Sharps pepperbox

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by Treeman53, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. Treeman53

    Treeman53 Member

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    Is it safe to fire modern .22 rounds in an original Sharps pepperbox? I believe the model is 1A. It's an original Sharps, with the 4 barrel that slides forward to load.
  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    No. Really good way to destroy it.
  3. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    agreed ..
  4. Treeman53

    Treeman53 Member

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    I had figured the .22 shorts didn't generate enough pressure to hurt anything. How about .22 CB's, the subsonic, low power shells? Really want to shoot this thing....
  5. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    Sir if its a true 1A it's a a low grade steel i'd call carbonated Iron made in about 1860

    steel is Iron with extra carbon through it , but at the time the 1A was made this is NOT THE STEEL YOU KNOW AND TRUST

    i've a friend with one eye from trying such things , a chunk of the chamber blew into his eye..

    i did see a doco ( documentary) whereby someone tipped out most of the powdcer from a short and gradually tipped out less and less from others to get a charge that would shoot the round out the barrel to shoot it but NEVER EVER used more than 1/2 charge on these and only at YOUR OWN RISK < CAUSE I WOULD NOT !!!

    its a antique .. use at your own risk eh SERIOUS !! ore reload .22 with pyodex at a .40 to 1 ratio of what was originally in the .22 round AT MOST and fisrt round use a string to pull the trigger from a safe place

    yes its that dangerous

    Strong suggestion , love it as it is , DONT SHOOT IT , you have a pistol of note and a part of history , and i hope a healthy body , keep it all that way and buy a nice H&R to shoot .22's with
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
  6. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Most of the guns in those days were made of plain iron, called "wrought iron", not steel. Contrary to what you hear now, guns did blow up with black powder, and fairly often. It was not until the advent of smokeless powder that it became imperative to use steel for guns. For example, several writers say that at such and such a time or serial number, Colt switched to "a better quality of steel" for its SAA. Nope. They switched to steel.

    The use of iron was the reason for case hardening. Iron can't be hardened as steel can and the only way to avoid excessive wear on a frame from the moving parts was to carburize or surface harden it. That some methods of doing so result in coloring that appeals to many folks helped obscure the reason for the hardening itself. As soon as good steel became readily available, many gun makers dropped the expensive and time consuming case hardening and went to bluing. Some, like Colt, kept it in some guns for eye appeal.

    FWIW, black powder is not necessarily lower pressure than smokeless. But its pressure curve shows a more rapid dropoff than smokeless, whose progressive burning extends the pressure curve further out. That is what makes old shotguns especially dangerous with smokeless, since the high pressure extends into the thin part of the barrel, right where the shooter's fingers are holding the foreend. When a barrel lets go, it takes the fingers along for the ride.

    Jim
  7. TheGunClinger

    TheGunClinger Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Good info Jim. I'd sure like to see a picture of that gun as I've never seen one.
  8. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    You haven't seen a Sharps Pepper Box because they are called a Sharps 4 Barrel Derringer. I've never seen a Sharps Pepper box myself.:D Instead of rotating barrels as on a pepper box, the sharps barrels slide forward to load and do not turn.
  9. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Ron, that's true. But:

    I knew what he meant.
    Jack knew what he meant.
    Jim knew what he meant.

    And, apparently, YOU knew what he meant. :p

    Gunclinger - here you go.

    [​IMG]
  10. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Here's an open one, so you can see how it works.

    [​IMG]

    See the bar-shaped firing pin on the hammer? Every time you cock it, that moves 90 degrees. So, the barrels stay still, the firing pin moves, and the multi-barreled gun still fires four times.

    :p:p
  11. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    exactly Alpo rotating firing pin , fixed ( for firing ) barrels , that when unlock slide forward to allow ejection and reloading

    sorry for assuming , yes its not a true pepperbox, but a names thats stuck over time
  12. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    The Remington-Elliot "derringer" also uses a "block" of four barrels and works basically the same way except it is double action with a ring trigger and the barrels tip up for loading rather than slide forward. The Remington "zig-zag" is a true pepperbox, though, as the barrel cluster revolves.

    I have a bit of fondness for the old Sharps, though. My first "real" gunsmithing job was to replace the latch spring in one.

    Jim
  13. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Well-Known Member

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    You can shoot it with the primer-powered Colibri rounds.
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