformity of the bullets. I used about a 1 tin to 20 lead mix. Good luck.
  3. Bridger

    Bridger Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    The Sharps is not that strong of an action to be messing around with loads designed for a Ruger. Your gun was built to shoot black powder loads, not jacketed bullets.The people at Shiloh are the ones you should be talking to and if they asked you to send it back go ahead and do it.If there's something wrong, they will stand behind it.You need to find out what's wrong and they're the best people to fix your problem and then you'll have a gun that can be shot the way it was meant to be used.
  4. chipking

    chipking TS Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Jim even if the Barnes bullets do shoot well it could still be a barrel issue. The barrel and it's specs are designed to shoot a cast non gas checked bullet not jacketed bullets so the concern is how it performs with the ammo it is designed for. You should take advantage of Shiloh's offer plus pick their brains on special requirements for the 45/110. It has been a while but here are a few things I learned from playing with the big long black powder cases.

    Most prefer soft 450 - 510 grain bullets of round nose or tapered round nose design with lots of SPG lube for black powder NOT ALOX or wax or any of the lubes used for normal smokeless cast bullets. Paper patched bullets can be very accurate and can be loaded to higher velocities but require a lot of work and testing to get everything right.

    During loading pour the powder slowly into the case through a long non-sparking funnel and tube. Use enough card wads between the powder and bullet to cause powder compression. Most folks I know use a wooden dowel and compress the wads and powder then seat and crimp the bullet so it doesn't distort the bullet.

    These are not magnums so pressures and velocities should be kept low. Most perform very well at around 1300 - 1500 fps. Just because it says 45/110 or 45/120 does not mean that you must put that much black powder in them. Most of the straight cases that I tried seemed to work best with 75 - 95 grains of black and spacers.

    ALWAYS use Black Powder not a substitute for best accuracy.
    Hope this helps

    --- Chip King ---
  5. ec90t

    ec90t Guest


    There are quite a few of those Shiloah Sharps that won't shoot a very good group. It has to do with the way the barrels are made. I know a guy who is a very active black powder shooter and he explained it to me. He has two and they both have barrels on them other than what Shiloah put on them originally. He had both guns back to Shiloah 3 times before fitting them with different barrels. He can now shoot them competetively.

  6. cottondoctor

    cottondoctor Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Jim - send it back and have them cut the barrel and re-chambe to a 45-90 or 45-70----I have heard the 45-110 is hard to get to shoot anyway you go ---
  7. pendennis

    pendennis Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2007
    Southeast Michigan - O/S Detroit
    Unless you're shooting out past 300 yards to start, the .45-110 is not necessary. The .45-70 and .45-90 are much better.

    However, if you want to experiment before sending the rifle to Shiloh, try loading with 90gr ffg, and top out the volume with corn meal.

    I agree with PhDTrap, the .45-110 is a tough nut to get to shoot accurately. I could get my Pedersoli Sharps .45-90 and .45-70 to shoot much better than my .45-110.

    If Lyman still makes them, try their pre-cast 535gr bullets. They worked real well, without having to cast my own.

  8. Stumpstalker

    Stumpstalker TS Member

    Jul 7, 2008
    I bought a 45-70 long range express in late 1983. I read at the time that the barrel was cut for paper patched bullets and to get good accuracy with regular lead bullets, I had to seat them out to almost touch the rifling.

    Bullet quality is very important and purchased lead bullets usually don't have good bases. Read Mann's book on shooting from the 1890's. He studied how things screwed up accuracy by ruining perfect bullets and barrels.

    I never got the time to cast my own so the best groups at 200 yds would cover an outstretched hand using purchased bullets.

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