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Thread: Original Trapdoor or Shilo/C Sharps

  1. #1
    Boolit Master GARD72977's Avatar
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    Original Trapdoor or Shilo/C Sharps

    I really have a want for another single shot. I have been watching Sharps and im intrested. I found a really mint 84 trap door. It got me thinking i could buy the trap door for about the same money as a nice used Shilo. The trapdoor wouldnt need sights.

    The main use would be target practice. I think the trapdoor would be fun off hand.

    When i say nice i mean this gun is really special.

    Just thinking on this.......

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    For me, the choice would be simple. I'd get the C. Sharps. Quality wise it's head and shoulders above the trapdoor and it will increase in value due to the fact it's made by C. Sharps. They are as good a firearm as you can buy. Trapdoors are nice to have and fun to shoot, but not as nice and not as much fun. The Sharps has to come with some type of sight on it, the original buyer had to have something on it. Even if you have to buy sights, it's worth the investment.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I have Pedersoli, C Sharps, and CPAs all are great rifles and very good shooters. I heave not worked with a trap door yet to know what they are like. The Trapdoors are a lighter weight rifle and recoil will be higher with similar loads. The trap doors are a piece of our History and would be an interesting rifle to work with. A good trapdoor with proper loads and use should make for a lot of fun and learning. I may add a trapdoor to the collection in the future also just for the fun. Also there is a lot to be said for a gun with special meaning for you. Heirlooms or family firearms add another aspect to it.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master OlDeuce's Avatar
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    I have both and fun to shoot! When I want to get beat-up I shoot the Shiloh, The trapdoor & BP are relaxing on a cool Day!!

    Ol Deuce
    Do the Best with What you have !

  5. #5
    Boolit Master GARD72977's Avatar
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    I had a trapdoor when i was young. Its the reason i got into reloading. I remember reading about loading round ball loads in Dixie gun works catalog.

    Im just wanting to buy something. If I go the Sharps route I may want to save a little more money. The guns that really catch my eye are bringing a more money than I have saved.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    There are two rifles on Shiloh's gun library page right now, that won't break the bank to badly.
    GUSA #6
    People will forget what you said...
    People will forget what you did...
    But People will NEVER forget how you made them feel

    Want to join in adult conversation about shooting the old ways without the hysterics associated with other places?http://historicshooting.com/mybb/index.php

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by OlDeuce View Post
    I have both and fun to shoot! When I want to get beat-up I shoot the Shiloh, The trapdoor & BP are relaxing on a cool Day!!

    Ol Deuce
    No need to get beat up, shoot the same loads in both guns. I shoot pretty light loads in all my 45-70's and they still shoot completely through every deer I shoot regardless of the angle or distance. They're only as painful as you make them.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    If money is an issue or you cant make up your mind between the 2 Look to Pedersoli and their 1874 Sharps and Trapdoor models buy 1 of each. Shilohs are very good rifles and well respected. With a little patience they can be found used on the market. If you can get to some of the bigger matches like the Quigley ( to visit and look around possibly shoot) there is a good chance of the venders area having a few used there. One thing Ive noticed is the C Sharps, Shiloh's, CPAs are often bought for a bonus, retirement gifts, or reward for something and a lot are very seldom shot if ever. A mechanic at the one factory I worked we bought a Shiloh for his retirement gift. At his estate auction I was talking to one of his sons and he told me Dad handled it every month but it had never fired it yet. This gun was 12 years old or so at the time. The boys couldn't decide who got it so check books spoke at the estate auction... I really doubt if the son who did buy it has ever fired it yet either. Finding these used may be a big plus as they are seldom fired a lot and it saves the wait on build time.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by NSB View Post
    No need to get beat up, shoot the same loads in both guns. I shoot pretty light loads in all my 45-70's and they still shoot completely through every deer I shoot regardless of the angle or distance. They're only as painful as you make them.
    This is very true. Cranking them up to 1500 --1750 fps is a new guy's experience. Us older types get over the maximum power thing.
    Chill Wills

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
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    Pedersolli and Shiloh Sharps are great firearms. I would think several time before buying a C Sharps. They tend to be indifferent towards their product and customers. Don't kid your self, most of these reproduction Sharps rifles are shot and shot a lot, even the $10,000.00 editions. My own Shiloh has worked its way through several cases of black powder over the last 17 years and is not suffering for the work. It is worth significantly more now than I paid for it.
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  11. #11
    Boolit Man
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    I currently own two original Trapdoors, a Shiloh Sharps, and two Italian Sharps. I have never seen a Trapdoor win a match against a Sharps or Rolling Block, not to say that there are not some Trapdoors out there that could do that. The tang mounted sights, insert front sight, set trigger and newer steel barrel of the modern Sharps give them a great edge in potential accuracy. You also have the ability to load the Sharps with much hotter loads, if that is a need or benefit.

    That being said, given your current choice, I would buy the Trapdoor in a heartbeat. You can pick up a Sharps replica any day of the week, but a mint, original Trapdoor is much harder to find. If you are going to shoot it offhand, the lighter, long barreled TD is, at least for me, much easier and more fun to shoot. Careful attention to the trigger can improve it a lot. You can always put a tang mounted sight on the TD, if you want to improve the sights for shooting. (I did that on mine when I was working up loads for accuracy for a military only rifle match.) In addition, IMHO, the COOL factor of the TD just cannot be beat.

