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Thread: A rolling block followed me home and I kept it

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    A rolling block followed me home and I kept it

    After today's ram bash match I went to a nearby gun shop to get a pound of unique. The next thing I know I'm looking a 6 different rolling block rifles a Danish in .45 Danish, a Springfield 1871 .50-70, and Remington's in .43 Egyptian w/bayonet & scabbard,a .43 Argentine w/bayonet & scabbard,.43 Spanish and then a tin plated one in .50-70. Well I have wanted something in .50-70 for a while and keep missing out on Shiloh's so I started looking at the two .50's the Springfield was in bad shape with a pitted bore and the left side of the butt stock had been charred. So I started looking over the Remington in .50-70 upon examination it has a mint bore, rack numbers on the side of the butt and butt plate, and the rifle looks like it was built with all metal parts tin plated. Some of the plating has come off over the decades since it was built but underneath its either the original steel or steel thats turning to patina and the wood just needs a good scrubbing with furniture polish. Now I have to figure out exactly what I got. I'm thinking it's some sort of navy cadet rifle because of the tin finish,rack numbers & barrel length. Here's a description of what Followed me home.

    Remington #1 military model rolling block rifle (Navy model?)
    .50-70 Govt caliber
    32 5/8" barrel length
    Tinned finish on all metal parts

    I can't find a blessed thing out about it so I'm hoping someone in our collective can tell me what neat rifle I just got.
    Thanks all

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    What does something like that cost? Range?



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Is it nickel plated?

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    sukivel,They had 799.99 on it and I got it out the door with my pound of unique for 715.00
    Love Life, it's definitely tinned it has that matted look that tin gets with age and none of the spots are peeling like old damaged nickle does.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Post some good clear photos. Also, dont just take their word that it's a. 50-70. These rifles rarely have the caliber marked on them and people will just assume it's a 50-70 because a 50-70 will drop in the chamber. I hope it is. I have a NY state 50-70, it's a great rifle.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Post some pictures please!

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by ndnchf View Post
    Post some good clear photos. Also, dont just take their word that it's a. 50-70. These rifles rarely have the caliber marked on them and people will just assume it's a 50-70 because a 50-70 will drop in the chamber. I hope it is. I have a NY state 50-70, it's a great rifle.
    I certainly agree. I saw at least three rollers at a gun show yesterday that were marked .50-70 and none of them actually were .50-70. Post some pictures.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    It's likely not a Navy, or a Navy Cadet as they both had casehardened receivers. And the Cadet was not in .50-70 Govt., but was in .50 Rem. pistol caliber. Are you sure it's tinned or plated? Often times old casehardening gets a "tin" appearance to the finish, and actually even flakes off with age.
    It sounds more like you've got a regular Remington military rifle in .50-70 vs. a Navy or Cadet. Pictures would help ID it.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I'll see if I can get one of my kids to help with the pic's as far as the finish goes its all the metal on the rifle not just the receiver. I know the navy cadets were built in .50 cadet but why the 3" difference in barrel length and its not a cut down is why I think its some form of cadet. I'm going to measure the chamber again if anything it might be longer than 1 3/4" so I will compare it with 50-70 and 50-90 rounds in my collection.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by marlinman93 View Post
    It's likely not a Navy, or a Navy Cadet as they both had casehardened receivers. And the Cadet was not in .50-70 Govt., but was in .50 Rem. pistol caliber. Are you sure it's tinned or plated? Often times old casehardening gets a "tin" appearance to the finish, and actually even flakes off with age.
    It sounds more like you've got a regular Remington military rifle in .50-70 vs. a Navy or Cadet. Pictures would help ID it.
    It sounds like an 1870 Navy, but the Navy was built by Springfield and would be marked USN/SPRINGFIELD/1870 on the right side of the receiver. On the other hand, the Navy did have a 32 5/8" barrel. Perhaps the plating, maybe nickel, done later, obscured the markings? Things that may identify it as a Navy are rear sight either 1//2" or 3 1/8" ahead of the receiver and under barrel stud for a sword bayonet. Rear sling swivel on trigger guard. The ones with the 1/2" sight distance were rejected by the Navy and sold commercially. If the plating is nickel, it may have found it's way to a veteran's organization and plated and used as a parade rifle.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Another thought. It was not uncommon for rifles to be plated for ceremonial or drill use. Veterans organizations used to do this regularly. Carefully measuring the chamber will help narrow it down. BTW, the .50-45 cartridge nominally runs 1.275" - 1.332" long. I have a RB carbine in .50-45. It's a fun one.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    About 20yrs ago I bought a RB carbine in 30/40. It was plated and had a Anchor & Chain stamped in reciever ring. I didn't have it long enough to research. I'm not sure if it was Remington. Plating was flaking but metal had no pits, except the bore.

