View Full Version : what single shot rifle is best for hunting
what would be the best for hunting if deciding between a Sharps 1894 or Browning 1885 in 45-70.Would want one with tight chamber and groove diameter regardless of price.
45r If your refering to the browning 1885 I can give you my impressions. Steve
09-23-2007, 10:36 AM
First off I think you may have your numbers mixed up.
The most common of the Sharps models is the 1874. The 1895 Browning/Winchester was never available in 45/70 so I think you are refering to the 1885 also refered to as the high wall.
Now if we have the numbers right lets look at your question. You are asking about a model on the Sharps and a brand on the Browning. There are a lot of differant brands or makers producing the 1874 Sharps that are being imported into our country in addition to the several being produced here. Some are top notch and some not so.
As for the Browning/Winchester 1885 or even the earlier version of it the B-78 that is produced in japan by Miroku (sp) they are of a very high quality.
These are not an exact copy of the origonal 1885 Browning design and can be rather a pain to dissasemble/reassemble but are none the less high quality and potencialy very accurate.
In my most humble opinion the high wall design is stronger and potencialy more accurate than the 1874 Sharps. Not only this but the Browning/Winchester is produced from the factory with what were custom gunsmith refinments to the origonal guns for inhanced accuracy potencial.
The smaller, lighter, faster hammer of the highwall make it an easier gun to shoot well. This is one reason there were no serious accuracy compettiters of the period using a side hammer Sharps. Now the Bordshart Sharps is an entirely differant animal.
Simple answer is if both guns are of equal quality I feel sure you will be quite happy with either.
My personal choice even though I really really like the look and feel of a quality Sharps I prefer the high wall design. When I was hunting fur for a living my choice of rifle was actualy two rifles, both B-78,s. One was a back up and one my every day gun. I carried this from before daylight to after dark very nearly every day for the winter months. My every day gun was a 6mm Rem and the back up was a 22/250. I felt the 6mm was a sorperior cartridge because it would drop an animal that was running straight away at any range I could hit it where the 22/250 would only break down the rear.
So since I have gotten away from your question I have probably rambled enough.
09-23-2007, 05:51 PM
If we're talking a C.Sharps or Shiloh vs. a Browning 1885, there isn't a "best." It's a pretty safe bet the Browning will be lighter, if that matters to you. I owned a Browning and a Shiloh, both .45-70, concurrently for 2 years-sold the Browning. Just a matter of "feel" and personal appeal.
09-23-2007, 06:06 PM
I've hunted with three seperate "styles" of single shots so far .
The first was a Winchester 1885 in 270 WSM , the second a H&R Handi Rifle in 500 S&W MAG and the third a Ruger #1B in 243 WIN .
All three of them were alright for the purpose they were used .
Took the 1885 out about three times and killed a small buck with it the first day I ever hunted with it . However that rifle was kinda heavy and long for a everyday deer rifle .
Used the 500 in some thick 50 yard or less areas , but never had a chance for a shot . It handled well thou I might add !
The Ruger #1B has been hunted 4 or 5 times but has never had the oppurtunity to be blooded . It however works well for me in ease of carry ability .
I have a Shiloh on order and plan on using it for at least one deer . However this will most likely be about a 12 pound rifle , so again like the Winchester 1885 not good for a every day deer rfile .
The best handling single shot for a deer rifle IMHO would be the Ruger #1S in 45-70 or the Ruger #1A in 7x57 . The #1S in 45-70 and the #1A's are a bit lighter and very very handy [smilie=1:
what would be the best for hunting if deciding between a Sharps 1894 or Browning 1885 in 45-70.Would want one with tight chamber and groove diameter regardless of price.Got it right now I hope.Guess a Sharps would be kinda heavy.Davidsons have 28 inch 1885's that might be light enough.Learn more all the time.
09-24-2007, 02:11 AM
Davidsons have 28 inch 1885's that might be light enough.
Any rifle with a 45 caliber barrel 28 inches long is gonna be heavy . The 1885 I had in 270 caliber was quite stout and it by no means had what I would call an overly "thick" barrel .
Nothing wrong with what you want , just don't expect it to carry like a normal bolt action or lever action .
I looked over some 1885 rifles at Gander MTN and they felt good to me.Are they easier to take apart and put back together once you get the hang of it.I like to clean my guns well after I shoot them.I would use smokeless powder probably and wouldn't need to take it apart every time but just wondering what all it involves and allways helps to hear from people who have been there and done that.
10-03-2007, 10:20 AM
If they are the same as the Winny not bad.
10-03-2007, 11:31 AM
I Have a 1874 Sharps with a 34" barl, unless I am in a stand with a good shooting platform am I going to carry it very far it weighes 14+ #. I would carry my Hakim first I just thought it was heavy until I got the Shiloh.
