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Thread: Help me decide which caliber to barrel a #5 Rolling block actionin, 1901 model.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Help me decide which caliber to barrel a #5 Rolling block actionin, 1901 model.

    Well folks the title says it all. I have a pristine, in the white 1901 patent Smokeless Rolling block action. I am having fits trying to decide which caliber to barrel it in. Here is my short list, and I want to stay with a caliber I already have, dont want to start loading for another caliber.
    .38-55, I have one, a hi wall, brass and molds already
    .40-65 I have a 40/82, and dies, and I have 3 boxes of factory .40/65 ammo
    .50/70, I have a trapdoor and a sharps carbine, thought about making a long barrel sporting rifle, but really dont need another one in this caliber
    .30/30, a long barrel slim sporter would be neat,keep it slim and a classic caliber
    7x57, I already have a #5 in 7x57 in about mint condition, military model. But a nice sporter would be the cats meow.
    All you guys chime in here and give me feeback. I am leaning towards the 7x57 the most.



    .

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    dk17hmr's Avatar
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    I don't see how you could go wrong with a 30-30.....I'd love to play with a rolling block 30-30
    Doug
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  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I would opt for a 38-55 with a 1-14 or 1 -12 barrel for the longer bullets. Next would be the 40-65 with 1 16 or 1-18 twist barrel. Last while not mentioned in your list is the 45-70. What are you planning on for this rifle?

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I lean towards the .30-30 myself.
    I truly believe we need to get back to basics.

    Get right with the Lord.
    Get back to the land.
    Get back to thinking like our forefathers thought.

    Anyone that wants to use this, feel free. Spread it wide and far.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    38-55 would be my choice 2reasons 1 its a classic in a roller 2 accuracy What ever you choose it will still be a neat old action to have and shoot.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Country Gent, my plans for this rifle, is informal target shooting, steel clangers mostly, and hunting. I have a very heavy 40/82, that is a tack driver, a Win Hi Wall 38/55 that shoots 265 or 338 gr slugs better than I could ever hope to shoot them. I also have 45/70 Roller with a heavy half octagon/round Badger barrel 30". I also have 2 8x58Rs that have been arsenal sporterized, with a 30 and 32" barrels, which would better anything a 30/30 could do.
    Last edited by koger; 01-16-2021 at 12:08 PM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    But those 8x58s won’t shoot most every .30 caliber bullet known to man like the 30-30 will.....
    I was going to say 30-40 Krag but you said that you don’t want to stray out. A lightweight 7x57 sounds appealing for a hunter, too.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Country Gent and I agree, 38-55 first, 40-65 next. After that...one is as interesting as the other.
    "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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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    For me the choice would be very simple, 7 x 57. Fun to shoot, easy to load for, mild recoil and absolutely deadly on big game. Second choice would be 30-40. Has all the attributes of the 7 x 57 and is a wonderful cast bullet round.
    BIG OR SMALL I LIKE THEM ALL, 577 TO 22 HORNET.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Another for .30-40 Krag. But as that is off the table, the 7x57.

  11. #11
    Boolit Man
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    I had JES rebore a Green Mountain #4 profile 33 Caliber barrel to 9.3 and i chambered it in 9.3X74Rmm with 4 gruve rifling. I'm happy with the results.
    Bill

  12. #12
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Since it's a number 5 action I'd probably lean towards the .40-65 choice. It's a great caliber, and if you have a mold to cast for the .40-82 it might also work to cast for the .40-65.
    But the .30-40 Krag or .303 British would be a fun caliber to play with too. Especially with cast bullets at lower velocities. Something with a fast enough twist rate to take advantage of a little heavier bullet would be a fun project to shoot.
    I've got one original, and another I built up in .40-50 Sharps Straight, and it's becoming one of my favorite calibers for smokeless loads. I use .30-40 or .303 brass to make them, and cast a 350 gr. bullet. Loads are very similar to .38-55 loads, but slightly heavier bullets. So far it's proven to be a very accurate cartridge and rifle out to 650 yds. with smokeless powder loads around 1350-1400 fps.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    I have a new octagon light sporter barrel in 7X57 that a customer ordered several years back. He got sick so the rifle was never completed. It's threaded for the action , chambered and cut for the block but the extractor cut has not been made. If interested let me know.
    I got tired of the heavy recoil of the larger caliber so I made my #5 in 38-55 with a long heavy octagon. Shoots great and does not hurt.

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    ^^^ I vote for the above octagon one ^^^

    Sent from my SM-A716U using Tapatalk

  15. #15
    Boolit Master



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    A 38-55 would be my choice.
    Gun control is not about guns.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by wwmartin View Post
    I had JES rebore a Green Mountain #4 profile 33 Caliber barrel to 9.3 and i chambered it in 9.3X74Rmm with 4 gruve rifling. I'm happy with the results.
    Bill
    If loaded to normal pressures, ain't that a bit much for a rolling block?
    "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'

    The common virtue of capitalism is the sharing of equal opportunity. The common vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery

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  17. #17
    Boolit Master 444ttd's Avatar
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    i would luv to have a 50-70 gov. the 30-40 krag would be my next choice, but that is off the table. i really like the 7 mauser, so i'd go with that.
    The majority of those who are loosely identified by the term 'liberals' are afraid to let themselves discover that what they advocate is statism. They want to keep all the advantages and effects of capitalism, while destroying the cause, and they want to establish statism without its necessary effects. They do not want to know or to admit that they are the champions of dictatorship and slavery.

    Ayn Rand

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy kaiser's Avatar
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    I would choose the 30/30 for the following reasons:
    1.) availability of brass by every company in the U.S., plus overseas 2.) availability of bullets worldwide with no restrictions of shape or design used in a Rolling Block 3. a "rim" that lends itself to easy extraction/ejection of spent rounds over a "rimless" cartridge 4.) pleasant to shoot, recoil wise 5.) notably accurate, even in two piece lever actions with rudimentary sights 6.) a "thrifty" powder consumer in times of limited resources. While not an "exotic" caliber, the 30/30 is a historical one that is over 125 year old. It has taken every game animal from here to Alaska since its inception and is popular. While it may seem to "practical", or "boring", it is "iconic" IMHO.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    .50/70, I have a trapdoor and a sharps carbine, thought about making a long barrel sporting rifle, but really dont need another one in this caliber.

    You don't need another .50/70? HERESY!!!
    One can never have enough .50/70's....

    Sound like a fun project: Glad you found a great receiver. Enjoy it in whatever caliber you decide to make it.
    Shoot well,

    -Tom

  20. #20
    Boolit Master


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    KOGER,
    Just send it to me me! I'll chamber it in 38-55! There, that solves your dilemma!

    Whatever you chose, just be careful, to much gun porn, makes you buy more guns! I have had too much since about 9years old.

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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
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