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Some pieces are collectors, some are shooters, some are both ....
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December 9, 2019 - 11:21 pm
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steve004 said

I always enjoy references to the Bullard cartridges.  The .32-40 Bullard is not interchangeable with the .32-40 we are familiar with.  It is a bottle necked cartridge and I believe the bullet diameter is about .317.  The 38-45 Bullard is shorter than the .38-55.  Not many rifles chambered in these rifles.  I have a Bullard single-shot rifle and it is chambered from the factory in .32-40 Ballard/Marlin.  The two .32-40 Bullard repeating rifles I have are the Bullard chambering.    

Yes, understood and also easily seen in period catalog illustrations of the cartridges. If I find the time, I’ll post the catalog pages. Those Bullards, although not Winchester, are still some interesting rifles. I’ve seen them fetch a pretty penny.

Chuck said

Maverick, this is true for the commercial loadings for the 32-40 and 38-55 but the Ballard target loads were being used earlier.  

clarence said

Yes, the .38-50 Ballard came along in the mid 1870s.  Many if not most popular cartridges were developments of earlier ones.  Before the .32-40 there was the .32-35 Stevens, and so on  

I guess I’ll be clearer next time. Per “Winchester Catalogs“, those are the first catalogs to first list said cartridges sold by Winchester. I imagine that just like the guns most items were available and sold prior to being put into the catalog. But with the catalog you have a definite date to go by, for when Winchester started selling said cartridges.

If only I had access to the cartridge loading department books!

Sincerely,

Maverick

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December 11, 2019 - 6:08 pm
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Maverick, I agree with all that you say.  I was responding to Erin’s remark about Winchester using Ballard/Marlin designed ammo.  Everybody used whatever worked and could be sold.  Some tried to hide the fact of who actually designed the cartridge they were using.  Merwin and Hulbert used the Model 1873 cartridge in there pistols which was a way of saying it used a 44 WCF.  Colt’s slide action rifles were all chambered for a known caliber but were calling them something else.  A 45-85-285 Colt is nothing but a 45-70 with a 285 grain bullet.  I use 45-70’s with a 300 grain bullet. Winchester made a 45-85 but it is way bigger than a 45-70.

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December 11, 2019 - 10:14 pm
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Chuck said
Some tried to hide the fact of who actually designed the cartridge they were using.   

I think Winchester was most shameless in this regard, when they added “W.C.F.” to their chamberings for the famous .25-20 Maynard/Stevens Single Shot target cartridge; then had to backtrack on using “W.C.F.” for that cartridge when the .25-20 Repeater was introduced.  There was a Marlin cartridge they altered slightly, then called “W.C.F.”, but I can’t remember what it was.

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December 11, 2019 - 11:39 pm
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Chuck said
Maverick, I agree with all that you say.  I was responding to Erin’s remark about Winchester using Ballard/Marlin designed ammo.  Everybody used whatever worked and could be sold.  Some tried to hide the fact of who actually designed the cartridge they were using.  Merwin and Hulbert used the Model 1873 cartridge in there pistols which was a way of saying it used a 44 WCF.  Colt’s slide action rifles were all chambered for a known caliber but were calling them something else.  A 45-85-285 Colt is nothing but a 45-70 with a 285 grain bullet.  I use 45-70’s with a 300 grain bullet. Winchester made a 45-85 but it is way bigger than a 45-70.  

Yes, I seem to recall Winchester’s .45-85 was just another load option for the .45-90.  I seem to recall there was a .45-82 as well but I may not be remembering correctly.  I also seem to recall a .45-90 load for the M1876 Winchester.  This was on the .45-75 case and was designed for single loading.  Unfortunately these are vague memories.  Maybe someone recalls more clearly than I do.

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December 12, 2019 - 1:09 am
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clarence said

I think Winchester was most shameless in this regard, when they added “W.C.F.” to their chamberings for the famous .25-20 Maynard/Stevens Single Shot target cartridge; then had to backtrack on using “W.C.F.” for that cartridge when the .25-20 Repeater was introduced.  There was a Marlin cartridge they altered slightly, then called “W.C.F.”, but I can’t remember what it was.  

I think we have had this conversation before, but will state it again… Maynard/Stevens did not invent the 25-20 cartridge that Winchester originally referred to as the “25 W.C.F.” (later listed as the 25-20 S.S.).  The Stevens 25-20 (later called the 25-21) is a was their own variation of the 25-20 Single Shot.

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December 12, 2019 - 1:34 am
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In addition to the Ballard/Marlin cartridges that Winchester chambered their rifles for, they also made a lot of Model 1885 rifles chambered & marked for Sharps cartridges.  A fair number of the early production Model 1885 rifles were made for the 40-70, 40-90, and 40-50 Sharps Straight cartridges.

Below is the list from my research survey of the Model 1885 caliber/cartridges;

Cartridge/Caliber No. Made
40-50 Sharps Bn 21
40-50 Sharps ST 42
40-70 Sharps Bn 6
40-70 Sharps ST 1,428
40-90 Sharps Bn 2
40-90 Sharps ST 743
45 Sharps 2 4/10 8
45 Sharps 2 6/10 24
45 Sharps 2 ¾ 4
45 Sharps 2 ⅞ 47
45 Sharps 3 ¼ 30
50-90 Sharps 3
50 Sharps 3 ¼ 2
   
Total 2,360

Below are pictures of several of the caliber markings used by Winchester.

Bert

 

CAL.-40-70-SHARPS-STR.jpegImage EnlargerCAL.-40-90-SHARPS-STR.jpegImage Enlarger40-70-S.S.-67719.jpegImage Enlarger40-90-S.S.-18192.jpegImage Enlarger45-SHAPRS-3-1-4-62443.jpegImage Enlarger50-90-SHARPS.JPGImage Enlarger

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December 12, 2019 - 5:29 pm
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Bert, your second picture is very interesting that the caliber is noted as Sharps Str.  The Sharps’ SS designation means straight shell as opposed to BN for bottle neck.  A lot of people think it means Sharps straight.  It is made by or for a Sharps and it is straight but…

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December 13, 2019 - 12:43 am
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Chuck,

The “SHARPS STR.” marking is shown on the first picture as well, and it is found on all of the early high-wall barrels.  It does indeed mean Sharps straight (as noted in Winchester’s literature of that same period).

Bert

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December 13, 2019 - 1:26 am
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Bert H. said
Chuck,

The “SHARPS STR.” marking is shown on the first picture as well, and it is found on all of the early high-wall barrels.  It does indeed mean Sharps straight (as noted in Winchester’s literature of that same period).

Bert  

Yes your right but that is not how Sharps calls it. I’ve had this conversation before but I will see if I can find the reference.

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December 15, 2019 - 5:34 pm
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Bullard rifles were mentioned in the discussion above.  They are dear to my heart.  Among my Bullards I have an, “Association” rifle.  Anyone know what that isKiss

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December 17, 2019 - 3:08 pm
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Chuck said

Yes your right but that is not how Sharps calls it. I’ve had this conversation before but I will see if I can find the reference.  

I don’t think Bert is saying that is how “Sharps calls it”, but rather how “Winchester calls it”. I don’t know how Sharps would of referred to the cartridge, but I do believe Bert is 100% on how Winchester referred to the cartridge.

Sincerely,

Maverick

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December 17, 2019 - 6:01 pm
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Maverick said

I don’t think Bert is saying that is how “Sharps calls it”, but rather how “Winchester calls it”. I don’t know how Sharps would of referred to the cartridge, but I do believe Bert is 100% on how Winchester referred to the cartridge.

Sincerely,

Maverick  

Maverick, I totally agree with what Bert says.  I was talking about how different companies called out the same cartridges.  Often manufacturers changed the name slightly when they made a gun that used someone else’s cartridge.  Here is a picture of a Sharps cartridge loaded by Winchester.  Notice the Straight Shell call out.

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December 18, 2019 - 4:28 pm
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Winchester was great at copying other cartridges and renaming them as their own or using other company’s names to produce a cartridge even though it was never produced by that company.  An example is the 3-1/4″ Sharps cartridge that was only produced by Winchester and there has never been found or documented, an original Sharps rifle chambered in that caliber.  If there has, I would love to see a picture of it as it would be a first. 

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December 18, 2019 - 6:01 pm
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Old-Win said
Winchester was great at copying other cartridges and renaming them as their own or using other company’s names to produce a cartridge even though it was never produced by that company.  An example is the 3-1/4″ Sharps cartridge that was only produced by Winchester and there has never been found or documented, an original Sharps rifle chambered in that caliber.  If there has, I would love to see a picture of it as it would be a first. 

Image 58617Image Enlarger  

Didn’t Sharps make a 45-120 cartridge that has a 3-1/4″ straight shell?   I’m not a Sharps collector but if they made the round who’s gun shot it?  It is not the same as a Winchester 45-125.  The big 3 Winchester cartridges all are bottle necks.

