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Wild West Western Facts

Big Fifty Sharps Rifle


This was a .50 caliber Sharps rifle used by professionals for buffalo hunting. It weighed between 11 to 16 pounds unloaded.

Sharps Big Fifty

The cartridge case for the .50-90 was 2.5-inches long and was loaded with 90 to 110 grains of black powder. The longer .50-140 case, developed after the buffalo harvest had ended, was loaded with 120 to 140 grains black powder for differing ranges.

A kindly reader suggests that those interested in learning more about this weapon, check out the following books:

"Sharps Firearms" by Frank Sellers
"Shooting Buffalo Rifles of the Old West" by Mike Venturino

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