I think this also might be the sporting model? Has the longer barrel but is a half stock. Also has checkering on the stocks wrist as well. Definitely not a carbine!Hi,
I have had an IAB .54 cal. for many years.
When I fist got it, I knew nothing about them.
The rifle was an IAB sporting rifle, it was amazingly accurate out to three hundred yards.
I think this also might be the sporting model? Has the longer barrel but is a half stock. Also has checkering on the stocks wrist as well. Definitely not a carbine!
I appreciate your input and advice Fred. I’ve pretty much decided to pass on this one. With spare parts far and in between coupled with negative out weighing positive reviews? I’ll look at Pedersoli or maybe Shiloh if I decide to go that route.Hello Cowboy,
Yes, that is the same model that I had.
Be well warned, you really have to be an eager student of rifle evolution to enjoy this gun, but when buying this gun you have to really inspect it to see if it has been well cared for.
I would say that replacement parts are few and far between,
The leaver can be bent or twisted from excessive force trying to open a dirty gun.
Even the sliding breech seal can be loaded with pits or damage from unknowing shooters. I actually had my sliding breech seal tool chromed to resist rust, and pitting. It worked!
Depending where you live and shoot, your paper cartridges should be self consuming or you may have unwanted fires from ordinary paper cartridges slowly burning in grasses or dried leaves.
Don't be shy to negotiate the price in your favour, as this is an unknown and unusual rifle.
I shoot NSSA competition and I shoot IAB Sharps in Carbine competition along with quite a few others.Have a chance to pick one up. It’s .54 cal. and is at a descent price and new. Was sort of thinking about it?
I’d appreciate your input if you shoot these or know anything about what I’ve mentioned above. Would also like to hear the pro’s and con’s about this rifle or its type.
I’m in no hurry to by it! What information you share with me will be a factor in my decision. In the mean time I’ll continue to research.
Lets call this Sharps 101?
WOW! Gave me a lot to think about? Appreciate the information Dave. Think I need to get onto the NSSA boards for Sharps. Just want to learn what I can prior to this coming Spring when I make my trip.I shoot NSSA competition and I shoot IAB Sharps in Carbine competition along with quite a few others.
Ok the real skinny. IAB cartridge guns are very sketchy, you might get a good one, but it's a dicey proposition as they're well known for problems with the chamber boring and fragile internals. If it's a Sharps percussion, then that's different. The barrel steel on them is said by several gunsmiths I trust to be as good or better than Shiloh or Pedersoli. A number of guys in the NSSA shoot IAB and are way, way up in the stats so the guns will shoot (One of those guys took Carbine Aggregate with a fuddy duddy 1863 IAB). There are a couple Sharps experts I know in the NSSA and ALL of them say an IAB is a great starter Sharps that is capable of shooting with any Shiloh or Pedersoli but like most of the repops, you will have to know the idiosyncrasies of the beast.
If you're going to get into the Sharps world, you can shoot either loose ammo or you can be a glutton for tedium and make original style combustible cartridges. OR you can get the breech block mod from either Charlie Hahn or Larry Flees and use Charlie's Tubes. Charlie's Tubes are light gauge cardboard tubes that simply glue on the base of a modified ringtail bullet. The combo of tubes and block mod will allow you to shoot up to 100rds with no issues. Of the ways to shoot the gun most accurately, Charlie's Tubes or loose ammo is hands down the way to go.
So the bad on IAB-
1) Spare parts availability. If something breaks, you MIGHT be able to get a spare. More likely, you'll have to either have the part fixed or modify are part from somebody else. However, in a used IAB, if the part was going to break, since the gun is old, the fragile ones have already broken.
2) Barrels tend to run large. I have two IAB Percussion 1863 Sharps, both shoot .555 bullets.
3) Low resale if you wan to get rid of it. BUT this works in two directions.
The GOOD on IAB-
1) If you can get it cheap, it can be a great shooter. It's a good way to get into the Sharps world.
2) It can be as accurate as any Pedersoli or Shiloh. It really doesn't matter what you get, ammo will dictate how accurate your gun can be.
3) Because of it's reputation because of cartridge gun QC issues, it can be had pretty cheap relative to a Pedersoli or Shiloh, meaning, doing the breechblock mod most in the NSSA do isn't like putting a mustache on the Mona Lisa. You won't regret doing the mod because it greatly helps in sealing the breech and since the gun is cheap, you don't feel bad for doing it. For a "new" condition, price should be about $600. Used in Vgood condition, about $475ish.
For more information on it, do a search on the NSSA boards for Sharps questions and you'll find quite a bit of info regarding Sharps, Hahn, Flees, and breech block mods.
You really should come to our Nationals in Winchester VA. We shoot Civil War arms in live fire competition, no reenactment stuff, just live fire with real bullets. We also compete with artillery in live fire, yup, I'm on a rifled howitzer crew. Nowhere in the US will you see as much Civil War stuff shot live in one weekend as our Nationals. Many guns are originals as are quite a few of the cannon and mortars.WOW! Gave me a lot to think about? Appreciate the information Dave. Think I need to get onto the NSSA boards for Sharps. Just want to learn what I can prior to this coming Spring when I make my trip.
Anyway, you definitely gave me a lot to ponder over?
Most definitely not in my case! I love all aspects of black powder shooting. I would never give up one for the other. I’m just wanting to broaden my education and explore different types?Sounds like a lot of muzzleloading enthusiasts are making the switch to breechloaders.
Never for me! I'm ML & BP shooting since more than fifty five years and I'm not going to change anything now...Sounds like a lot of muzzleloading enthusiasts are making the switch to breechloaders.