Muzzleldrs Question about heavy bore target rifles.

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Early in the War and often continuing throughout the War these heavy benchrest/target rifle were used by Sharpshooter Units until more suitable (lighter and more durable) weapons could be obtained. If these weapons were used, they were often carried in a wagon until they were needed.
What were they replaced with?
 
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As you said, Berdan's group got double triggered Sharps and in the South, Whitworth's , Kerr's and especially the two banded Enfield's were a popular and very accurate weapon.
Yuh know it's interesting, Iv'e never thought of a Sharps as a weapon for snipers, I always thought they were for cavalry.
 

cake1979

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Yuh know it's interesting, Iv'e never thought of a Sharps as a weapon for snipers, I always thought they were for cavalry.
I don’t believe that Berdan’s troops were “snipers” in the way we define it today. Probably more like an entire group of “designated marksmen”. They were used for skirmishing and other traditional infantry roles in ways that a sniper wouldn’t be.

Also, these were long-barreled Sharps rifles, not the cavalry carbines we’re used to. Pretty accurate for the ACW.
 
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I don’t believe that Berdan’s troops were “snipers” in the way we define it today. Probably more like an entire group of “designated marksmen”. They were used for skirmishing and other traditional infantry roles in ways that a sniper wouldn’t be.

Also, these were long-barreled Sharps rifles, not the cavalry carbines we’re used to. Pretty accurate for the ACW.
I didn't know there were long-barreled Sharps rifles, how interesting.
 

redbob

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I didn't know there were long-barreled Sharps rifles, how interesting.
One of the best books that I have found on sharpshooting in the Civil War is Sharpshooting in the Civil War by John L. Plaster. The Sharp's Double Set Rifle as used by Berdan's Sharpshooter's drawing by Woodbridge.
Berdan's Sharpshooter by Woodbridge (2).jpg
 

cake1979

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I didn't know there were long-barreled Sharps rifles, how interesting.
As shown in the post by @redbob above, a better description is probably “full-stocked”, as many of the Sharps cartridge rifles had longer barrels with a shorter forearm. The Berdan models are a little lesser-known as the carbine was one of the most-used weapons of the Union cavalry, and what is most-often discussed. Always thought it would be very cool to have one, as they are great looking.
 
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redbob

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As shown in the post by @redbob above, a better description is probably “full-stocked”, as many of the Sharps cartridge rifles had longer barrels with a shorter forearm. The Berdan models are a little lesser-known as the carbine was one of the most-used weapons of the Union cavalry, and what is most-often discussed. Always thought it would be very cool to have one, as they are great looking.
A Sharp's carbine in it's original form is not that uncommon to locate, but the rifle takes a bit more looking as it's the rarer of the two.
 
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ucvrelics

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The US Army classified them as long range rifle and not per say a sniper rifle. I recently post the below thread try to find out what the weapons is question were. They are listed as long rang pattern 1859 rifles.

 
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Rhea Cole

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My friend ownes Hinson's rifle. I have handled it many times. I pulled measurements off it so that a replica could be made. Target shooting was a very big deal during the 1850's. Hinson's rifle (according to knowledgeable gunsmiths) is typical of the target rifles of the era. The barrel is very heavy, also typical.

The most surprising feature is the pistol hammer & lock. The physics of the hammer are such that it could spoil the aim when put into motion. The common solution was to use lightweight pistol locks. The first time I saw it, frankly, I thought it looked kinda goofy. I can't, off the top of my head remember the caliber, but it isn't .50. Target rifles were pea shooters.

There are notches marked into the barrel. Near the muzzle are the ones that marked the Confederates he shot. All of that is, of course, purest fantasy. For good reason, Hinson never said a word about his wartime exploits.

Please don't get your dander up, but the book everyone is familiar with is a work of fantasy. Very little that is in that book holds up to the light of day. So, before you send outraged emails, go to the Soldiers & Sailors website. The Iowa regiment that Hinson was supposed to have plinked with impunity, did not suffer any losses while stationed in Hinson's neighborhood. The rest of the book is equally fanciful.

Exactly what Hinson was up to, he took the story to the grave. As was the custom, Hinson's rifle was intended to be fired from a rest. I am a big man, but would not be able to hold the terribly front heavy rifle & shoot with any accuracy.

My go to friend for all things historic historic weapons went to Hinson's cave.He tells me that, with a lot of practice, a marksman could have sniped at passing river traffic. Firing down hill is very difficult. Hinson had plenty of time to get the hang of it. I accept his expert analysis. He did say that the claim that Hinson caused a gunboat to surrender by plinking at it from his high perch is laughable.

Hinson's rifle is no different from other target rifles of the period I have held. However, not a one of them had the kind of notoriety that has. Nor has any of them been associated with such an often fanciful violent history.
 

Racing

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Here a picket/skirmish rifle which was said to be used early on,the type that is.
In this case a 21" barrel carbine.
Sry to say someone drilled into it and installed a scope base way before my time. Sports progressive rifling which ends in 1:30 and is of 41 caliber.
I use it with paper patched boolits and as such it works rather well after i got a hang of the paper patching art.

55.jpg
 

Racing

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..in turn,for heavy target rifle - here ya go.
It is a pure "schuetzen" rifle in essence,but based on the Swiss m/1851. Per the Wesson style rifle above,approx same caliber (a tad smaller).
This thing is a BEAST. Weighs in at approx 7,5kg..so not exactly something you toss onto your shoulder and jump along. Irony is that it sports sling "swivels" tho. Who ever in his right mind would... LOL

This thing shoots though. No argument there. Sports the twist of the later Swiss rifles at 1 turn in 28 inches. Full stock btw.

6.jpg
 
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