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Thread: 43 Spanish rolling block questions...

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    43 Spanish rolling block questions...

    I have always wanted a big bore rolling block and a 45/70 trapdoor. I may have found my rolling block this weekend.

    I found a very tight 43 Spanish saddle ring carbine with a bright and shiny bore. It appears to have been refinished a long time ago, but the blue is still pretty good. It is my understanding that before they were sent back to the US the Spaniards often repaired and reblued them. There is zero play in the block or the hammer, the trigger is very crisp and the wood is not to bad. Price is $600 with a little wiggle room.

    Something looks odd to me though... the knoxform (I think that is the name) is octagon and so is the first few inches of the barrel. That seems off to me, I though the barrels were completely round on these guns. I would have taken pics, but the show would not allow anyone to take pics of anything... period.

    So, the next issue is brass... I have one loaded PP round in my collection, that is it! It looks like I will need lots of gun grease to buy more. I would like to shoot it from time to time with either BP or Trailboss. But, if brass is impossible at less that 5 to 8 bux each... I can't justify it.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I think you have the Argentine carbine. I have the rifle version and it too has the chamber area of the barrel octagon and the rest of the barrel is round. Every rifle I have seen was the same way. My wife bought mine for me in 1963 or 4 and it cost a whopping $35.00 and $3.50(I think) shipping. The carbine was an extra $15.00 at the time. james

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    brass in available, maybe $3 a pop. It will last forever, so not so expensive

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    brass Buffalo Arms out of stock at the momete, under $3

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Track of the Wolf has some good information on the .43 Spanish cartridge and also sales the cartridge cases. james

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I found brass from buffalo arms sometimes does not work out. Splits, and there manufacturer dies not make the rim correct with That 43 Spanish Remington rounded rim. I found Track of The wolf make a repro that is almost 100% copy of original. Yes there $3.39 each + ship.. well worth the money
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master brstevns's Avatar
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    Also can be made from 7mm mag, 300mag etc brass

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub BobT's Avatar
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    I bought 20 cases for my .43 Spanish roller from Buffalo arms, they go bang like they are supposed to in my rifle but as I understand it they may not work in all guns. I haven't played with mine too much because the trigger pull is the heaviest I have ever felt on any gun, it must be at least 25 or 30 pounds but I loaded it with Trail Boss and shot it a few times just because. I really like the old rifle and will eventually do something about the trigger so I can enjoy shooting it a little more. Brass can also be formed from .348 Winchester brass if you can find any of that. The only die set I could come up with was a Lee but it worked acceptably well.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy Argentino's Avatar
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    What you have seems to be an Argentine contract cavalry carbine. Some pics might help.

    Argentina got 2 main contracts and models for their Army, both of them chambered in.43 Spanish: 1866 and 1879 Models, long rifles being provided with rounded and octagonal shaped barrels (chamber area) respectively.

    AFAIK, carbines left the factory with rounded barrels only but spare carbine barrels were provided with octagonal shaped chambers.

    Therefore, an octagonal-shaped barrel in a carbine might be a replacement barrel (they are commonly found with very good bores).
    Both the refinishing an rebarreling were performed at Argentinean military arsenals.

    You can make you own brass from either 7mm.RemMag, .375 H&H or .300WM.
    One of the most popular molds for the .43 Spanish is the Lyman #439186. For RRBs with larger bores (Ive found them to be anywhere from 0.439" and up to 0.444") Ive also tried the Lyman mold for the 11mm. Mauser (#446110) with good results as well.

    Argie.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    I bought 50 correct head stamped brass from Buffalo Arms several years ago and they shoot great. (Annealed them this evening, at the price I paid, I don't need to lose any to neck splits.)

    They can be made from belted mag cases. I've done it and need to make some more this winter.

    Do a search for "What can .43 Spanish be made from?" Should find the thread that describes the steps.

    Fair amount of work but if they aren't in stock, making your own may be your only option.

    Good luck.

