Sharps .17-222 mag

I just received a photo of a cartridge with the headstamp “SHARPS .17-222 MAG”. Of course this is not a Sharps cartridge, but what is the story behind this round?


I think that is one of Quality Cartridge’s offerings. Don’t know any details of the dimensions or why the “Sharps” is in the name.

It is getting harder and harder to keep up with all these new cartridges coming out every day and I’m about ready to get out of the “wildcat” field since it’s impossible to define one anymore. :( :(

Anybody wanna buy a collection?


Actually, the .17-222 Mag is an OLD wildcat.

In the book “Wildcat Cartridges” from Wolfe Publishing, they discuss the .17-222 Mag wildcat. The article isn’t dated, but my guess is that it dates from the early 1970’s.

The “Sharp’s” part of the question comes from the fact that (apparently) limited production Sharp’s falling block actions were used as the basis of the rifles.


Yes, it refers to the brief Colt-Sharps rifle project. There was an article in a mid-'80s “Gun Digest” discussing the history of it.

Daniel & Wendigo

Yeah, I knew that the 17/222 RM was an old wildcat but I did not know that it was chambered in the falling block actions. I thought all rifles were chambered for factory cartridges.

Isn’t the headstamp something new? I don’t recall ever having seen one before now. Quality Cartridge lists it as one of the cartridges they produce.


The “.17 Sharps Magnum” appears to have been a pet project of Les Bowman who worked on the rifles. From what I can glean from the 1984 “Gun Digest” article by Bowman, at least one prototype and perhaps one presentation piece were chambered for it. Bowman also wrote the article mentioned from “Wildcat Cartridges, Vol. 2.” In that article, Bowman claimed that he told Colt to drop it in favor of the .17 Remington when it became available.

Here is more information. The headstamp photo is by way of Otto Witt. The other pages are from an anonymous collector.


Hard to argue with Otto. Did he give an approximate date of that particular headstamp?

Also, did you look for the cartridge on the Quality Cartridge site? I don’t think that I dreamed that. If so, what rifle would their cartridges be intended for? I can’t imagine anyone firing one of those $5000 rifles.

And why do I always forget to look in the JOURNAL? #330, page 19.

Finally, I assume that you are making every effort to get that case into your hands?


Why is this cartridge a “wildcat?” Properly headstamped brass for a a rifle made by Sharps Rifle Co. (Modern Sharps Co.). Hmmmmm - could it actually be the dreaded “proprietary cartridge?” Just wondered.


Same old question, isn’t it? I don’t know the answer but I do know that it’s getting harder and harder to answer.

A while back I was showing one of my shooting buddies some of my old wildcat cartridges - real wildcats, and real old - and I mentioned to him how things are changing with all of the new brass being made and guys that are now specializing in re-producing the old wildcats. We got on the Internet and looked up the Qual-Cart site. I was astounded at the number of wildcat cartridges that they are now producing with their own headstamp. Many, many more than I had imagined. (That’s where I saw that Sharps 17-222 RM. I didn’t pay much attention to it at the time but Ron’s post brought it back to mind) And it’s not limited to Qual-Cart. Big outfits like Ruger, Nosler and Hornady are doing the same thing, to a lesser extent for now, at least.

I know that we can say that a cartridge with a wildcat headstamp does not necessarily change anything (except to old collectors like me) but we’re now starting to see rifles manufactured and marked as such. So, at what point do they become proprietary? And when does a proprietary cartridge become factory? Weatherby, Lazzeroni, etc were all considered proprietary only a few years ago but I don’t think anyone would consider them in that category any more.

As I said earlier, it makes collecting wildcats no fun anymore. And I really was serious about getting out. I’m in a bad mood and it’s only Thursday.


Ray–I have no idea what the date is for the headstamp. It does look like a Qual-Cart made headstamp. The flyers From the Sharps Arms Co. (I don’t think this is the same company as the current C.Sharps Co.) are 1968. I have not tried to get one of the cartridges as it is not a Sharps caliber. I only have the headstamp picture from Otto.

What was in the Journal, Issue 330, Page 19? Although I have a complete set of paper copies of the Journal, all except the last 3 years or so are packed away someplace. (I HAVE to get the CD copy).

Did you notice that the price list had some other cartridges listed that were strange, such as the .270 Sharps, .348 Sharps H.V., .45-75 Sharps H.V., and .50-70 Sharps H.V.
Has any one seen any of these? Are they the same cases as the Winchester rounds or are they new wildcats (Proprietary??). Do they have the “SHARPS” headstamp like the .17-222 Mag.?


I have only the CD of #330 and don’t know if there is any way to copy or send a page of it. Probably not, otherwise everyone would simply copy rather than buy.

Anyway, there is a terrible photo of a box of the cartridges labeled:

20 samples
.17/.222 Magnum
(.17 Sharps)

It shows a side view of a cartridge but nothing about the headstamp or any other information. It says the box came from Tom Dunn. The box appears to be SINOXID brand which is RWS in Germany, right?


Ray–Thanks for the info. Yes, SINOXID is a RWS primer. So, maybe the first cartridges were made by RWS. Since the flyers I posted are from 1968, the cartridges listed could not be Qual-Cart. Not sure when Qual-Cart started but it was well after 1968. And, of course we can’t ask Tom Dunn, unfortunately.

Thank you!
I have only seen one of these rifles. It was in .243 Winchester and testfired by P.O. Ackley - he signed the target .
This one was cased in tan leather with turn screws and oil containers in seperate leather compartments. The action had gold inlay for safe-fire and one inlaid gold line running around the action . A mounted leupold 3-9 Vari-2 and sling was included. Cost was $1300 CDN .

I was working on drilling rigs at that time and that Colt Sharps was gone three weeks later when I returned to Calgary. I recently learned that only the last ten sold were cased like this . Sure they will make more - no comment.

Great information on that Sharps .17/222 mag.I had not seen that head stamp.