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  1. #1
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    Sharps Paper Cartridges

    Sharps cartridges are made a little differently from musket cartridges. They remain intact as you push them into the breech and contain the bullet in firing position within the cartridge. Otherwise,they are constructed in similar fashion to the musket tubes. I make mine with nitrated papers obtained from C. Sharps or Shiloh Sharps in Montana. They are cut oblong and so do not have that diagonal seam that the musket ones do. Therefore you have to use glue on the seams and carefully slide the pre-lubed bulle into the open end like this:



    These are the Shiloh papers. The replica CW leather cartridge box is from www.blockaderunner.com
    They have really nice leather goods at reasonable prices. One cartridge has more powder in it than the other. The chamber on my 1859 Pedersoli cavalry carbine is shorter than the one on my 1863 sporting rifle.
    I'm sure the original ones were prettier than mine. They used silk bags of powder glued to the base of the bullet instead of paper. Of course the originals were 52 caliber instead of 54 like the replicas. I have been usung Remington pre-lubed bullets but the are lots and lots of 54 bullets out there to try. Accuracy has been fair to good.

  2. #2
    Gizamo
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    Re: Sharps Paper Cartridges

    Having owned two of these paper cartridge Sharps in the past....

    I must say that one would run a string of volleys and go like the energizer bunny. The other would start to bind up from fouling almost immediately. It was a frustrating gun because of the fouling, yet a wonderful gun given it's accuracy.

    The falling block design is a bear if you get the mechanism seizing up between shots.

    Slash actually taught me how to roll my own using nitrated papers. And I have to admit it is easier then reloading with brass cartridges. Plus you can load one of these Sharps in 3 different ways. The guns are very versitile....and for every negative, have 5 positives.

    giz

  3. #3
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    Re: Sharps Paper Cartridges

    The fellow I was watching was primarily using lubed .54 cal round balls in his non-Pedersoli Italian clone - with decent results at 100yds. His cartridges looked very much like your musket pills but were automatically sliced off by the sharp edge of the rising breechblock.

    I went prowling around the Shiloh and C.S. 'sites and found these paper cartridge tubes for sale instead of papers:
    http://www.shilohrifle.com/catalog/popu ... hp?pID=270

    The last batch of nitrated papers I bought from D.G.W. were sort of pricey. Also, they were too large for my .36 Navy cartridge project and left considerable waste when used for that. These paper tubes are sort of pricey, too. I'm looking forward to trying the phonebook white pages. (IMO, using paper cartridges in C&B revolvers is the easiest way to maximize shooting fun in that type of firearm - particularly if you don't have access to a table or bench.)

    Thanks for all this useful info!

    xtm

  4. #4
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    Re: Sharps Paper Cartridges

    Does the whole thing get shoved in there? How does it ignite?
    Let go of anything that stops you from having everything…DM

    Dom





  5. #5
    Gizamo
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    Re: Sharps Paper Cartridges

    Dom,

    The whole thing gets shoved in there...and the end of the paper cartridge is shaved off when the action is closed. The gun uses a cap for it's ignition.


    giz

  6. #6
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    Re: Sharps Paper Cartridges

    Yes,the whole thing gets shoved into the chamber with about 1/8 to 1/4 inch of it hanging out the rear. The top of the breech block is shaped like a scissor blade and when you close the lever,the block comes up and cuts off the back of the cartridge tube cleanly and exposes the powder inside to the face of the block. The musket cap fires on the outside and the spark is conducted through the block by a series of tunnels changing directions twice. It comes out behind the chamber and into the cartridge.
    When you open the breech after firing and look into the chamber,you will see nothing but smoke! Reload by shoving in another cartridge and start all over again with nothing to extract. Pretty neat system really.
    If you run out of cartridges,you can load with a loose bullet followed by topping off the chamber with loose powder and closing the block.
    You can also roll just powder into tubes with both ends closed off,then insert the bullet into the chamber manually followed by your "powder cartridge",close the block as before and fire. This is the way large naval guns still work on battleships.
    In addition,you can even leave the block closed after firing and load the whole thing from the muzzle with a ramrod and short starter.
    Quite versatile isn't it?

  7. #7
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    Re: Sharps Paper Cartridges

    Thanks giz and lord slashcat, the only BP I ever shot was a TC Hawken I built from a kit about 30 years ago. I have since sold it, but it was fun to shoot and very acurate. It was a .45 and had a hooked breech system which made it pretty easy to clean. Kinda wish I still had it. I spent a lot of time finishing the wood and polishing the brass. I also had the barrel professionally blued, the gunsmith did an excellent job, the blue was so deep it looked black, she was a looker for sure!
    Let go of anything that stops you from having everything…DM

    Dom






 

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