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Thread: New project gun ... Danish M1867 Rolling Block ...

  1. #1
    In Remembrance Reverend Al's Avatar
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    Thumbs up New project gun ... Danish M1867 Rolling Block ...

    Went to our local gun club meeting tonight since it was our annual elections meeting and quite regularly we have a bit of a "buy, sell, and trade" on the back tables of the room. I hadn't bought anything new (or old?) in quite a while and so I bought this Danish M1867 Rolling Block since I couldn't turn it down at the reasonable price it was being offered at.

    These were originally chambered for the 11.7x51R Danish, but this one appears to have been re-chambered to .45-70 Govt. like so many of them were. When I got back home and checked a little further a full length .45-70 case easily slid into the chamber right up to the rim with no effort. So then I tried a loaded .45-70 round for my Trapdoor Springfield (Lee 405HB boolit) and it goes "kerplunk" ... and drops right down completely flush to the rim without any hesitation what so ever. The chamber is absolutely spotless which also leads me to believe it was re-chambered and the bore is excellent from the chamber to the muzzle ... bright and shiny with no visible pitting anywhere. I knocked an oversized, lightly oiled .45-70 boolit through the bore and it rough measures at about .460" with my micrometer and old eyes. Outside the metalwork has a very light skim of red rust so it'll need a bit of a cleaning up, but she's complete with her original sights and cleaning rod. (Unfortunately, there is no bayonette with it but that wasn't a deal breaker for me.)

    Anyone played around with one of these Danish Rollers that might have any suggestions for loads? I'm going to try a few rounds of my low pressure Trapdoor Springfield loads with the Lee 405HB boolit and see how badly the cases expand at the rim. I might try putting a few wraps of tape on a few of them 2/3rds of the way down the case to see if I can centre things up a bit when the bases fire-form. I'll neck size after the cases are formed anyway, so if they don't swell up too badly I should get a few rounds out of them. Should be fun ... I needed a new project!



    (And of course here are some obligatory "eye candy" photos just to prove that it's not all fiction ...)













    Last edited by Reverend Al; 12-09-2017 at 04:30 AM.
    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy 55fairlane's Avatar
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    Nice find, I am in search of a new project was well.....I would have grabbed it up if I was there......very Nice!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Bear in mint that the Danish round is quite conical compared to a 45-70.
    Unless the barrel have been set back a good inch and a half, a fired round will not chamber in a true 45-70 again.

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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    For my peace of mind I'd cast the chamber, a couple inches of the bore and remove all doubt. I'd also check the twist for the same reason unless you already know what it is. If the twist of fast enough, 1-20 or thereabouts, I'd have to be shooting 480-500 gr. bullets over BP.
    "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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  5. #5
    In Remembrance



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    Buffalo Arms offers correct brass for the 11.7X51R Danish Remington rifle. The head size is larger than .45-70 as 17nut and others have pointed out. Mine shoots the unsized Lee .459/405HB boolit quite accurately as it drops from the mould at .462" cast from 1 in 40 Tin/lead alloy. I have good success with "trapdoor" loads using smokeless powder (SR4759) and also Black powder (OE 1.5Fg) using this boolit. There is quite a bit of information on this and other forums about loading and shooting these rifles. Do some research before getting in too deep.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    I have one here also, but the top tang on mine is marked 1885 vs. your 1878. Same caliber, but the one I have is still an original chamber. I slugged the bore on mine and got much larger at .463" so I need some .464" bullets for it. Haven't fired it yet, as it needed sights and extractor when I got it, plus the spur was broken off the block. I'm fixing it up for my son in law, and he will likely be the first to fire it.
    My experience with original Rolling Blocks has been loading mild smokeless powder. Any load used in a Trapdoor is fine for a Rolling Block.

  7. #7
    In Remembrance Reverend Al's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 17nut View Post
    Bear in mint that the Danish round is quite conical compared to a 45-70.
    Unless the barrel have been set back a good inch and a half, a fired round will not chamber in a true 45-70 again.
    I have a bunch of already short Hornady leverevolution brass in .45-70 so was thinking that I'd dedicate those cases in this rifle. I don't use the Hornady brass in any of my other .45-70's so it'll be easy to recognize them by their headstamp and they wouldn't ever be used in a .45-70 again.