    Good luck,

    Jackpine

  12. #12
    Boolit Master GARD72977's Avatar
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    Ok its a done deal. I bought this from a dealer and paid a premium. I didnt buy it as an investment. I judged its value aganist modern guns that I considered buy and decided it was worth it. Here are a few pics.

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  13. #13
    Boolit Man
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    That looks like one nice piece. I think you made the right choice. You can find a half dozen modern built Sharps in five minutes one any day of the week, but if this Springfield is all original, you will look long and hard to find another like it.

    Enjoy,

    Jackpine

  14. #14
    Boolit Master




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    Trapdoors

    You've got more case hardening left on the breach block than any two or three of mine. Certainly a well cared for rifle. I hope the bore is equally as nice. There are several threads here about loading for them. My favorite bullet in a Trapdoor is the 405 grain Lee that mimics the original Frankford Arsenal design. In a couple of my TDs it will hold 2 MOA at 200 yards day in and day out when loaded over SR 4759 powder. They are also quite fun when shooting black powder too. I keep one just for smokeless as it needs a taller front sight to zero with modern powder. It looks like yours might already have a taller sight from your photo.

    Now that you own a TD, you'll need to invest in some of the books available on them. Lots of great history behind them. Wolf's book on the Trapdoor is a must for loading data and technical details. It's virtually a stand alone tome for the TD aficiando.

    Here's a link to the book: http://4570products.info/Loading-Car...ingfield-1.htm

    Be careful as TDs can grow on you, particularly if you live in an area where you can shoot them to ranges of 1,000 yards or more. Anthills on the high Wyoming prairie are a particulary favorite target of mine. The dust really flys when when you range them properly and adjust for wind deflection at over a half a mile distance. If shooting at steel targets, those big bullets will let you know right now when you hit them.

    My collection:
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    Keep your powder dry,

    Scharf

  15. #15
    Boolit Master GARD72977's Avatar
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    I bought the gun from Al Frasca. He has a good reputation so im hoping the gun is as advertised. He says pristine bore and that he could find nothing on the gun that had been modifed. Cant wait to get it.

    I dont plan on shooting matches. I love single shots and can apperciate repo and original.


    Scharfschuetze thats quite a collection you have there! Im assuming you shoot Schuetzen rifles.

    I may order that book. I need some low pressure load data.

    I belong to a range that has a 600yd line. There is a 18" steel going. That should be a real challenge!
    Last edited by GARD72977; 06-30-2017 at 12:04 AM.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master woodbutcher's Avatar
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    Sounds like you`re fixing to head to fun city.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
    People never lie so much as after a hunt,during a war,or before an election.
    Otto von Bismarck

  17. #17
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackpine View Post
    I currently own two original Trapdoors, a Shiloh Sharps, and two Italian Sharps. I have never seen a Trapdoor win a match against a Sharps or Rolling Block, not to say that there are not some Trapdoors out there that could do that. The tang mounted sights, insert front sight, set trigger and newer steel barrel of the modern Sharps give them a great edge in potential accuracy. You also have the ability to load the Sharps with much hotter loads, if that is a need or benefit.

    That being said, given your current choice, I would buy the Trapdoor in a heartbeat. You can pick up a Sharps replica any day of the week, but a mint, original Trapdoor is much harder to find. If you are going to shoot it offhand, the lighter, long barreled TD is, at least for me, much easier and more fun to shoot. Careful attention to the trigger can improve it a lot. You can always put a tang mounted sight on the TD, if you want to improve the sights for shooting. (I did that on mine when I was working up loads for accuracy for a military only rifle match.) In addition, IMHO, the COOL factor of the TD just cannot be beat.

    Good luck,

    Jackpine
    I have a Pedersoli Sharps and two trapdoors, one an 1884 in .45-70, and an 1870 in .50-70. While I agree that the 1884 doesn't normally out shoot the Sharps, don't sell it short. With the right ammunition and load, it can be surprisingly accurate to 300 yards or more. And loaded with black powder, it tends to draw a crowd and some comments on the range. It is a fun gun to shoot.

    The .50-70 is probably a good shooter as well, but the sights on it are a bit too crude for my eyes.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Reverend Al's Avatar
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    What do you mean "or"? Buy them both!

    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

  19. #19
    Boolit Master




    Scharfschuetze's Avatar
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    We'll be looking forward to your first range reports Gard.

    General of the Army Miles developed the Army's marksmanship program following the dismal performance of the US Army during the 1876 Indian Campaign. The Trapdoor was the instrument that started real marksmanship training in the Army and many Army shooters became quite proficient with it and competed well at many of the big matches of the late 19th Century. At one time, hand made Trapdoors from Springfield Armory were given to Army rifle champions as a prize.
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    Keep your powder dry,

    Scharf

  20. #20
    Boolit Master GARD72977's Avatar
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    I finally recieved the trap door. This was an adventure. I sent a deposit and it was lost in the mail for a few days. I have to Say Al Frasca was great to deal with.

    Im not a rich guy. I dont get to buy guns like this very often. I know there are nicer guns out there and guns with more collector value. I could not be happier with this gun. It is in amazing condition. All the wood is proud and metal looks right. Im going to shoot it but will be very careful. I doubt i will use black powder. Here are a couple pics.

    The butt plate is the worst part of the gun as it should be. The lock is perfect. This was important to me because it is what I look at when I pick one up. The action is nice and tight.
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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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GC Gas Check