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Thread: Sleeve a rolling block chamber ?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Sleeve a rolling block chamber ?

    On Wednesday I got a SWEEET deal on a Remington military rolling block in .43 Spanish. The rifle is in nice shootable condition but after my research here in the case forming section and other sites I think I'm going to try a different route. One of the guys I shoot the ram bash with told me I should get the chamber sleeved and then get the rifle rebored to .45-70. Has anyone out there done this? I'm all for a real rolling block in .45-70 as I have a couple of sharps and plenty of loading components. I was looking forward to having a .43 Spanish but a hundred pieces of brass would cost double what I paid for the rifle.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master

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    How Would the work involved in sleeving the chamber and reboring the bore compare to fitting a new barrel in 45 caliber. A new barrel might be easier and less work, but you would loose the original markings. The original barrel could then be saved for future use if you wanted to.
    The other plus to the new barrel is a heavier contour could be used adding some weight to the rifle to help tame recoil down some. The military rollers were on the light side and recoil can be tiring in them, especially with the heavier bullets in 500-550 grn range.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    COUNTRY GENT yes yes

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    I don't know about what the sleeve would cost but JES is charging me only 250.00 for a rebore and that includes return shipping. I'm going to call him tomorrow and see if he can do the sleeve as well as the reboring and what it will cost. I thought about having it relined to .45-70 but thats about a 450 to 475 cost. A new barrel is about 300 to 350 for the blank plus the install.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    The .43 Spanish is an excellent cartridge, nearly identical to the famed .44-77. Why not give it a chance?

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    I would either leave it 43 spanish, or have it rebarreled to 45-70 etc. You can have a liner installed in the original barrel and the chamber reamed in the liner.
    But leaving it 43 spanish is probably the best option.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I have sleeved chambers ,but it does leave a tiny,maybe near invisible gap,and I have always advised shooters to not use blackpowder for fear of corrosion..........Am I wrong....is a sleeve ok with the fouling?

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I sleeved one chamber years ago. I froze the sleeve in dry ice and heated the barrel stub. dropped them together and let them normalize. The parting line was barely visible but with the expansion contraction of the way the joint was locked no room for any fouling. This was a 22 rimfire barrel so not a lot of pressure and recoil. A good well machined joint should be tight enough fouling isn't an issue.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    if the bore ream and chamber sleeve are done *right*, the results will be excellent. i had that done to roller and sharps rifles, going from .40-65 to .45-70 cartridges.
    NRA PATRIOT LIFE ~ NRA RSO ~ Black Powder Gang ~ Traditional Muzzleloading Association ~ Buffalo Rifles ~ Trad Gang
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    I've got a Rem. #1 Rolling Block that was once a .38 RF and was chamber sleeved and converted to .22LR. It's a very accurate gun, and never an issue with a sleeve.

    But if your gun has a good bore and chamber in .43 Spanish, I think the cheapest option if buying the somewhat expensive .43 Spanish brass. It will likely be the cheapest option over boring and chamber sleeving, or rebarreling.

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold
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    I made my 43 Spanish from 24ga brass shot shells , not hard to do.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    I have sleeved more than a few chambers and installed liners. A 45-70 on a light gun is not fun after a few shots. Never shot the 43 Spanish but I imagine it's about the same as the 45-70 for recoil. Most of the rollers I barrel get a heavier barrel to tame the recoil down. Some customers like a faster twist for heavy bullets but I have had more than a few come back for a smaller caliber, like the 40-65. I took my 45-70 and made a new barrel in 38-55, now it's fun to shoot.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    labradigger1's Avatar
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    I would leave it a 43 Spanish. Being as it is chambered in 43 Spanish I am assuming it is a large frame number 1 action? If yes they were designed for black powder. 45-70 is/was a black powder cartridge and you can get heavier boolits with it but I never noticed any advantage of the 45-70 over 43 Spanish for my uses.
    It is a single shot rifle and I would not expect you to need a lot of brass but ymmv. I would leave it as is and source some brass. My RRB liked lyman 383 grain cast boolits over 74 grains of 2f over a lube cookie.
    You could always place a wtb ad for some brass, I may even have some extras around.

    As for hard to get cartridges be thankful itís NOT a 43 Egyptian.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy Jedman's Avatar
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    I have sleeved the chamber on several rifle barrels and they have worked out well, but they were all shorter in length than the new cartridge to be used.
    If your sleeve is say 2 1/4" long and you ream it for a cartridge that is say 1 1/2" long and you leave the bore the size it was you will have a long section ahead of the chamber with no rifling.

    I like to have the section where the front of the sleeve meets the barrel face somewhere in the neck area of the new chamber so when the cartridge is fired the area of the joint is supported by the brass and no direct chamber pressure is on that area.

    For a couple of years I was building 50-70 govt barrels from 50 cal. H & R Huntsman muzzleloader barrels, the newer type with the 7/8-20 thread breech plugs. The H&R barrels are 4140 so safe for light smokeless loads. To make the new breech plug I would turn a barrel blank and thread it 7/8-20 and make them 1 1/2" long with a pre-bored center bore about .010 under finish size for the 50-70 reamer so the reamer pilot could reach the bore of the barrel when started.
    When the new chamber was reamed the joint was at 1 1/2" forward of the breech face and a 50-70 case is 1 3/4" long so when you looked at the fired brass there was no trace of the sleeve joint.
    I made more than a dozen of them and they are all shooting smokeless cartridges very well.

    Jedman

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BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
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