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| .50-90 Sharps colspan="3" style="text-align: center; font-size: 90%; border-bottom: 1px solid #aaa; line-height: 1.25em;"

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.50-90 Sharps cartridges Type Blackpowder Rifle Place of origin USA colspan="3" style="background: lightsteelblue; text-align: center; vertical-align: middle;"

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| Service history Used by USA colspan="3" style="background: lightsteelblue; text-align: center; vertical-align: middle;"

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| Production history Designer Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company Designed 1872 Manufacturer Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company Produced 1875 Variants .50-100, .50-110 colspan="3" style="background: lightsteelblue; text-align: center; vertical-align: middle;"

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| Specifications Parent case .50 Basic Case type Rimmed, straight-taper Bullet diameter .512 in (Expression error: Unexpected < operator.

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Neck diameter .528 in (Expression error: Unexpected < operator.

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Shoulder diameter .528 in (Expression error: Unexpected < operator.

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Base diameter .585 in (Expression error: Unexpected < operator.

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Rim diameter .663 in (Expression error: Unexpected < operator.

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Case length 2.50 in (Expression error: Unexpected < operator.

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Overall length 3.20 in (Expression error: Unexpected < operator.

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Primer type Large rifle colspan="3" style="background: lightsteelblue; text-align: center; vertical-align: middle;"

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| Ballistic performance Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy style="vertical-align:middle; border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa;

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Source: Accurate Smokeless Powders [1]

The .50-90 Sharps rifle cartridge is a black powder cartridge that was introduced by Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company in 1872 as a buffalo (American bison) hunting round. Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag

Bullet diameter was typically .512" (13.004 mm) diameter. However, older black powder rounds with lead bullets are frequently loaded with a variation of bullet diameters based on which particular diameter shoots best in that particular gun. The type of rifling (grooves), bullet composition (lead/tin/alloy), etc. affect how well a particular diameter bullet will shoot.

Bullet weights ranged from 425 grains (27.54 g) at approximately 1400 ft/sec (426.72 m/s) to a much heavier and more powerful 550 grains (35.64 g) at approximately 1275 ft/sec (388.62 m/s).

History

File:Shiloh Sharps 50-90.jpg

Shiloh Sharps rifle with .50-90 Sharps (2.5") cartridges

The .50-90 was created specifically with buffalo in mind. At the time, the killing power of a cartridge could only really be altered by making a heavier bullet or increasing the powder charge. The wide variety of specialty bullets and powders was not available. The buffalo is an extremely large animal and difficult to take down reliably, thus the need for a large diameter cartridge, capable of carrying a heavier bullet, more powder, and a greater cross-section on the bullet, creating a larger hole. [2]

Billy Dixon used a Sharps .50-90 at the Second Battle of Adobe Walls in June 27 1874 to make his legendary 1538 yard shot.[3] [4]

Today the round is almost obsolete. Ammunition is not produced by any major manufacturer. Rifles are only produced on an infrequent basis by a few companies such as Shiloh, Uberti, and C&S. The rifles are typically used for buffalo hunting and reenactments. Occasionally they are used for vintage competitions, but the heavy bullet and powder charge produce more recoil than other old-time cartridges such as the .45-70, and so are used less frequently.

References

  1. Accurate Smokeless Powders Loading Guide Number Two (Revised), Book by Accurate Arms Co, Wolfe Publishing, 2000 p.368
  2. Cartridges of the World 8th Edition, Book by Frank C. Barnes, DBI Books, 1997, ISBN 0-87349-178-5 p. 140
  3. The History of Adobe Walls
  4. Replicating Billy Dixon's Legendary Long-Shot

Cartridge:rifles

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