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Jimkinmd
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New Guy looking for help on choosing a rifle
May 9th, 2021 at 9:48pm
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Hello, 
Looking to start in the Single Shot Rifle sport, silhouette and distance shooting and trying to get some information on an affordable rifle to get started. I currently have a 1884 trap door carbine and a H&R Springfield Trap Door officers model both in 45/70.
My questions are, are either of these rifles suitable to get started? I know the sights on the H&R are on the stock and not considered good and the real trap door carbine has buffington sights which are good but it’s a carbine. Not sure if is good for shooting in distance competition events.  
So, which rifle and what upgrades should i do to make one of mine work or is there a more suitable rifle that is reasonably affordable with decent sights to get started that I should consider 
Sorry for the many questions. 
Jim
« Last Edit: May 9th, 2021 at 10:06pm by Jimkinmd »  
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Bent_Ramrod
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Re: New Guy looking for help on choosing a rifle
Reply #1 - May 10th, 2021 at 9:41am
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If you can find a blackpowder/cast bullet loading that will shoot 2 MOA or better out to 500 meters, your rifle or carbine will at least get you started in BPCR silhouette.  Generally, the .45-70 is eminently capable of such accuracy in a good gun.

As ssdave has pointed out, the chief handicap after that is the lack of a finely adjustable sight.  You might see if MVA could adapt one of their staffs to your H&R base.  You get sighters at Silhouette matches, and they’re generally over in a few hours, so if your sight base is tight in the wood, it alone shouldn’t be an impossible handicap.  You’re not routinely lying out there for days in alternate pouring rain and baking heat, swelling and shrinking the wood.

Gong shoots frequently have a special “Trapdoor class,” where unmodified originals, with Buffington sights, can often get uncomfortably close to those with more specialized equipment.  The first time I went to the Quigley, there was a guy who shot the whole course, offhand, with a Trapdoor army rifle.  He got the same score as me, a 21.

For a first approximation, though, taking your Officers’ Model to a local shoot and seeing how it goes, will at least inform you of the issues in play and let you decide what you might want to do about them.  There are sometimes even rifles and accessories for sale at such affairs, that can help get you further into the game at a discount.
  
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oneatatime
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Re: New Guy looking for help on choosing a rifle
Reply #2 - May 10th, 2021 at 12:01pm
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The most affordable, out-of-the-box competitive, rifles are probably the Browning BPCRs. Prices can run from $1500 to $2000. C. Sharps Model 1875 rifles are rarely seen on the line and a new one properly configured will be a bit over $2000. You can get your money back easily with the Brownings and maybe not so with the C. Sharps 75. Good sights for your trapdoors could run you $300 to $500 dollars and mounting them on the stocks could hurt the resale value of the trapdoors. Your trapdoor carbine has quite a bit of value to collectors. I easily sold one at a bargain price of $1300.
  
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4570mike
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Re: New Guy looking for help on choosing a rifle
Reply #3 - May 10th, 2021 at 1:17pm
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Lee Shaver will adapt one of his Soule style rear sights to your H&R Officer's Model. Best to send the base to him for a positive fit.  I have done this and makes the rifle much more adaptable for shooting at different ranges.
For an upgrade, I would recommend looking at a CPA Stevens. Probably the best value for the money. Has the capability to interchange barrels easily. Mine has both centerfire and rimfire barrels.  They are made to order so you can spec it just for you.
Mike.
  
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oneatatime
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Re: New Guy looking for help on choosing a rifle
Reply #4 - May 10th, 2021 at 1:29pm
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Yes, the CPA Stevens is a great value but hard to find for less than $2000. Interchangeable barrels are a real plus. Here's one that would work (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links).
My CPA 44 1/2 has 3 barrels and my original 44 1/2 has 4!
  
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Jimkinmd
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Re: New Guy looking for help on choosing a rifle
Reply #5 - May 10th, 2021 at 3:42pm
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Thank you to all that replied. Great information to research. I really do appreciate the help....
  
