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There's something impressive about a Big .50 Sharps (above). Using readily available components, the .50-70 cartridge (below) is easy to handload and exceedingly accurate.

Mcnelly Carbine
Mounted or dismounted, the cavalryman (above) could attach and carry his carbine from his shoulder strap. The "hump" of Lawrence's patented percussion priming system (below) is retained in the McNelly Sharps clone.

Firearms' accurate recreation of the McNelly Sharps .50-70 carbine we can capture just a glimpse of that period in southwest history.

The Nueces Strip is that portion of south Texas bounded by the Nueces River and Corpus Christi on the north, the Rio Grande River and Brownsville on the south and extends northwestwardly along the Mexican border to Laredo. The familiar King Ranch would be about in the heart of the Strip. After the war, the region was plagued by cross-border and domestic raiders, murderers, rapists and cattle rustlers.

Following Reconstruction, the Texas Legislature in 1875 assigned a small group of Texas Rangers under the command of Captain Leander McNelly, an experienced guerilla fighter, to "clean up the Strip." The history of McNelly's short, colorful, take no prisoners, campaign appears in the book, Taming the Nueces Strip, dictated by one of McNelly's Rangers, George Durham.

According to Durham, McNelly and his Rangers first assembled in Corpus Christi to gather provisions, and the conversation between storeowner, Sol Lichtenstein, and McNelly about firearms flows as follows:

"Now about rifles," Sol said, "you're in plumb luck, Captain. We got ... all the latest model repeaters — Henrys, Spencers, Winchesters."

"How about Sharps?" the Captain asked.

"Sharps? Sure we always carry a small stock for the buffalo hunters. Maybe, 30 or so."

"I want them," the Captain said.

"Sharps, Captain? I thought you were going man hunting — not buffalo. Those

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