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December 18, 2019 - 6:10 pm
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Bert H. said

I think we have had this conversation before, but will state it again… Maynard/Stevens did not invent the 25-20 cartridge that Winchester originally referred to as the “25 W.C.F.” (later listed as the 25-20 S.S.).  The Stevens 25-20 (later called the 25-21) is a was their own variation of the 25-20 Single Shot.

Bert  

If we’re talking about the same cartridge, the 25-20 was invented by Francis J. Rabbeth in 1882 and Remington UMC started producing barrels and making cartridges in that caliber.  He was a noted gun crank and writer back then. It became very popular as it was extremely accurate. Maynard, Winchester, Remington and Stevens all produced rifles in that cartridge adding their own names to it. Winchester called it the “25 W.C.F” but they were all the same and known as the 25-20 S.S. to shooters of that cartridge.  And then of course the confusion came with the later 25-20 W.C.F. The Stevens 25-25 came out much later in 1892 and then they shortened it and called it the 25-21.  They were both long straight walled cases where the 25-20 S.S. is a slim bottle necked case.  Lovell liked the case and turned them into his R-1 and R-2 smokeless wildcats.

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December 18, 2019 - 7:34 pm
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Chuck said

Didn’t Sharps make a 45-120 cartridge that has a 3-1/4″ straight shell?   I’m not a Sharps collector but if they made the round who’s gun shot it?  It is not the same as a Winchester 45-125.  The big 3 Winchester cartridges all are bottle necks.  

No, the 45-120 was made on a case that was 2-7/8″ long. That was the longest case Sharps ever made.  The fact that Winchester used the Sharps name on a cartridge showed that Winchester was trying to exploit a market using someone elses name that was famous back then. The Sharps factory closed in 1881 and Winchester brought out the Sharps 3-1/4″ in 1884. The same is true with the 25 WCF as their name made it sound like a proprietary case.

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December 18, 2019 - 9:39 pm
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Old-Win said

Chuck said

Didn’t Sharps make a 45-120 cartridge that has a 3-1/4″ straight shell?   I’m not a Sharps collector but if they made the round who’s gun shot it?  It is not the same as a Winchester 45-125.  The big 3 Winchester cartridges all are bottle necks.  

No, the 45-120 was made on a case that was 2-7/8″ long. That was the longest case Sharps ever made.  The fact that Winchester used the Sharps name on a cartridge showed that Winchester was trying to exploit a market using someone elses name that was famous back then. The Sharps factory closed in 1881 and Winchester brought out the Sharps 3-1/4″ in 1884. The same is true with the 25 WCF as their name made it sound like a proprietary case.  

References I have disagree.  There is a Sharps 45-100 that has a 2-7/8″ case. Guns definitely were loaded in this caliber.  The 45-120 3-1/4″ was introduced in 1878/79 for the Borchardt. It is true that no documentary evidence exists that Sharps rifles were offered in any of the 3-1/4″ cases in 40, 45 or 50 cal.   See Cartridges of the World by Barnes or Donnelly’s Handloader’s Manual of Cartridge Conversions.  I find no reference in Sellers’ book.  I have 40 cal 3-1/4″ cartridges by Winchester for Sharps and Winchester.  They are not the same.

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December 18, 2019 - 10:55 pm
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Chuck said

Old-Win said

Chuck said

Didn’t Sharps make a 45-120 cartridge that has a 3-1/4″ straight shell?   I’m not a Sharps collector but if they made the round who’s gun shot it?  It is not the same as a Winchester 45-125.  The big 3 Winchester cartridges all are bottle necks.  

No, the 45-120 was made on a case that was 2-7/8″ long. That was the longest case Sharps ever made.  The fact that Winchester used the Sharps name on a cartridge showed that Winchester was trying to exploit a market using someone elses name that was famous back then. The Sharps factory closed in 1881 and Winchester brought out the Sharps 3-1/4″ in 1884. The same is true with the 25 WCF as their name made it sound like a proprietary case.  

References I have disagree.  There is a Sharps 45-100 that has a 2-7/8″ case. Guns definitely were loaded in this caliber.  The 45-120 3-1/4″ was introduced in 1878/79 for the Borchardt. It is true that no documentary evidence exists that Sharps rifles were offered in any of the 3-1/4″ cases in 40, 45 or 50 cal.   See Cartridges of the World by Barnes or Donnelly’s Handloader’s Manual of Cartridge Conversions.  I find no reference in Sellers’ book.  I have 40 cal 3-1/4″ cartridges by Winchester for Sharps and Winchester.  They are not the same.  

Chuck said

Old-Win said

Chuck said

Didn’t Sharps make a 45-120 cartridge that has a 3-1/4″ straight shell?   I’m not a Sharps collector but if they made the round who’s gun shot it?  It is not the same as a Winchester 45-125.  The big 3 Winchester cartridges all are bottle necks.  

No, the 45-120 was made on a case that was 2-7/8″ long. That was the longest case Sharps ever made.  The fact that Winchester used the Sharps name on a cartridge showed that Winchester was trying to exploit a market using someone elses name that was famous back then. The Sharps factory closed in 1881 and Winchester brought out the Sharps 3-1/4″ in 1884. The same is true with the 25 WCF as their name made it sound like a proprietary case.  

References I have disagree.  There is a Sharps 45-100 that has a 2-7/8″ case. Guns definitely were loaded in this caliber.  The 45-120 3-1/4″ was introduced in 1878/79 for the Borchardt. It is true that no documentary evidence exists that Sharps rifles were offered in any of the 3-1/4″ cases in 40, 45 or 50 cal.   See Cartridges of the World by Barnes or Donnelly’s Handloader’s Manual of Cartridge Conversions.  I find no reference in Sellers’ book.  I have 40 cal 3-1/4″ cartridges by Winchester for Sharps and Winchester.  They are not the same.  

Hello Chuck, yes, I know what you’re referring to as I have the COW book as well but I’m sticking with Frank Seller’s on this as he probably did more research on Sharps rifles and Sharps cartridges where as Barnes had to research 1000’s of cartridges not to say that either couldn’t make mistakes.  If you have Seller’s book, go to page 337 and in the right column, he states ” many writers have tried to ascribe the 3-1/4″ to the Sharps Rifle Co. but for one experimental rifle made for A. C. Hobbs of the Union Metallic Cartridge Company, there were no Sharps rifles chambered by the factory in the 3-1/4″ case”.  (I shortened it a little).

I think where all the confusion comes is when the names of these cartridges where changed by “who knows”.  The Sharps 2.6″ came first and was loaded with a 100 grs of bp but was replaced by the 2.4″ with the same amount powder as the 2.6″ case.  If you read about the 2-7/8″ case, it also held 100 grs of powder. (from page 340 of Seller’s book) It all has to do with bullet choice and placement in the case.  Today, they are known as the 45-90, 45-100, and 45-120

Since there were only 230 Borchardt LR rifles made, I think at least one would have shown up with that cartridge designation.  What is not well known is that many breechloading Creedmoor shooters loaded their rifles from the muzzle as they could get more powder into the rifle than what the case would hold.  This may have been the reason the 3-1/4″ shell was introduced but not by Sharps.

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December 19, 2019 - 6:14 pm
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Hello Chuck, yes, I know what you’re referring to as I have the COW book as well but I’m sticking with Frank Seller’s on this as he probably did more research on Sharps rifles and Sharps cartridges where as Barnes had to research 1000’s of cartridges not to say that either couldn’t make mistakes.  If you have Seller’s book, go to page 337 and in the right column, he states ” many writers have tried to ascribe the 3-1/4″ to the Sharps Rifle Co. but for one experimental rifle made for A. C. Hobbs of the Union Metallic Cartridge Company, there were no Sharps rifles chambered by the factory in the 3-1/4″ case”.  (I shortened it a little).

I believe that no Sharps were made to shoot the 3-1/4″ Sharps cartridge.  I only have Winchester cartridges to compare. I just can’t figure out why Winchester would make 2 different cartridges, 40-90 Sharps straight shell and a 40 Ex (40-110).  Both of these are 3-1/4″ but they are not the same case dimensions otherwise.  Unless Winchester purposely made up the Sharps cartridge.  It is quite possible.

I would like to know the case rim diameter of a Winchester chamber for both cartridges.   The rim diameter is the most obvious difference.  I did look at my Seller’s book again.

I am not disagreeing with you.  Just confused.

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December 19, 2019 - 9:43 pm
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Here are a couple of pictures of WRACO cartridges in 40-90 SS and 40 Ex.  Both have a 3-1/4″ case.

The cartridge on the left is the 40-90 that is loaded for Winchester or Sharps.  The one on the right is the 40-110 loaded for a Winchester.

 

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