    I already have some cerrosafe and can do a chamber / throat casting first and get some actual dimensions to work with.
    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

  8. #8
    In Remembrance Reverend Al's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curator View Post
    Buffalo Arms offers correct brass for the 11.7X51R Danish Remington rifle.
    Yes, I'm sure Buffalo Arms does offer proper brass for the Danish round, but since I live up north in "Canukistan" Buffalo Arms can't ship me any rifle brass thanks to the current ITAR cross border shipping regulations. I'm not aware of a Canadian distributor for any of Buffalo Arms products that might actually go through the pile of grief involved in filing all of the import / export paperwork to import some, and even if there were a Canadian distributor for BA products I hate to think what the retail cost might be after they've jumped through all of the hoops to get a bit of this brass up here. In my case for some casual plinking with this old girl I think I'll just try reforming some of my on hand Hornady .45-70 cases and if I get short case life due to a fat chamber then lots more .45-70 brass is readily available at a modest price. (Especially since Hornady brass is available for sale cheaply as once fired ... nobody up here seems to want to deal with reloading those shorter cases after they shoot the factory leverevolution ammo.)
    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharps4590 View Post
    For my peace of mind I'd cast the chamber, a couple inches of the bore and remove all doubt. I'd also check the twist for the same reason unless you already know what it is. If the twist of fast enough, 1-20 or thereabouts, I'd have to be shooting 480-500 gr. bullets over BP.
    1:28" or 1:71cm
    All i have ever encounted had shot superb with the Lee 405-459-HB

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Yours was made in Denmark and have a barrel made from German Witten steel.
    When they converted to centerfire, smokeless and jacketed they made tests and found the Sheffield steel on the American made ones not as tough. So the Danish ones ended up with ammo loaded to 1600bar32.2kpsi and the US ones to 1200bar~17.4kpsi.
    So Trapdoor loads are fine

    When they got rechambered a long leade was applied to "aid" the iron jacketed bullet into the BP rifling without pressures going through the roof.

  11. #11
    In Remembrance Reverend Al's Avatar
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    Well, it's finally range day tomorrow with a friend. I've got a few Trapdoor Springfield equivalent loads to test in this old girl. They are loaded with Lee 405 HB bullets that have been powder coated up to about .462 / .463 over light charges of IMR4198. I'll let you know the results ...
    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    17, thanks!! I had no idea what the twist was on those cool old rollers. Don't believe that's fast enough for the long, heavy bullets.

    Rev., I've always had pretty darn good results with 4198 in the 45-70. Good luck with yours and look forward to your report!!
    "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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  13. #13
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Almost every BP era rifle has very slow twist rates compared to today's barrels. There are many people today trying to fire extremely long/heavy bullets in these old guns, and getting frustrating results form these old, slow twist rates.

  14. #14
    In Remembrance Reverend Al's Avatar
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    Well, I took the old girl out today and I tried a few of my Trapdoor Springfield loads in .45-70 cases with the powder coated Lee 405 grain HB bullets. The .45-70 cases do swell up at the base ahead of the rim, but I only lost one case to a vertical split about half way up the body of the case. (And these cases were several times fired without annealing.) It does shoot a little bit off the sights for me ... but I think I can live with the way it shoots! At 100 yards it printed a nice tight 3 shot group with my fuzzy old eyes and the coarse military sights! When I got home I scrounged around and did find one scrap .348 Winchester case in my reloading shop and although it's way too big at the base to chamber all of the way it might be possible to squeeze these down to fit a bit better than the undersized .45-70 cases. I suspect it's worth playing around with to see if they will work better. As an alternative, has anyone tried running .50-70 Govt. cases through an 11.7x51R sizer die to try and form "shooter" brass for these rifles or would it take too much "grunt" to resize them to fit?







    Last edited by Reverend Al; 12-09-2017 at 04:32 AM.
    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    Nice find.
    Nicer grouping!
    Amendments
    The Second there to protect the First!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Do continue to use 45-70 but use this little trick for first time firing:
    Put on a couple of rounds of electrical tape at the base of the cartridges, that will help control swelling.
    Remember it's only the first time, after that they pretty much fit the chamber and need no sizing. Necksizing at the most.

    348 and 50-70 cases are (way) to big at the base and need a lot of turning. That and they are way to expensive to convert.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Wow. Nice group from that 'ol gal. You are on your way! Have fun.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    4198 works again!! Well done!!
    "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

    NRA Benefactor 2008

  19. #19
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    .50-70 cases are also much shorter too! Only 1.7" long.

  20. #20
    In Remembrance Reverend Al's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marlinman93 View Post
    .50-70 cases are also much shorter too! Only 1.7" long.
    Dang ... there's always a fly in the ointment!

    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

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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