I know nothing about the Sharps but I have owned a Browning 1885. I purchased an 1885 BPCR rifle without having handled one. BIG mistake. I figured that "they" couldn't have screwed up the very best American designed single shot action too badly. Boy was wrong. I worked as a gunsmith for 20 years. While working mostly on high grade doubles I am very familiar with the HiWall. The only similarity between the Browning and the Winchester is their outward appearance. Absolutely nothing "they" did to the Browning can in anyway be construed as an improvement. In short the Browning is in my humble opinion a total abomination. Iím not saying that it didnít shoot well; it wasnít bad in that respect. The trigger mechanism is however an abortion. I would not recommend that anyone take apart their Browning unless they are VERY familiar with this type of work. If I were going to buy a new production HiWall I would look at the ones made by C.Sharps, http://www.csharpsarms.com/ or Meacham Tool & Hardware Co. Inc http://www.meachamrifles.com/ even if I had to ďsave-upĒ for another 2 years. Iíve had no contact with the Uberti but I would look at it before the Browning. Myself I sold that Browning POE (piece of excrement) and picked up an original HiWall. Just my $.02. Remember like someone said, advice is worth what you pay for it. Steve
10-03-2007, 07:56 PM
I don't share scb's assessment of the modern 1885. I will NOT argue, however, that the original was a fine rifle.
I have shot the modern Browning 1885's with black powder (BPCR) for thousands of shots. It is a simple matter to "flush" the action with a powder solvent about once a year. Of course, they must be cleaned shortly after shooting Black Powder through them but you definitely do NOT have to take them apart to do that.
You can get a very fine 2-2.5 lb "clean" trigger pull doing a trigger job (write me direct and I'll send you complete instructions on how to do this). The trigger job takes about thirty minutes after you have done one. I have done this on a good many of these rifles and using my method, the trigger job has been done around the world. The instructions are free by e-mail to anyone who cares to write me (the original article was done for "The Single Shot Exchange").
My Browning BPCR has shot 10 shot groups at 500 yards that run six-eight inches (with Black Powder) in front of witnesses (in good conditions) with plain base lead bullets. My eyesight is faililng and I now use a scope and it still gets under an inch at 100 yards.
I haven't tried these rifles with jacketed bullets but I would suspect that they would do fine.
scb is correct when he states that the actions shouldn't be taken apart but the trigger job doesn't require that nor does normal maintenance.
I have used most of the popular original single shots (currently own several different types) and each of them has their own idiosyncrasies. Personal preference has a lot to do with it.
Weight of the Sharps 1874 depends entirely on which configuration one buys. No, you will not find a 6 lb lightweight but Shiloh (for one) makes shorter lighter versions. Regarding the side vs center-hung hammer issue, for benchrest or offhand schuetzen competition the center-hung hammer action will have the advantage. For hunitng, the side hammer issue would be just an excuse for missing. The Sharps is capable of very fine accuracy - all one will ever need in a single shot hunting rifle. Like Dale said, it is a matter of preference.
10-04-2007, 08:51 AM
Consider the Lone Star Rolling Blocks, made in USA. The Cowboy Action rifle weighs in at 8.5 pounds and the #5 a mere 6 pounds (in 30/40 Krag).
I'm a rolling block nut though, I've owned 5 different rollers. Right now I'm down to a Remmy 45/70 and a Whitney 38-55. would love to add a L.S. #5 to my collection.
10-06-2007, 10:15 AM
I own both Sharps and High walls (Browning and original design. Both rifles will do well in the hunting field. The Brownings are a pain in the neck to take apart to clean completely. In fact the one time I did that I had a devil of a time putting it back together and even had to make a special tool to do it after two weeks of fooling I got it back together and have never taken it apart again. They must have special tooling for assembling them at the factory. The origial design of high wall is simplicity in itself to disassemble and reassemble. So is the sharps. As for hunting both designs work really well and shoot better than the average man can use. Weight in both is a function of the barrel given the same diameter and length barrel a high wall wiil be lighter than an 1874 Sharps. I have as a hunting rifle an 1874 Sharps by C Sharps in 50-70 it has a 26 inch round barrel and weighs around 8 pounds. It works really well out to 200 yards. I have the barrel sight set at 100 and an Ideal tang sight set at 200 and I estimate hold inbetween. I have yet to miss anything with it that I shot at.
10-06-2007, 10:18 PM
I'd concentrate on caliber first, then whichever gun turns your crank, the heavier Sharps type and highwalls will reduce recoil and be easier to hold steady. For hunting with smokeless loads I'd recommend the 45/70 for hunting with BP, I'd recommend the 50/90Sharps. As others have said......the sharps,highwalls, and rolling blocks are all good old designs and it's just personal preference.
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