50-110 Sharps vs 50-110 Winchester


Have a 50-110 cartridge with the head-stamp U.M.C. 50-11 H.S. ( H.S. stand for ?)
I understand what U.M.C is and I assume these are 50-110 Winchester made by Union Metallic Company.
I can’t find a lot about the 50-110 Sharps other then in is a 50-90 Sharps loaded with 110 grains of Black Powder.
I noticed the IAA price list does not offer a lot on the item also.
not a lot out there on the cartridge, other then 50-110 Sharps and 50-110 Winchester are about the same, accept fot the powder loadings.
Please enlighten me if possible, head stamps etc.
Happy New Year!
Dave Call


‘S-H’ stands for ‘Solid Head’. Solid head was used to identify cases drawn from brass. Prior to that, many UMC cases were made from folded brass. The 50-90 Sharps was loaded with a 473 grain bullet. The 50-110 WCF was loaded with a 300 grain bullet.


Thank you for the information on the “S H” in the head-stamp. I had long forgotten.

Not sure who produced the 50-110 Sharps, other then Sharps. There seem to be more makers of the 50-110 Winchester. There also seems to be less head-stamps, back in the day, for the users to see the difference in the calibers, unless they had the boxes the cartridges came in.

I noticed the 50-110 Sharps pictured in Hoyem’s book is not a paper-patched projectile, a bit odd for the era, although I assume maybe inside lubed.

Does anyone know of a 50-110 Sharps with a Head-stamp ? Who were the makers of the Sharps calibers, if any, other then Sharps?

Again Thank you,
Dave Call

Interesting history, as to how the users of the day knew one caliber from the other, unless they had the box.:-)


Dave, the .50-100 and .50-110 Sharps are loading variations of the .50-90 Sharps, all using the same straight 2½" Case; while the .50-110 headstamped U.M.C. is the .50-110 Winchester, using the same straight 2 4/10" case as the .50-105 and .50-100 Winchester. The remaining dimensions of these two cases are not alike.

Also, the .50-90 Sharps 2½" was made with a slightly necked case, so it can’t be defined as a “straight” or “necked” type like other Sharps calibers. It seems that this was the only Sharps cartridge made this way.

Going back to the .50-110 Sharps 2½", this was a high velocity loading using an unpatched lead Express bullet weighing only 335 grains. For comparison, the standard bullet used in the .50-90 and .50-100 was a paper patched type weighing 473 grains.




Both the Solid Head and it’s predecessor, the Balloon Head, were made by extruding or drawing the case from a brass disc. Folded Head is typical of cases that preceeded the Balloon Head and generally refers to cases made of copper such as the Benet primed Cal 45 and 50.

The Balloon Head is actually solid, only the brass surrounding the primer pocket is much less.

Is that confusing enough?

top = Folded Head. middle = Balloon Head. bottom = Solid Head



Most U.S. solid head cases until past 1890 were of the balloon head type. USC introduced solid heads in 1872, WRA in 1874, but it was only with the advent of smokeless powder after 1890 or so that the balloon type lost favor. The first cases in .30-40 made at Frankford were balloon head, but during 1895 these gave way to the “second model shell” which fully supported the primer pocket. Would be interesting to know the internal form of the earliest .25-35 and .30-30 brass made by WRA. Jack