Saturday, March 10, 2007

Remington Rolling Block in 7mm Mauser (aka 7x57)

A friend of mine brought one by yesterday. A rifle, with original wood in very good condition, good bore (a little dark but apparently clean, as good as my 6.5x55 1896 barrel), and a serviceable action I was impressed. It has been a while since I picked up one and handled it and the infantryman in me was much more positive about this than a 1842 Musket sitting about 5 feet away. I could even see the sights fairly well through my new bifocals! Got to love that, right?

I wish I'd taken photos. This one is 7x57. It has a Mauser type bayonet attachment. It is a "two-bander" having two barrel bands. Flat, shotgun buttplate. The last patent date was 1905 or 1906 (my memory fails me now).

I suppose that these are about the coolest guns I can think of. Dead easy to operate, loads of historical connections, and, when properly set up, handy and accurate.

Per Holt Bodinson, "The original concept for a rolling block action was patented by Leonard Geiger in 1863 and was extensively refined and improved by Joseph Rider of Remington in the period from 1863 to 1865. The first production that got the final design off-and-running was for the U.S. Navy-ordered 50-caliber rolling block pistols in 1866 and carbines in 1867. It was not the domestic military trade that filled Remington's post Civil War treasury, it was the adoption of the rolling block military rifle by Denmark, Sweden, Norway and other nations." Also Holt says, "It saved Remington from financial ruin at the end of the Civil War. In continuous production for almost 70 years, millions were made. Without a doubt, it's the most successful, military, single-shot rifle ever fielded, and it has been appearing off-and-on in surplus circles for decades. It was named the "Remington System." We know it as the "Rolling Block."

Now, I've heard of problems with old guns and lockup, sloppy chambers, etc. But a properly examined rifle, carefully handled should be no problem for most gun wise shooters. My friend's rifle is the best of the breed in layout. Good stuff for a gun loonie.

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