  11. #11
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    Here's mine-- an 1879 model. Going by what Argentino said, perhaps this one had the barrel replaced at some point as the barrel is octagonal between the receiver and rear sight. The bore is very good + which might support that theory. I bought my brass from Track of the Wolf after researching it a bit. As also stated, by TNsailorman, the Track of the Wolf website has a lot of information about the .43 Spanish cartridge.

    About my particular carbine, the only Roller that I presently own, the fore stock that came with the carbine was badly splintered and held on with a plastic electric tie. I've done a lot of stock work, but doubted my ability to restore the fore stock to something usable, and would have had to find an original barrel band somewhere, so I decided to just replace it. I remembered that many years ago the Spanish gun maker Star used to offer newly manufactured Rolling Block carbines, and then Gun Parts Corp. sold stocks for them (Star mfg.) for years. I inquired, and they did still have stocks, so I ordered a new fore stock. It looks different from the original, and required a lot of inletting to fit. I eliminated the Remington recoil lug, as the Spanish stock didn't have an inlet for it, and I couldn't see what purpose it served on the original, and I full length glass bedded the new fore stock. Now, because of the different shape an original barrel band wouldn't fit anyway, so I used an old military Mauser barrel band that had a swivel on it. Not much sense in having a carbine with just a front swivel, so I added one to the butt stock. Since the whole thing looks old I dug through a couple of boxes in the shop and found an old leather sling that I think came from a '95 Mannlicher. And there, for better or worse is my RB Carbine. Handy, fun to shoot, but sure to give a collector fits somewhere down the road.

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  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    A little bit of a thread drift, but Der G. I think you did a good job. I just put one of those stock sets on a previously cut down and beat to heck #5. Somewhat like yours, not a perfect fit but more functional than it was and not completely ugly. Good job. BTW, those stocks and forends are still available last time I looked.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Thanks for the pics and info. The one I have my eye on has no pitting anywhere and is really beautiful, leading me to be completely certain that it was refinished. I have a feeling that it will make a perfect shooter. Just finishing talking myself into it.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the kind words, Rusty. There are so many thoughts on what one should do and not do with antique weapons-- you know, leave them as you found them, etc. But my thoughts were that it would be better functional than not. I did see that GPC still sells the butt stocks and fore stocks as a set, but I kept the original butt stock. Anyway, now it's something that is useful. Got any pictures of yours? If I still had my bluing tanks I would certainly refinish the metal.

    mattW-- Somewhat the same comments to your post. These RBs are 120-140 years old now, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy one that has been refinished. I've never destroyed any priceless historical antiques, but have always liked my firearms to look a good as possible. I'd a lot rather show my friends a nicely refinished firearms than a chunk of rust. Hope you'll take some photos when you acquire it.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    This rifle had already been altered by a very short stock and a bubba rear sight. What was left of the stocks was very beat up, dry and just plain yuck. I first put the buttstock on a No 1 and it was easy, took a bit more inletting and a little glass bedding to get it on the No 5. The forend was the more difficult of the two pieces. I used the barrel band that came with the replacement forend. I also removed the recoil lug and used the hole to mount the swivel stud on the forend. Stocks are supposedly walnut which I doubt but they stain up pretty well. I also think these are the rejects or "seconds" and not first quality stocks. But they worked for my purpose and are cheap enough. Anyway, here's a pic.

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    Forgot to mention that nothing I had in my buttplate pile came anywhere near fitting the curve on the butt. I needed a bit more length anyway so used a recoil pad from the parts pile.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    There was also a thread on reducing trigger pull, one single washer placed under the flat spring for the trigger.

    I have not done it for mine but that may be a winter project this year. That trigger is probably the stiffest one I own. Almost think I could hang that gun on a nail by the trigger and not have it go off.
    Last edited by 15meter; 10-23-2020 at 11:06 AM.

  17. #17
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    Nice job, Rusty. Made a respectable looking shootin' iron.

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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