If you like the look, feel, hefty boom and recoil of single shot center fire cartridge rifles designed before the 20th century, that's what this site is all about. This encompasses a myriad of rifle designs that includes the Sharps, Browning High Wall, Remington Rolling Block, 1885 Winchester, Springfield "Trap Door", and many others. These are either actual vintage cartridge rifles used in the mid to end of the 19th century, but more typically modern replicas and facsimiles. The calibers usually range from .40 through .50, using lead bullets with grease grooves or paper patching, and powered by either real black powder, black powder substitute, or smokeless powder. Sight systems are typically iron, in either long range vernier tang peep or barrel buckhorn. However, era-correct Malcolm type scopes are sometimes also used.
For more information about 19th century single shot rifles, particularly for folks starting out on a very limited budget and want to get in on large bore single shot rifle fun, and for youths and adults who may be recoil sensitive, please click on this PDF file link ~ 19th Century Single Shot Cartridge Rifles.
These are the types of rifles that were used by the buffalo hunters of days long gone to decimate the plains bison to near extinction. That act cut deep into the livelihood and culture of Native Americans, when buffaloes that originally tallied in excess of 40 million were slaughtered in great numbers from about 1850 to 1884. American conservation began with the establishment of Yellowstone Park in 1872. There, a small buffalo herd was preserved (of the remaining 1,200 to 2,000 bison), but still what few that were left outside of the park were being killed on Federal land. So, in 1894, the Lacey Act was signed into law, prohibiting the killing of any wildlife in federal preserves. The buffalo were saved from extinction and today it is estimated that there are over 150,000 bison on public preserves and in private hands.
Today, in the 21st century, we shoot these rifles for the sheer fun of it, for score at the target range, and for the ethical hunting of game for table fare.