Buffalo rifle shooters use replicas of the firearms used by the cowboys, frontiersmen, soldiers, buffalo hunters and settlers in America during the second half of the 19th century.

Replica rifles are made by manufacturers such as:

  • Shiloh Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company (USA),
  • C. Sharps Arms Inc. (USA)
  • Davide Pedersoli (Italy); and
  • Uberti Replicas (Italy).

Typically, these firearms cost in the region of $2,000 new and hold their value well in the second hand sales market (if well looked after).

Replica Rifles fall into three main categories:

1.  Falling Block rifles – such as the 1874 Sharps

2.  Rolling Block Rifles – such as the Remington Falling Block

3.  High-Wall (and Low-Wall) Rifles – such as the Winchester 1885

Club rules require rifles to be single-shot, have an external hammer and built on a model designed before 1900. These rifles typically weigh 10 pounds (or more) and have either rifled or smooth-bore barrels which are typically 30 to 34 inches in length.

The most popular calibre is the .45-70 Government (meaning: a 45 cal projectile propelled by a 70 gr charge of Black Powder). It was a cartridge developed by the Springfield Armory (formally known as the United States Armory and Arsenal) for use in the U.S. Army’s Springfield Model, 1873 rifle. This was the rifle used during the Battle of The Little Big Horn by Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer troops.

.45-70 Govt. Blackpowder Cartridges in Bandolier.

Cartridge projectiles weigh between 500 and 550 gr (grains) and when loaded are propelled by Black Powder (also known as Gunpowder).

.45 calibre ‘Grease-grooved’ Lead Projectile

The use of Modern Smokeless Powders (usually Nitrocellulose based) are not considered to be in the ‘Spirit of the Game’ and were only in the infancy of development during the late 19th century.

Other popular calibres are .45-90 Sharps, .50-90 Sharps and .40-65 Winchester.

Targets are shot at various distances between 200 and 1000 yards, from low stools or sitting on the ground. Cross-sticks are used to support the rifle while taking aim (except at shorter distances like 200 yards).

Browning High-Wall firing from cross-sticks

Typically, 10 shots are fired at each target with scores for hits or heart-shots (bullseyes). The term heart-shot comes from the shape of the target, as most distances use a steel silhouette of a buffalo as their main target.

Bullet-Seating Die being Installed


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