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Rolling Block No.1 sporter 
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:02 pm
Posts: 3
Post Rolling Block No.1 sporter
I am new to the Remington Society forum.
I have just recieved a rifle that I believe to be a Remington Rolling Block No. 1 Sporter.
I am not certain what I have as there are no markings on the rifle identifying it as a Remington. I have matched it to pictures and I am quite sure it is however. The only markings on this rifle are the patent numbers on the left front of the side of the reciever. The serial number appears on the back of the lower tang. The number is 4485. I can find no numbers on the barrel that identify what the caliber is.
The barrel is octogon and is 26 inches long. The rifle is all original and is certainly an 1800's vintage gun.
I hope someone can give me some insight as to what this rifle is.

Thanks-Steve


Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:18 pm
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Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:53 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Auburn, IN
Post Re: Rolling Block No.1 sporter
What are the Pat dates? Did I read you right that the Pat info is not on the tang but on the reciever? I know some times the cal is on the barrel under the forend.

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Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:32 pm
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2006 3:43 pm
Posts: 130
Location: Oklahoma
Post Re: Rolling Block No.1 sporter
Does the barrel have E. Remington & Sons or Remington Arms stamped on the top flat. If not, its probably a replacement.


Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:42 pm
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Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2004 10:47 pm
Posts: 118
Post Re: Rolling Block No.1 sporter
Look just in front of the forearm on the bottom flat for the caliber marking.
26" is an unusually short barrel for a #1 Sporter, but could be factory special order. Measure the thickness of the receiver side to side with dial calipers and post the measurement here. Not huge differences between a #1 and a #1 1/2 to the untrained eye, but the dimension will tell the story.
One other thing! Is the lower tang much longer than the upper tang, or the same length?-Vall


Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:54 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:02 pm
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Post Re: Rolling Block No.1 sporter
The patent dates are as follows:May 3 1864, May-June11, Dec 1, 1872, Sept 1872.
The patent numbers appear on the left front side of the reciever.
There is no number on the bottom of the barrel.
There is nothing on the top tang.
The bottom tang is about 3/4 of an inch longer than the top tang.

Steve


Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:03 am
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Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2004 10:47 pm
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Post Re: Rolling Block No.1 sporter
Most of that info is generic to both the #1 and #1 1/2, except the last thing! The longer lower tang clinches it as a #1 Sporter. #1 military, and all other sporting models did not have the longer lower tang. You've got a great old Rem. #1 alright!


Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:32 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:02 pm
Posts: 3
Post Re: Rolling Block No.1 sporter
Thank you for your input. Do you have any suggestions as to how I determine the caliber?
I realize the value is difficult to determine without seeing the rifle. I would rate the rifle in 70% condtion. Any guess on a range of values?

Steve


Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:46 pm
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Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2004 10:47 pm
Posts: 118
Post Re: Rolling Block No.1 sporter
Pretty hard to estimate a value without any info, or pictures. Caliber is easy! Just cast the chamber with Cerrosafe and then take measurements. Brownells sells it, and instructions on how to use it. If you can send me good pictures, I'll see if I can assist.
I bought one marked ".44S" which is the old .44-77 Re. & Sharps Bottleneck. It has a extra heavy full octagon 34" barrel, single set trigger, and pretty much no finish, but sharp clean metal and wood. I gave $1200 for it a couple years ago, and thought I did very good.


Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:58 pm
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2006 3:43 pm
Posts: 130
Location: Oklahoma
Post Re: Rolling Block No.1 sporter
Curious about one thing. Is your barrel marked on the top flat E. Remington or Remington Arms?

And Marlinman93 practically stole that rifle :wink: but when you find a deal like that you gotta do what you do. :) I've only seen 3-4 sporters in gunshows the last 20 years and two of those were rimfires. I jumped on the first one I came across although it is a plain jane 44-77 without the R&R sight & ST. And I paid a whooooooooole lot more than Marlinman93. But, I don't regret it and it will only, hopefully, appreciate in value. Maybe I can stumble across another dirt cheap and do cost averaging! I wish!

Good luck and keep us posted.


Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:53 am
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Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2004 10:47 pm
Posts: 118
Post Re: Rolling Block No.1 sporter
Yellowhouse wrote:
Curious about one thing. Is your barrel marked on the top flat E. Remington or Remington Arms?

And Marlinman93 practically stole that rifle :wink: but when you find a deal like that you gotta do what you do. :) I've only seen 3-4 sporters in gunshows the last 20 years and two of those were rimfires. I jumped on the first one I came across although it is a plain jane 44-77 without the R&R sight & ST. And I paid a whooooooooole lot more than Marlinman93. But, I don't regret it and it will only, hopefully, appreciate in value. Maybe I can stumble across another dirt cheap and do cost averaging! I wish!

Good luck and keep us posted.


Yep! I heard about this one on a Friday night, with 30 minutes left before the store closed, and 30 miles of freeway to negotiate during rush hour! I was going to wait until Sat. AM, but I figured it might just go away if I did! I made it just before the owner was locking up and grabbed it! :D


Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:40 pm
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Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 2:29 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Post Re: Rolling Block No.1 sporter
marlinman93 wrote:
. . . The longer lower tang clinches it as a #1 Sporter. #1 military, and all other sporting models did not have the longer lower tang. . .


My Transformation military rifle has a longer lower tang.


Matt

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strong enough to take everything you have - Thomas Jefferson

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In this life we get nothing save by effort - Theodore Roosevelt


Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:28 am
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Post Re: Rolling Block No.1 sporter
More details please Matt! What is a "transformation military"? Was this a civilian model that was reworked to military, or what?-Vall


Sun Feb 22, 2009 4:16 pm
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Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 2:29 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Post Re: Rolling Block No.1 sporter
Vall,

After the Civil War the government realized that they had about a gazillion obsolete muzzleloading muskets when what they needed was breechloaders. They couldn't afford new rifles so they decided to have the Civil War muskets converted into breechloading firearms. Many companies submitted plans and test rifles. Remington was on the short list along with several other companies. As we know, the Springfield Armory won the contract (big surprise) and fielded what was to become the Trapdoor Springfield. The initial Trapdoors were essentially C.W. muskets with the trapdoor affixed to the cut area on the rear of the barrel. During the trials a thousand Rolling Block muskets were built up by the Springfield Armory with receivers supplied by Remington for field trials (these were sleeved up to fire the new .50-70 round).

Remington also converted C.W. muskets and these they called their "Transformation Rifles, Long". The rear of the barrel was cut off, threaded, and fit to a R.B. frame. The original musket stock had the lock portion cut out and it was fitted to the barreled action. Pretty much everything from the original musket was used except for the lock and the portion of the stock adjacent to it. The barrel was left in .58 calibre and the chambers were cut to use the .58 Berdan cartridge.

Even though they didn't win the government contract, Remington still "transformed" and sold many of these rifles. The militias of South Carolina, New York, and Texas bought them. Large numbers were shipped to foreign governments as well. Additionally they sold them to regular civilians. The initial conversions were done in the late 1860s and went into the 1870s. There was a really good and in depth article on these a bit ago in Man At Arms magazine. There was also a couple of articles about the restoration of one these by Croft Barker in The Single Shot Exchange.

My particular one was done after 1870s as it has the flat breech block. There are no markings on it that tell me where it was sold to, other than it probably didn't get sold to a foreign government as there are no acceptance markings. Due to it's C.W. use and it's subsequent breechloader use it is worn pretty badly. The front sight is worn down to a nub and there's no rifling left in the last inch or so of the barrel. The wood's in reasonable shape considering all it's been through. I'm getting the dies made up for it now. Here are a few photos:

The rifle.
Image

Image


A close up of the action.
Image


The rear sight.
Image


An original cartridge and two reproduction bullets from a Steve Brooks mould.
Image


Hope some of this helps. Most of it comes from the articles and an early Remington catalog so I can't take credit for the information.


Matt

_________________
A government big enough to give you everything you want, is
strong enough to take everything you have - Thomas Jefferson

It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.
In this life we get nothing save by effort - Theodore Roosevelt


Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:09 pm
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Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2004 10:47 pm
Posts: 118
Post Re: Rolling Block No.1 sporter
Thanks so much for the great info! I seem to remember something about Remington converting guns after the War in Alden Hatch's book, "Remington Arms In American History". Your post joggged my memory, but I need to go back and read it again, as I don't think the author described exactly what Rem. did in these contracts.-Vall


Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:42 pm
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2006 3:43 pm
Posts: 130
Location: Oklahoma
Post Re: Rolling Block No.1 sporter
Vall, maybe this was what De Haas was referring to when he said some early military rifles had the longer lower tang. Yeah, I know he was smoking something at one point but he may have gotten this right :|


Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:34 pm
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