Finally...Remington No. 1 Sporter
I have been searching for a buffalo gun for a lot of years. I wanted an original rifle from the correct time period (1871 ~ 1880), in a commonly used configuration. Sharps are VERY expensive, so I set my sights on Rollers.
I have been seeking an original condition No. 1 Sporter for a few years now - they do not come up very often and finding one with original wood, barrel, and a decent bore was beginning to seem impossible. This is the first one I've come across in that time. So I jumped on it.
I would have been happy with a standard trigger and an obscure chambering. This one has a single set trigger and is in 45-70, which makes it all the better.
The rifle is basically original, with matching numbers, but has zero original finish on the metal and the wood is well worn, but generally fine. It doesn’t appear to have been sanded, just well used.
Here are the specs:
Serial number 8460 (on barrel, both woods, forearm cap, butt, lower tang). The upper tang left side has a stamp “45” just behind the receiver.
Last patent date Sept 1873.
It has the longer lower tang
Marked "45 70" on bottom flat ahead of forearm
Barrel; 30-5/16” octagon, 1.09” and 0.925” across the flats at the breech and muzzle, respectively
Bore: 5 groove, right twist at 1:22; excellent shiny bore with sharp rifling, with very minor shallow pitting here and there.
Weight: 9.4 pounds
Front sight is unmarkded but looks like a Lyman 17 or Redfield 60 globe sight with interchangable insert
Rear sight blank in barrel
Vernier tang sight, 2-1/2” staff, 1.5” hole spacing, unmarked, with very unique windage adjustment (allen screws that tilt the staff from side to side)
The action is very tight, the springs are strong, and the chamber is in great condition. The single set trigger works great, breaking at 4.5# unset, and about 1# set. Overall, based on the action, trigger, and bore, it should be an excellent shooter with a lot of external character. I can’t wait to shoot it.
I know the sights aren't period, but they are going to be just fine. They certainly aren't new, they look decent, and most importantly, they'll work.
I have a few questions for the Roller buffs:
Is there a way to determine the manufacture date?
This rifle does not have the 1874 patent date. Do all sporters lack this date, or can I assume this rifle was mfg prior to the 1874 patent?
The barrel length is 30-5/16". Is this the correct actual length for a 30" barrel or has this barrel been cut from something longer?
Has anyone ever seen a Vernier sight like this? The allen screws (windage) tilt the sight from side to side instead of the more standard lateral movement of most Soule sights. It has no markings whatsoever.
Thanks in advance!! Here she is: