Remington Rolling Block rifle

Remington Rolling Block is a family of breech-loading rifles that was produced from the mid-1860s into the early 20th century by E. Remington and Sons (later Remington Arms). The action was a medium strength action and developed some head space issues with the new smokeless powders coming into use by the late 1890s. A heavier #5 style action was produced for the later smokeless cartridges, but they still had issues with some ammunition.

Remington Rolling Block
TypeRolling-block rifle
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In service1867–1918[citation needed]
Production history
DesignerJoseph Rider
ManufacturerRemington Arms Company
Mass9.25 lb (4.20 kg)
Length50.4 in (1,280 mm) to 53.3 in (1,350 mm)
Barrel length35.7 in (910 mm) to 37.4 in (950 mm)

Cartridge.58 Berdan
.50-45 Carbine
12.7×45mmR Pontificio
12.17×42mm RF
.43 Spanish
.43 Egyptian
8×58mmR Danish Krag
8×50mmR Lebel
11×59mmR Gras
.303 British
7.65×53mm Argentine
.30-40 Krag
.30-06 Springfield
.30 Remington
7×57mm Mauser
6.5mm Daudeteau No. 12
.236 Remington
11 mm Danish
56-50 Spencer [9] Various Target/Sporting/Hunting Calibers
ActionRolling block
Feed systemBreech-loading
SightsRear ramp & leaf sight, blade front sight

These rifles were made in a variety of calibers, both rimfire and centerfire, including the 12.17x42 mm rimfire, 12.17x44 mm rimfire and 12.17x44 mm rimmed centerfire Swedish and Norwegian cartridges, .43 Spanish (11.15x58mmR), .50-70, .40-70, .45-70 and later in .22 caliber. Later models were produced in .30-03 (predecessor to .30-06, 7×57mm Mauser, and 8×50mmR Lebel.

Service rifle edit

The Remington Rolling Block was developed from the 1863 pattern .50 calibre split breech carbine issued to the US Cavalry during the American Civil War. This earlier weapon was designed by Joseph Rider and Leonard Geiger to fire the same cartridges as the Spencer carbine.[10] The split breech rifle lacked a hammer spur because it self-cocked when the breechblock was opened.[11] In 1865, Rider improved the split breech design to create the rolling-block action which was named the "Remington System".[12]

Rolling-block breech

In 1867, the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway was the first military to adopt the rifle as the standard military rifle. Around 250,000 military rifles and carbines and 85,000 civilian rifles in Sweden, were produced under license by Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori and Husqvarna Vapenfabriks Aktiebolag, and about 53,000 rifles in Norway by Kongsberg Vaapenfabrik.

In 12.17×42mmRF and 12.18×44mmRF (two cartridges that were interchangeable), and towards the end of its service life also 8×58mmR Danish Krag centerfire, the rolling-block served as the standard service rifle of the Swedish Army from 1867 to the mid-1890s, when it was replaced by the Swedish Mauser. In Norway it was the standard service rifle from 1867 to the mid-1880s, when it was replaced by the M1884 Jarmann. In .43 Spanish it was the chief service arm of the Spanish Army from 1869–1893, and was used by reserve and militia forces for many years thereafter. Many rolling-block rifles were used by Argentina before being replaced in 1891 by the new 7.65mm Mauser, and were also widely used by Egypt and Mexico.

Like Sweden and Norway, Denmark adopted the rifle in 1867 in 11×41,5mmRF (11 mm caliber).[13] Initially the Royal Danish Army bought 40,000 rifles and 1800 carbines in the United States between 1867–1868. Later 31,551 rifles and about 4,600 carbines were made at the government owned rifle factory in Copenhagen. Production was halted in 1888 and the last rifles were decommissioned in 1940.[14] In Danish service it was replaced by the M/1889 Krag–Jørgensen.

Use by the British and French edit

The British Empire purchased rolling-blocks to arm the Egyptian Army during the 1870s. These were made in Liège, Belgium, in .43 Egyptian calibre and were issued with a sword bayonet. Rolling-block rifles were used against Muhammad Ahmad's Ansar Dervishes during the Mahdist War, including at the Siege of Khartoum where General Gordon met his end.[15] Guns with decorative brass Islamic crescents and Arabic inscriptions on the buttstock are not uncommon on the collector's market.[16][17]

The French acquired 210,000 Egyptian rolling-block rifles to make up for a shortage of the standard-issue Chassepot and Tabatière rifles during the Franco-Prussian War.[18]

During World War I, the British Royal Navy purchased 4,500 rolling-block rifles in 7mm Mauser from Remington's leftover stock after production had ended, issuing them to the crews of minesweepers and Q-ships.[19] In November 1914, production of the rolling-block was resumed, in the form of a French contract for rifles in 8×50mmR Lebel, designated by France as "Fusil Remington modèle 1914". 100,291 such rifles were delivered by 1916, and used to equip rear-line troops.[20]

Civilian use edit

Along with the Sharps rifle it was one of two rifles probably used more than any other by the buffalo hunters who hunted the American bison herds in the 1870s and 1880s.[citation needed] The Rolling Block was also one of two makers rifles used by the US Creedmoor team to win the International Long Range matches held at Creedmoor Range on Long Island, NY in 1874. Team members shot against the Irish team with half the shooters using Rolling Block Creedmoor models, and the other half using Sharps Model 1874 Long Range rifles.

Civilian Remington Rolling Block rifles, and later surplus military rifles, became very popular among hunters in Scandinavia, particularly for moose hunting, with ammunition for the rifles being commonly available on the civilian market into the 1920s–1930s.[citation needed]

Military users edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Esposito, Gabriele, The Paraguayan War 1864–70: Osprey Publishing (2019)
  2. ^ "The military rifle cartridges of the Dominican Republic: from .50-70 to 5.56mm".
  4. ^ a b Jowett, Phillip, Latin American Wars 1900-1941: Osprey Publishing (2018)
  7. ^ "From Picturesque Landscapes to Views of War, Honduras through Postcards".
  8. ^ Pankhurst, Richard "Linguistic and Cultural Data on the Penetration of Fire-Arms into Ethiopia"
  9. ^ "Military rifle cartridges of Peru part I: South America's most pugnacious country?".
  10. ^ Remington goes to war
  11. ^ NRA guns
  12. ^ Sawyer, Charles Winthrop (1920). Firearms in American History: Our Rifles. p. 260.
  13. ^ "Cartridge: Danish Remington". Arma Dania: The Virtual Museum of Danish Arms and Armour. Archived from the original on 20 July 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Bagladeriffel af model 1867 (Remington)". Arma Dania: The Virtual Museum of Danish Arms and Armour. Archived from the original on 20 July 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  15. ^ Egyptian Remington
  16. ^ Collectors weekly
  17. ^ Old Ammo
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad Mercaldo, Luke; Firestone, Adam; Vanderlinden, Anthony (2011). Allied Rifle Contracts in America. Wet Dog Publications. p. 165. ISBN 978-0-9707997-7-7.
  19. ^ Mercaldo, Luke; Firestone, Adam; Vanderlinden, Anthony (2011). Allied Rifle Contracts in America. Wet Dog Publications. p. 168. ISBN 978-0-9707997-7-7.
  20. ^ Mercaldo, Luke; Firestone, Adam; Vanderlinden, Anthony (2011). Allied Rifle Contracts in America. Wet Dog Publications. p. 169. ISBN 978-0-9707997-7-7.
  21. ^ Marcot, Roy (2005). The History of Remington Firearms: The History of One of the World's Most Famous Gun Makers. Lyons Press. p. 54. ISBN 1592286909.
  22. ^ "The military rifle cartridges of Costa Rica: arms of Latin America's most "peaceful" country".[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ McLachlan, Sean (2011). Armies of the Adowa Campaign 1896: The Italian Disaster in Ethiopia. Osprey Publishing. p. 35. ISBN 978-1849084574.
  24. ^ "Guatemala - Coat of Arms". Retrieved 2021-06-29.
  25. ^ "구한 말 사용한 총기 관련한 문의가 있어서 적는 글".
  26. ^ "The Malagasy Pith Helmet of the Merina Kingdom | Military Sun Helmets".
  27. ^ Giletta, Jacques (2005). Les Gardes Personnelles des Princes de Monaco (1st ed.). Taurus Editions. ISBN 2 912976-04-9.
  28. ^ Rossi, Major Robert N. (3 June 1994). The Mahdist Revolution (PDF) (Report). Fort Leavenworth, KS: Defense Technical Information Center. p. 61. Retrieved 30 November 2023.

External links edit