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Thread: Danish Rolling Block

  1. #1
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Danish Rolling Block

    Since there seems to be a general interest in military Rolling Blocks here. Here's one I picked up not long ago that's chambered in 11.7 Danish. Started life as a big rimfire, and later the Danish converted them all to centerfire. The cartridge is very easy to make from .45-70 cases shortened about .10" and loaded with a larger bullet of around .460"-.463" depending on the bore size.
    I bought this one from a pawn shop for $200, and it was missing the rear sight, and spur was broken off the breechblock.

    Here's the picture they sent me of the action with missing spur:



    Wood was perfect, with clean original finish, and a perfect bore! I planned to tear it apart for the action, but when it arrived it was much too nice to part out. So I got a correct rear sight for it, and then set about to build a spur. Made up a chunk of steel rough shaped, and paid a young guy I know to tig weld it on the breechblock.



    After welding it on I filed it down and then got the checkering file out to cut the spur so it had a good thumb grip on it.



    Touched it up with some cold blue, and mounted up the old barrel sight.





    Going to gift it to my son in law for his birthday next month. Then teach him how to reload and make ammo for it! It will be his first antique gun, and first foray into reloading! Need to find some cast bullets in the correct size, as I don't have a mold for this caliber.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Jack Stanley's Avatar
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    Wow ! that is a nice piece !! Glad you can bring it back to life .

    Jack
    Buy it cheap and stack it deep , you may need it !

    Black Rifles Matter

  3. #3
    Love seeing these brought back into shootable condition. Mine was completely redone. Local guy has a truck load of them. He basically rebuilds them. Finally lucked into one redone into 45-70 I wanted, and traded for it.

  4. #4
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    Eddie Southgate's Avatar
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    Nice .
    Grumpy Old Man With A Gun....... Do Not Touch !!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    You dont need to shorten the cases!
    As the Arsenal converted to centerfire they also started to load iron jacketed bullets. To ease them through a BP bore with limited snokeless types, they cut a long leade to "squeeze" the bullet into the rifling without jumping the pressure.

    Most of you Americans therefore think you have a rifle with 56mm chamber. There was less than 100 of those experimental rifles made and all of them got scrapped.

    If you have a rifle with the action made in Denmark marked "Kj°benhavns T°ihuus" it's good for 1600bar~23,2kpsi.
    If the action is Remington then the Sheffield barrel steel is inferiour and only deemed safe to 1200bar~17.4kpsi.

    Here is a "cheat sheet" i made up to adress most of the misunderstandings regarding Danish RB's

    Here is a resume i wrote some time ago to adress the confusion about chamber length:

    Danish Rolling Blocks and chamber length confusion

    The original Danish RB round was 11.4x41.5R rimfire. Load was 52grains in 1867 and changed to 60 grains of BP behind a 385 grains boolit.
    Denmark ordered 20000 rifles from Remington to be delivered within 6 months. That backfired for Remington because Sheffield could not deliver enough barrels.
    The Danes got to make their own RB’s without paying royalty as a result.
    5 production lines was set up and each of them had a master gunsmith which was in charge of quality. Each smith had to manufacture his own set of Go-No Go gauges and have them certified by the factories master controller. This becomes important later!
    All is well and from 1867 to 1878 @78500 RB’s are manufactured.
    In 1884 the Danes start to develop a replacement for the RB and at the same time they start to ponder a way to modernise the RB’s. In 1896 they were officially converted to: Smokeless, centerfire and jacketed bullets.
    And now comes problems in heaps falling on the arsenal, Because of the 5 different Go-No Go tools it is clear that bores range from 11.25mm~.443” to 11.75mm~.463”. You can’t design a standard round with jacketed and smokeless that will work within those ranges with any kind of accuracy and without huge variations in pressure. So a LARGE long throat is devised to size the bullets for the smaller bores.
    That is why some Danes will chamber a 45-90 without problems and why the 11.4x56R thought exists.

