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Thread: Beginning in BPCR

  1. #1

    Beginning in BPCR

    What is a good starting BPCR rifle to look for? It has always interested me.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master semtav's Avatar
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    Browning/Winchester BPCR 1885 in 40-65 or 45-70.

    Sent from my E7110 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Bad Ass Wallace's Avatar
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    Any of these will do. If you are recoli sensitive the smaller 40cal numbers like 40/65 or else 45/70, 45/90.

    Hold Still Varmint; while I plugs Yer!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Randy Bohannon's Avatar
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    What Semtav said.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master

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    The pedersolis get good reviews and can really shoot. I would look for a fast twist 38-55 or 40-65 youll use less lead and powder and recoil is a little easier. But even the 45-70 is okay.
    If there are matches near you go and chat with some of them and watch, There always seem to be people with "extras" there.

    You need to watch the weight limits on the rifle.

    As important is the sights. pedersolis sights will get you started but it wont be long and you will want to upgrade to a better one.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy

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    Another fan of 38/55. Several of our shooters have gone from 45/70 to the small bore GW

  7. #7
    I have shot 38-55 in a lever gun and really liked it.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I started out with a 45-90. went to a 40-65 and now a 38-55 one is a c sharps high wall. The other is a DZ Hepburn. I like the side lever or rolling blocks more than the under levers like he sharps, browning, and or high wall / cpa, if you want to shoot prone the side levers allow you to stay more in position.

    I have a rolling block action and green mountain 38 caliber 1-14 twist barrel thats going to be a 38-56. Will finish the barrel at 30". Possibly set up for a Paper Patched bullet.

    In a 12 lb rifle the 38-55 is easy to shoot recoil is light its pussycat. Im currently using a 365 grn bullet.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Baltimoreed's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    I once had a .45-70 Pendersoli Roller, beautiful rifle but never did much with it. Too many gun hobbies. It eventually got sold. But I do have a book by Paul Matthews that might help you. How To’s for the Black Powder cartridge rifle Shooter. Hope you find a nice single shot. Still have a ss, but its a Martini Cadet. PM sent
    Last edited by Baltimoreed; 03-09-2022 at 10:36 PM.

  10. #10
    Boolit Bub
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    I've got a Pedersoli Sharps in .45-70 and a CPA Silhouette (a Stevens 44 1/2 reproduction) in .40-65. The .40-65 certainly has less recoil and is a little easier to shoot in that regard. But given the weight of these rifles, a .45-70 isn't all that much more punchy. I used to have a .38-55 lever gun, and it really was a lightweight kicker.

    As for rifles, the Pedersoli is a great gun. Not as aesthetically refined as most of the US-made ones (that also cost nearly twice as much), but just as effective.

    Beware, this NOT an inexpensive shooting hobby (then again, name me a shootinghobby that is truly cheap). Besides the rifle and sights, you'll have to reload, need a good spotting scope, etc. Youay have all that already, which would help a lot.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Revolver cartridges 44-40 or 45 Colt they use much less lead, less powder and kick much less too.
    You’ll notice some posters above mentioning they have down sized their cartridges.
    Big cartridge cases with heavy bullets deliver huge foot pounds to both the paper target and the shooter.
    My Winchester/Miroku M73 in 45 Colt is much less punishing on shoulder and wallet yet still makes a huge boom and a big cloud of white smoke when fired.
    Last edited by greenjoytj; 03-27-2022 at 09:19 AM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    Look for "Shooting Buffalo Rifles of the Old West" by Mike Venturino, and set down and read it cover to cover. Then decide what you want to do with the rifle. Then you will know what you want.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master


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    Whatever you start with, it probably won’t be your last.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy almar's Avatar
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    i started with 45 colt revolvers, i then got a 1873 rifle in 45 colt, then a 45-90 pedersoli sharps, i now have a 45-110 on order from shiloh sharps. I like the evolution i made from small to big, i learned alot.
    ďIt is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.Ē
    ― Winston S. Churchill

  15. #15
    Boolit Master





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    Quote Originally Posted by Drydock View Post
    Look for "Shooting Buffalo Rifles of the Old West" by Mike Venturino, and set down and read it cover to cover. Then decide what you want to do with the rifle. Then you will know what you want.
    I have that book. And I have chatted with him a few times at BPCR matches in Arizona. Good guy.
    "Luck don't live out here. Wolves don't kill the unlucky deer; they kill the weak ones..." Jeremy Renner in Wind River

