Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Wake Up Call

I was startled to find my living room fireplace on Filthie's Thunderbox. You can read all about here, in House Sitting.  My liquor cabinet has suffered some shrinkage, but that can be repaired.  How one person could actually drink so much is not beyond me at all; I just didn't know Glen was a professional.

Evidently Glenn likes my Sharps rifle, and told me something that I didn't know about the term sharpshooter - it's derived from Sharp's shooter.  I'll buy that.

When I inherited the rifle, I sent it off to that unparagoned gunsmith, the man who keeps the A and the F in ATF, Jim Jones.  One look at the rifle and Jim sobered up.  It needed cleaning and a certain amount of adjustment, so Jim got to work.  The results were excellent; Jim had disassembled the rifle, cleaned and oiled all the parts, then carefully reassembled it.  A few new parts were needed, very minor parts, and Jim was able to get all of them from other antique Sharps rifles.  So the entire rifle is an antique.

Jim also cautioned me about shooting it.  Black powder only, light loads, and he'd prefer it remain on the wall.  He's right, and it's going to stay on the fireplace.

Jim and the Sharps

The Old and the New
The modern rifle you see here is one that Jim built for himself.  It's his go-to rifle when he wants to drive nails at 200 yards.  It's the today's equivalent of what the Sharps was when it was brand new, and someone bought it at a general store, then took it out back to try it out.  Probably with several other men as onlookers.  Breech loaders were not common back then, as the Sharps was made in the period just before brass cartridges.

I keep my Sharps rifle on display for several reasons, but mainly because I think it's somewhat pointless to own a rifle like this one and not be able to show it off a little, and let other men take it down and pet it.  I also believe that if I'm afraid to display whatever treasures I have because of fear of theft, the bad guys have won.  That's just no way to live.

So my Sharps will remain on my fireplace mantle until I find two suitable hangers for it, then it will hang on the brick above the mantle.  My thanks to Glen for featuring me on his site.


  1. Always a pleasure, WL. Apologies for the liquor cabinet and the negative publicity though! :)

    I'm glad you got a pro to check it out. I won't touch antiques or originals without expert input either. Do you still keep up with Jim, WL?

    I am contemplating an AR15 build in 6.5 Grendel and would appreciate the input of an expert. I am proficient with the AR but not an expert by any means - and the 6.5 is a very odd duck up here in my neck of the woods. I suspect they are much like hen's teeth up here.


    1. I hope you find the reply. Yes, Jim is a phone call away and is still keeping the A and the F in ATF.