Sharps Rifle: .450 BPE vs... ?

WebleyGreene455

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Good evening everyone.

Waaay back, I mentioned (I'm pretty sure) wanting to have a rifle made in some big-bore cartridge using either a modern-made Sharps 1874 or Winchester 1885 as the base. While I don't necessarily see myself using this rifle in Africa (unless I find myself able to hunt lion one day), it would be pretty well suited for bear, American buffalo, and having fun with guns in spare time. I find myself a little torn as to what cartridge I ought to use, despite having settled on .450 Nitro Express and then .470 Nitro after some thought and research.

The issue comes from wanting to be relatively true to what could have been achievable when either rifle was actually in production, even if it no longer really matters with modern-made rifles. For the Sharps, that means I'd have to settle on a cartridge designed before 1881 unless I wanted to be anachronistic, and for the Winchester it's any cartridge up to 1918. As a result I'd thought I'd settled on a 1885 in .470 since it checks all the boxes but as I said, I'm having some second thoughts.

Now, if I want to do a Sharps (which I am starting to lean towards since they just have a style I can't beat), I can have it done in any of the US .45 calibre cartridges (.45-70 up through -120) but it's possible I can have one done in .450 Black Powder Express instead, which would check off the boxes I'm interested in, and there are smokeless loads that are identical to the black powder shells. So I suppose what I'm asking for advice on in a nutshell is,

Is there any particular reason not to go with the .450 BPE and use a traditional American or anachronistic Nitro Express cartridge on the Sharps?

Thanks,
~~W.G.455
 

AZDAVE

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The 450BPE and the 45/120 are basically equivalent to each other. If you are looking for a solid smokless you might look at the 45/100 (45 2.6in) as it has just a bit more powder capacity than a 458WM. I have a HR buffalo classic that I opened to a 45/100 but it is such a light rifle that I don't load it to 458WM level. In a sharps that is much heavier but you would have to make sure it could handle the higher pressures.
 

degoins

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Go with the .450. More "historically correct" for your rifle choices plus lots more bullets to choose from.
 

fourfive8

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Not sure about the premise of your question?

For North American bison late 1800s anachronism I’d choose 44-90, 45-110 or 50-90 in something like a high quality Shiloh or C Sharps in Sharps M1874. The Winchester M1885 was a little late to the party for most of the bison action as it was over by 1888 or before in some areas.

For African continent late 1800s anachronism... different rifles and different cartridges???

Plus all these, no matter the origin or intended use, were basically designed around lead bullets both GG and paper patch over black powder. Some if feasible, more so the cartridge, obviously were later adapted to nitro (smokeless).
 
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