  16. #16
    Boolit Master trails4u's Avatar
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    I say go old school and get yourself an original rolling block, trapdoor, peabody, etc.... Learn to load with BP and learn to shoot with original sights. You won't compete with $3,000+ modern reproductions right out of the gate....but the old rifles can and will shoot just as well, it just takes a bit more work to get them there. I am, admittedly, quite biased... If it was built after 1890 or so....it's just a gun to me.
    "Do not follow where the path might lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail" Ralph Waldo Emerson

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
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    Check out the C. Sharps Arms Model 1877 rifles, in .45-70, or, if youíre recoil sensitive, .40-65.

    They donít have the cachet of the 1874 Sharps or the Highwall, mainly because only a couple originals exist. It never went into mass production until C. Sharps started making them. For that reason alone, it typically goes for less money than the more popular repros, but it can hold its own in any rifle match.

    25 years or so ago, a guy brought one to our 600-yd military rifle match. He was allowed to participate (shooters were needed more than formalities) and to expend a few shots getting sighted in. He set up in one of those Outerís rests, cranked the tang sight up, and put seven shots onto the 600-yd target that I could cover with the palm of my hand.

    He then went prone and won the match. Iím still impressed.

  18. #18
    Bent, I think you mean the '75 Sharps instead of the '77. I have seen a fair number of 75's on the firing line over the years as Silhouette, as a general rule, the most of them I have seen have plain wood on them but other than that they are just as competitive as any other rifle. At first they had Badger barrels on them and now I think they are using Green Mountain and perhaps others as well.
    There are many good rifles out there to choose from, 74's, 75's, 77's in the sharps line as well as HighWall copies from several sources. There is also the CPA rifles. All of the American built rifles will shoot well and last a lifetime. Some of the imports not quite so much. About the only thing on the market these days not USA built is a rolling block, unless you pick up an action and have one custom built.
    As far as recoil goes, the 38-55 will be on the low end and still be competitive at the Silhouette game, at the upper end the 45-90 will give you everything you should need out to 1000 yards.
    These days, the 2 big fly's in the ointment, so to speak, is availability of components. If you can, 200 rounds of brass would be a good start. All brass seems to be hard to find these days. Easiest will be 45-70, after that it gets spotty. Even 38-55 is a bit on the scarce side. Even more so if you want the correct length of 2.125. While the sorter brass will work, they say the longer is better. Primers and powder can be a bit sketchy at times as well.
    Just some of my thoughts. Best of luck
    Sam

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
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    nc, you're right, it is the 75. Most are plain-vanilla in looks but shoot like a house afire. I think they now offer set triggers as an option, but the standard trigger they had for many years was plenty good.

  20. #20
    Nice to know I was right, but yea they for the most part are rather plain when it comes to the wood. Other than that there isn't anything wrong with them, they do shoot. I have rifles with both single and set triggers. A single trigger roller and the single trigger Browning. The browning has just a touch of creep, oh well it is what it is. The Roller is pretty nice.
    Any action that is built these days to take those big cartridges is good. Its the barrel that really matters. A good barrel, the right bullet and powder charge will work well for anyone day in and day out. It may take a bit of work to find just what your rifle likes the best but in the long run it will be well worth the work.
    I kind of have a unique prospective as I work as the Range Officer for the BPCS matches at Ridgway Pa. I get to see a lot of shooters and a lot of rifles. I have seen things that would make you just stand there and shake your head. I have watched a shooter shoot a bank, and the come back and put a second bullet on top of the splash of the first that they shot on that target.
    BPCR is a challenge, no getting around that. Finding the right bullet, the right powder charge, the right compression, the right primer and wad stack can be a lot of work but when you hit that magic combination, its well worth the effort.
    If you have never been to a Silhouette match, you should make an effort to attend one. The people are great and can be very helpful. You watch a match and you will realize just why there are so few buffalo's around. I honestly think that most would be surprised what can be done with a cast bullet and a case full of black powder. And it can be done at a great distance.
    Sam

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

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
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check