50-70 Government cartridge case, 1.9375 in. length

A friend asked me about a cartridge he called a 50 caliber Sharps two inch, and I said it meant nothing to me. Looked in the usual places for information and came up with nothing. There is evidence Sharps made rifles described as “two inch” fifties, and they also offered ammunition.

This nonplussed me until in reading about the archeological work at the Little Big Horn in the mid 1980s I noticed a comment that several 50-70 cases of UMC manufacture were turned up which measured 3/16 in longer than normal. This ought to be 1.9375 I think. Is this then the Two Inch? Are their surviving examples of boxes so marked and advertising references? Jack

P.S. A related and more open and shut question: Does anyone have a UMC .50-70 with a case length of at least 1.875 (one and seven eighths) inch? Thanks, Jack

Here is the .50 Sharps 2" next to an early U.M.C.Co, ringed head .50-70 with the same 3-groove banded / belted bullet.

A write up in our sale 1 lot 185
The Rarest Sharps! A circa 1872 .50 Sharps 2” Unheadstamped with a large, round, brass primer and a ringed head brass case with a belted, lead, small flat nose, projectile. In good condition, showing a little light oxidation to the projectile. In our estimation there are probably less than 20 of these known. These were made for only four years.
And we also sold one in sale 3 lot 387.

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Pete: Thanks much. That’s a relief to me and to the friend who asked me about it. Jack