I picked up an interesting cartridge in a collectible store recently and have discovered in researching it that it either is or isn’t for a 50/140 Sharps! One writer says that only Winchester made this round and only custom made a rifle to fit it, another says that there was in fact a 50/140 Sharps. This cartridge is stamped Sharps, Garrett, 50 and 140. Any thoughts on the matter? Regards
I have seen the Garrett 50-140 sharps rounds up for auction a couple of times. I assume that they are cases of modern manufacture. I don’t know who the Garrett is that the headstamp refers to, or when they were made, but for some reason I want to peg them as late 1980’s manufacture, a date that may have come from the auction copy, but I must warn you that it might have just fermented from my overactive imagination.
I have a bunch of 1970’s era Val Forgett Navy Arms 50-140 cases that I would like to get assembled into rounds, bullets are easy enough to come by, but I would like to find some one with the dies, so I don’t have to shell out so much dough. I think the Navy Arms cases predate the Garrett cases.
This headstamp was from Garrett Arms and Imports, Norfolk, Virginia. The cases were made by BELL (Brass Extrusion Laboratories Limited) circa 1982 to 1986. They were out of business by 1988. They imported reproduction Sharps rifles from Italy.
I believe you are referring to two different cartridges. The Winchester .50-140 Express is a rare cartridge that is thought to have been developed for use in their Model 1885 single shot rifle, but apparently there are no known rifles chambered for it. The .50-140 Sharps is a cartridge that was never chambered in a rifle produced commercially by the Sharps Rifle Company, although Sharps rifles exist that have been rechambered for it. The cases for the two are pretty much identical; the only thing that distinguishes these cartridges, other than their headstamps, is the type of bullet used - a copper tubed ‘Express’ lead bullet in the Winchester and a paper patched lead bullet in the Sharps.
In this picture, the 50-140 Sharps is on the left and the .50-140 Winchester Express is in the center. Their British cousin, a 500-3 1/4 made for Holland & Holland, is on the right. The Winchester bullet has a copper tube marked with an ‘X’ in the nose; the Holland has an unmarked brass tube.