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Ranch13
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Re: New Guy looking for help on choosing a rifle
Reply #6 - May 11th, 2021 at 8:47am
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Jimkinmd wrote on May 9th, 2021 at 9:48pm:
Hello, 
Looking to start in the Single Shot Rifle sport, silhouette and distance shooting and trying to get some information on an affordable rifle to get started. I currently have a 1884 trap door carbine and a H&R Springfield Trap Door officers model both in 45/70.
My questions are, are either of these rifles suitable to get started? I know the sights on the H&R are on the stock and not considered good and the real trap door carbine has buffington sights which are good but it’s a carbine. Not sure if is good for shooting in distance competition events.  
So, which rifle and what upgrades should i do to make one of mine work or is there a more suitable rifle that is reasonably affordable with decent sights to get started that I should consider 
Sorry for the many questions. 
Jim


I would suggest you contact MVA, Baldwin , or Hoke about a sight upgrade for the officers model. Have a good gunsmith put a trigger job on that officers model, then after you been to a few matches and have a chance to view and handle other rifles decide from there as to which brand of rifle you want to go with. (if any). Then if you do go with a different rifle it's a simple matter of changing the base on the rear , and getting a front sight.
The 45-70 is seldom a bad choice. If you go with quality sights
  
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Jimkinmd
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Re: New Guy looking for help on choosing a rifle
Reply #7 - May 11th, 2021 at 9:12am
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Thanks Ranch, great information. I love my officer model but worry about the stock. I had to have it repaired as I dropped it and a piece broke off. I had a shop repair it and it looks great, just wonder if the barreled action would fit in another style stock so I can have confidence and learn the sport. I could not find a replacement. I also agree with trying a few shoots to learn.
  
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Re: New Guy looking for help on choosing a rifle
Reply #8 - May 11th, 2021 at 9:37am
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I know a fella that is a trapdoor nut, and he has one stock that he swaps the barreled action out on to shoot some of the gong matches. He usually brings one action in 22 lr, and another in a big bore cartridge.
He embedded a metal piece into the stock threaded to fit the screws for the rear sight.
  
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Re: New Guy looking for help on choosing a rifle
Reply #9 - May 17th, 2021 at 6:28am
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Check the Shiloh Sharps Rifle forum and do a search on 'trapdoor' (don't recall if the threads were in Shooter-to-Shooter or Black Powder). There are a couple of good threads over there by Woody & a couple of the better TD shooters (at least they hold many of the national records with same) that discuss loading and shooting the TD out to 600yd with the Buffington sight, including details about how they adjust the sight accurately. Includes pic's showing the tools they use for their adjustments. While it takes some effort, Woody, John Bly and a couple of other TD shooters can put some respectable scores with their TDs.
  

Glenn - CPA 44 1/2 w/22LR, 38-40RH & 40-65WCF
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Jimkinmd
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Re: New Guy looking for help on choosing a rifle
Reply #10 - May 19th, 2021 at 9:37pm
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SSShooter wrote on May 17th, 2021 at 6:28am:
Check the Shiloh Sharps Rifle forum and do a search on 'trapdoor' (don't recall if the threads were in Shooter-to-Shooter or Black Powder). There are a couple of good threads over there by Woody & a couple of the better TD shooters (at least they hold many of the national records with same) that discuss loading and shooting the TD out to 600yd with the Buffington sight, including details about how they adjust the sight accurately. Includes pic's showing the tools they use for their adjustments. While it takes some effort, Woody, John Bly and a couple of other TD shooters can put some respectable scores with their TDs.


Thanks for the information. I just sold one of my TDs and I think I will try to find a high wall or low wall in 45/70 to start this discipline.. Now the process begins.... lol. Thanks!
Jim
  
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Re: New Guy looking for help on choosing a rifle
Reply #11 - Jun 3rd, 2021 at 6:08pm
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In my humble opinion, you're on the right track with a high wall. I had a really nice TD with a buffington sight, but the front sight was a mere speck, so I moved it on. Luckily I found a like new Ballard Arms Co. high wall in 40-65. Came with tang sights and interchangeable front sight. Bore is mint and has a single set trigger as well. I think I did pretty well in the deal, hopefully you can be as fortunate in your search as well. I congratulate your good sense in moving beyond the TD, as the care and feeding of an original TD can be a challenge. Having said that be aware that any black powder cartridge rifle shooting for accuracy is a challenge. Which is why you're here, right? Good luck in finding the right high wall for you.
  
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