    In the development of the final cartridge choices in smokeless was dismal and experiments led to the 56mm cartridge. But that meant grinding down the hammer for chamber access and that was dismissed along with slower reloading of the rifle. Only 100 rifles were ever converted and they can be easily identified by the ground down hammer. Most/all were scrapped so the likelihood of hundreds of them popping up in the US is nill. You have a ”standard” 11.4x51R chamber.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master hornady308's Avatar
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    I'm no expert, but mine was made in Denmark and accepts standard 45-70 brass. I even use the same loads that I use in my Trapdoor Springfield from 1874. It is very nice of you to give it to a son in law.

  7. #7
    Boolit Man
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    Ever a frugal lot,the Danes.My Danish neighbour told me the govt had to force them to take a second name/surname so the govt could collect taxes off them.Much resistance to the idea.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Many but far from all that entered the US had their chamber "cleaned" with a 45-70 reamer but will retain the more conical bottom of the Danish chamber.

    Sorry only metric drawings!

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  9. #9
    I'm curious how someone could break off part of the breech block? Beating it closed with a fouled chamber, or beating it open with a stuck fired case?

  10. #10
    Boolit Man
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    Broken piece on the block is a very common accident with all military rolling blocks that have been surplussed.I suspect they were stacked in huge piles before sale.Fortunately the hammer spur spur breaks less frequently.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    My guess is that these were indeed broken from rough handling, and not during use. The break appeared to be a hit from behind going forward, so likely it was tossed butt first on a pile and struck the breechblock spur, snapping it off.
    This one is the stronger "Kj°benhavns T°ihuus" marked tang. I have tried .45-70 sized cases in the chamber, and there's no way a case will fit without shortening it. I trimmed one down until it finally chambered and it took about .10" to allow the block to close.
    The firing pins on this model are far more complicated than the original Rolling Block actions sold to Denmark or Sweden. Glad this one is in good working order, as I'd hate to make one of these firing pins!
    One thing I noted on this gun and have never seen before on any Rolling Block, is the pin fit into the frame! I removed the retaining plate and pushed on the pins to no avail. I figured there must be lots of old gunk inside, so I tapped them out a bit with a brass hammer and then pulled, but they still didn't move! I finally drifted them out with a brass punch and cleaned them well. Put some Kroil on the pins and slipped the hammer and breechblock over their pin and they moved freely. Went to insert them back into the frame and they still wouldn't go with thumb pressure. I finally tapped them back in with the brass hammer and they went. Every Rolling Block I own or have owned always pushed the pins out with my thumb.
    Last edited by marlinman93; 11-15-2017 at 11:49 AM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    There was/is three different chambers in the old Danes.

    1867: 41.5mm~1.63" for the original rimfire chamber using 60 grains of black.

    In 1882 the Danish shooting society started using the 1867 rifle but converted to centerfire. As you know there is way more meat at the bottom of a centerfire case and the same 60 grains of black was used so the case needed to be 46.5mm~1.83"

    in 1896 a new smokeless round was made and resulted in a 51.5mm~2.03" chamber.

    So what you have might be a civilian model as the 1896 ones all have a way long freebore and will chamber a 45-90 case.

    In 1896 the cheapest thing when converting to centerfire was simply to rework the existing blocks and that resulted in the oblong firing pin. At the same time the small safety "lever" was introduced to ensure the retraction of the firing pin and no posibillity of slam fires.

    In 1893 the Danes converted some 800 RB's to 8x58RD for the marine and didnt even bother converting blocks, they simply bought from Husqvarna.

    Top: M1896 smokeless 51.5mm~2.03"
    Middle: 46.5mm~1.83" for the shooting society
    Bottom: M1867 41.5mm~1.63" rimfire round
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Guessing that since this receiver is marked "1867" and it began life as a rimfire, it's an early gun. With the length of this chamber, it appears to be the center cartridge of 46.5mm

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    The Danes stopped making RB's in 1888 so every single one started life as a rimfire gun.
    1867 is the model number (action left side under a crown) and usually the year produced appears on the tang.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 17nut View Post
    The Danes stopped making RB's in 1888 so every single one started life as a rimfire gun.
    1867 is the model number (action left side under a crown) and usually the year produced appears on the tang.

    Thanks! The top tang is marked "1885" on this one.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check