|Type Black-powder rifle|
Used by USA
|Place of origin USA|
Parent case .50 Basic
The .50-140 Sharps rifle cartridge is a black-powder cartridge that was introduced in 1884 as a big game hunting round. It is believed to have been introduced for the Sharps-Borchardt Model 1878 rifle. The cartridge is very similar to the .500 Nitro Express.
This round was introduced by Winchester 3 years after the Sharps Rifle Company closed its doors in 1881. It is similar to, though larger than, the .50-90 Sharps.
Bullet diameter was typically .512 in (13.0 mm), with weights ranging from 600 to 700 grains (39 to 45 g) were used.
The powder charge was typically 140 grains (9.1 g) of black powder. Modern substitutes such as Pyrodex are sometimes used, although using smaller charges since pyrodex is less dense than black powder. In a strong action with modern smokeless powder it can exceed a 500-grain (32 g) .458 Winchester Magnum velocity while using a heavier 550-grain (36 g) bullet.
The .50-140 was created specifically with big game hunting in mind, and was the most powerful of the Sharps Buffalo cartridges. However, this cartridge was introduced about the time that the last of the great buffalo herds had been destroyed. An obsolete round, ammunition is not produced by any major manufacturer although reloading components and brass can be bought.
Rifles are produced on an infrequent basis by a few companies. The rifles are typically used for buffalo hunting and reenactments. Occasionally the .50-140 is used in vintage competitions, but it produces more recoil than other old-time cartridges such as the .45-70, and so is used less frequently.