Your experience with Armi Sport Sharps
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Author:  Bill Skillman [ Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Your experience with Armi Sport Sharps

Fellow Sharpshooters;

I wrote up an article a few years ago detailing my experiences with reproduction Sharps rifles. At that time (2000) the Armi Sport Sharps was fairly new, and from my observations, had a number of 'teething problems'. I worked on Benji Hansen's AS Sharps at the 1999 Grant Vs. Lee event one evening. He had only fired a few round when the rifle went 'paws up', we never did get it to fire properly at the event. Dan Wambaugh and I fell in with the Bucktails at the South Mountain that fall, and the corporal with us also started to have misfires. He solved the problem by simply pouring powder down the barrel and using his Sharps as a sort of rich mans' muzzle loader.

Before I release my original article, I'd like your help in bringing me up to date about what you have found to be the Armi Sport strengths and weaknesses. Are there problems with the set trigger causing the hammer to jam on half-cock? Problems with the hammer not striking the cone properly? Parts that are ill fitting or fall off.

I don't want to use the post to bash Armi Sports. I would like your honest experiences of using this brand of weapon, and what sorts of difficulties and corrective measures you've taken since you bought it.

Thank you for your help.

Bill Skillman, Randolph Mess-USSS

Author:  David Rider [ Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Your experience with Armi Sport Sharps


As in the past, I think Armi-Sport has issues from time to time. The most common issue I see is the hammer travel stop being under machined and not allowing the hammer to come down fully on the cone. The few new ones I have seen will not even fire a cap consistently. I have machined the Hammer Stop lobe in the Lock plate mechanism for a few new members and it works fine after that.

The fastest way to tell if a rifle will fire, without dry firing it, is to lower the hammer onto the cone and then lower the breech block lever. If the hammer drops a slight bit, the rifle will fire with no problems. Others have put small shims or washers under their cone to raise it higher so the hammer will strike the cone.

I am off to Winchester Va this weekend, when I return I can post a few pictures of the modification I do to make these fire consistently.

Hope this helps with your article.

As always thanks for contributing to the U.S.S.S forum

Author:  Calum [ Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Your experience with Armi Sport Sharps

Good afternoon,

Other than the issue mentioned in "Set Trigger Help Needed" further down in this topic, I have only had one other problem concerning my Armi Sport Sharps.

The breech block clean out screw was defective. Upon receiving the rifle (purchased new), I cleaned it and also put a quality machinists anti-seize on all of the screw threads to make future break down easier - I have used this product for years on firearms and other mechanical devices with never an issue. After firing the rifle, the head of the clean out screw began peeling like an onion. The screw ultimately had to be drilled out and replaced.

I contacted Armi Sport regarding the issue, and they did have a US supplier contact me by email. I emailed my issue and the matter was promptly dropped - I never heard from him other than acknowledgement and that he would contact me once he returned from a trip. Seeing how as I did not need anything, I did not follow up on it.

Otherwise the rifle is very good quality, fit, reliability and accuracy (when live fired). I am hoping to purchase a second one in the near future.


Author:  David Rider [ Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Your experience with Armi Sport Sharps


Bill has graciously supplied us with an excellent article to post here for other.

Download the entire article Here:


Thanks for Contributing Bill......

Author:  Calum [ Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Your experience with Armi Sport Sharps

I have recently purchased an Armi 1859 Sharps Infantry Rifle for my wife. This past weekend we were able to get out and fire it for the first time (blanks only thus far). Fit and finish were excellent. Cleaned & lubed everything, replaced the clean out screw (see earlier post, not willing to take the chance on this again), drilled the cone out slightly and carved the divit from the forestock.

At the range, it functioned fairly well. It was tempermental with 4 wing caps (my rifle will rarely fire with them), but fired about half the time and almost always with the CCI 6 wing (I haven't been able to find the new CCI 4 wings yet). They changed the breech block cutter plate from what is on mine - this one looks cast, where mine appears machined. As such, the cutting edge is rounded and didn't actually cut the cartridges so much as pull them up and tear them. I think this contributed to the mis-fires as some of the cartridges were fairly well crimped when I would lower the block. Some filework on the back of the cutting edge has hopefully solved this problem - we may find out this weekend.

No issues with clean up.


Author:  Bill Skillman [ Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Your experience with Armi Sport Sharps


Thanks for the update on your personal Armi-Sport. It is nice to hear that many of the early problems have been corrected by the manufacturer. When shooting at the range, I also use the CCI caps as they seem to perform 'hotter' and ensure ignition. They still appear to be forbidden at reenactments-particularly within closed ranks, due to the tendency of wings to detach and potentially injure close by shooters.

I would suggest you re-read my article on how to manufacture 'flat based' cartridges and give them a try. Like you, I found that when I attempted to cut the protruding tail off my 'clip tail base' cartridges that the excess paper from the sheared cartridge would move upwards along the face of the closing block. This would create a 'dam' and would deflect the incoming flame from the block cone downward and not ignite the powder. The flat based cartridges fit flush against the chamber so when you close the breechblock the interior cone is only millimeters from the rear of the cartridge. I've had excellent success, as have my comrades who have adopted this method of cartridge construction.

Bill Skillman
Randolph Mess-USSS

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