Breechldrs Need help/education blanks for 1859 sharps

661944

Cadet
Joined
Jan 24, 2021
Hi,
Swear i was a member of this forum, but haven’t been on in years. Been a reenactor since 2008 ish.

Friend of mine purchased an 1859 sharps (i believe that is the correct model).

neither of us have any idea how to roll blanks for it. I have heard of guys using cigarette papers, but thats all the info i have. I am concerned about any paper or anything unsafe exiting the barrel.

Can anyone educate me on how to roll blanks for a sharps or give me a walk through on what to do?
Thank you!
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
South of the North 40
Cigarette paper will work but it is often sized too small. I learned from that mistake. I solved the size issue by purchasing cigarette paper rolls. I have used linen which can be acquired from several sources and then easily nitrated. Old tea bags work as well. Another option is flash paper or so I've been told though I'm a bit leery of that. With nitrated linen or paper there is really nothing left to go out the barrel. That said I don't use blanks and the pressure is different when firing live rounds. I believe Dixie Gunworks used to sell a kit for making Sharps consumable cartridges. I had an acquaintance who made cartridges for his Sharps from gut, pig intestine, from the local meat locker. They work very well but require immediate cleaning after firing as there is salt in the intestine which will rust the barrel in a heartbeat.

Good luck
 

RobertH

Private
Joined
Jan 25, 2019
I assume you're not talking about the 1859 Sharps Pepperbox?

Hmm, disregard. I didn't realize there was a M1859 rifle. I automatically think of the Christian Sharps pistol when I hear 1859.

thumbnail_20210202_134054.jpg
 
Joined
May 1, 2015
Location
Upstate N.Y.
Hi,
Swear i was a member of this forum, but haven’t been on in years. Been a reenactor since 2008 ish.

Friend of mine purchased an 1859 sharps (i believe that is the correct model).

neither of us have any idea how to roll blanks for it. I have heard of guys using cigarette papers, but thats all the info i have. I am concerned about any paper or anything unsafe exiting the barrel.

Can anyone educate me on how to roll blanks for a sharps or give me a walk through on what to do?
Thank you!
Welcome, enjoy
 

661944

Cadet
Joined
Jan 24, 2021
I assume you're not talking about the 1859 Sharps Pepperbox?

Hmm, disregard. I didn't realize there was a M1859 rifle. I automatically think of the Christian Sharps pistol when I hear 1859.

View attachment 389764
No, sir. Forgive my incorrect terminology. It is a sharps rifle, of what model i don’t recall at them moment. The rifle cuts the back of the cartridge off and still requires a percussion cap.
 

661944

Cadet
Joined
Jan 24, 2021
Cigarette paper will work but it is often sized too small. I learned from that mistake. I solved the size issue by purchasing cigarette paper rolls. I have used linen which can be acquired from several sources and then easily nitrated. Old tea bags work as well. Another option is flash paper or so I've been told though I'm a bit leery of that. With nitrated linen or paper there is really nothing left to go out the barrel. That said I don't use blanks and the pressure is different when firing live rounds. I believe Dixie Gunworks used to sell a kit for making Sharps consumable cartridges. I had an acquaintance who made cartridges for his Sharps from gut, pig intestine, from the local meat locker. They work very well but require immediate cleaning after firing as there is salt in the intestine which will rust the barrel in a heartbeat.

Good luck
Can’t find the dixie gun works kit online.
Could you inform me of where you source your cigarette paper rolls and linen?
 

Don Dixon

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Location
Fairfax, VA, USA
You probably will not be happy shooting blanks out of a Model 1859 Sharps rifle or carbine. The sliding plate in the breech block that seals the breech works off of chamber pressure. With a bullet in the chamber there is sufficient chamber pressure to move the plate and seal the breech. With a blank there is not, and you get a lot of gas and flame coming out of the breech between the breech block and the breech of the barrel. The Sharps is lousy for reenacting for that reason.

Regards,
Don Dixon
 
Last edited:

ucvrelics

Colonel
Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
Can't help as I collect them not shoot them.
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
South of the North 40
Can’t find the dixie gun works kit online.
Could you inform me of where you source your cigarette paper rolls and linen?
The linen came from Joann Fabric. I would soak the linen in the nitrate solution and wrap it around my forming rod when still damp. Then run a glue stick across the seam. Cigarette paper rolls came from any tobacco shop. They're for cigarette making machines, IIRC you could get them in various length and ungummed. I've not bought any for years though.

If given the chance to get hold of rice paper (from the local art supply store) soak it in super-saturated saltpeter solution. The paper is porous which contributes to holding the solution. And the cartridge is fairly strong. I've used cigarette papers and found them to be a little fragile for use in the field but good live fire.

Another option is curling papers. And I've used those a time or two but found the cigarette papers easier to handle.

It's maybe worth calling Dixie to see if they still sell the pamphelet on making Sharps cartridges. Track of the wolf or Buffalo arms might be another source. I've not made any in several years. I think I'm out for my Shiloh.
 

toot

Corporal
Joined
Jan 21, 2021
it is fun when these old war horses come to life once again and belch fire & Smoak! it is like your first cup of coffee.
 

Trooper "D"

Private
Joined
May 20, 2018
Hi,
Swear i was a member of this forum, but haven’t been on in years. Been a reenactor since 2008 ish.

Friend of mine purchased an 1859 sharps (i believe that is the correct model).

neither of us have any idea how to roll blanks for it. I have heard of guys using cigarette papers, but thats all the info i have. I am concerned about any paper or anything unsafe exiting the barrel.

Can anyone educate me on how to roll blanks for a sharps or give me a walk through on what to do?
Thank you!
Coffee Filters and green florist foam for the "bullets". Some black powder substitutes will not ignite from the cap jet of flame. So is BP or have the rear of your blank with a few grains of actual BP for ignition.
 
Top