  13. #13
    I know the rolling blocks you're talking about. They bought over 90 firearms. They had a very good condition 1897 trench shotgun with bayonet but sold it immediately. I was there when they first put them out. I snagged a civilian model No.1 in .32 rimfire that was really rough. I've relined the barrel to .22LR and converted the firing pin and extractor. I just finished rust bluing the barrel. I plan to make it up to the rambash sometime. I was shooting the rimfire silhouette up there but haven't shot in a year or so.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Up date: I haven't got pics yet but I have figured out it is a .50-70 and instead of 3 bands like the other military models this one only has 2 bands. Also in Mike Venturino's book "Shooting buffalo rifles of the old west" he notes that the .50-70's have a shorter barrel of 32 1/2" rather than 35 1/2"of the other military rollers. This rifle also has a bayonet lug on the right side of the barrel for a blade style bayonet.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    TheGrimReaper's Avatar
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    I wish I could run into these critters at our shops

  16. #16
    One old roller in 43 Spanish kept calling to me at the show yesterday, so took it , 250 various packaged boolits, & 45 pieces of Bertram brass home for a paltry $675. Bore looks to be excellent, just need to get loading & shoot it.
    Guy had another custom roller in 45-70 too. Beautiful wood, but only about a 22" barrel so I passed on it. Cheap at $700, but I have enough 45-70 chambered guns that won't beat my shoulder up like I was betting that one would.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    It's always possible for almost anything to happen to guns that are 140+ years old. So it might be the gun got plated later, and the chamber opened up to the more available .50-70 cartridge. Might even have had a barrel swapped from another Rolling Block at some time during an arsenal rework.
    At least it's in a caliber you can easily buy dies, brass, and components for to reload easily.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by marlinman93 View Post
    It's always possible for almost anything to happen to guns that are 140+ years old.
    At least it's in a caliber you can easily buy dies, brass, and components for to reload easily.
    The first sentence, I can confirm that in spades. The second, that rarely happens to me. Seems I always end up with a lot of work just to get cases, ('course I enjoy that). Consider yourself blessed you can "just buy components".
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

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  19. #19
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharps4590 View Post
    The first sentence, I can confirm that in spades. The second, that rarely happens to me. Seems I always end up with a lot of work just to get cases, ('course I enjoy that). Consider yourself blessed you can "just buy components".
    I don't mind forming, or reworking cases for oddball calibers, and have to do so for over half the old guns I own. But even reworking cases can be time consuming, and expensive. And the dies to reload can be very expensive. Then there's a few calibers I own that there's just no option to form case or make from another. My .44-100 Ballard Long Range #7 is an example of that. Fortunately the previous owner bit the bullet and bought 200 RMC lathe turned cases, or I'd have been deep in my pocket to get them!

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by marlinman93 View Post
    I don't mind forming, or reworking cases for oddball calibers, and have to do so for over half the old guns I own. But even reworking cases can be time consuming, and expensive. And the dies to reload can be very expensive. Then there's a few calibers I own that there's just no option to form case or make from another. My .44-100 Ballard Long Range #7 is an example of that. Fortunately the previous owner bit the bullet and bought 200 RMC lathe turned cases, or I'd have been deep in my pocket to get them!
    I'm the same way. I enjoy the challenge of getting the odd and unusual shooting. Most I can make from something. My .58 Robert's came with about 40 RMC cases. They still needed a bit of lathe work to be useable. But I was glad to have them.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
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