Remington Rolling Block


December 28, 2008, 10:10 AM
I bought a lamp made from an old Remington Rolling block. I removed the gun from the lamp and cleaned off most of the rust (it was very very rusty) but I can not find any identifying marks on it. The stock has the #534 impressed in the wood and it apears that someone has very sloppily carved their intials(NJ) on the other side of the stock. I can find nothing on the metal. I understand there should be some markings directly behind the hammer but the metal is rough back there? It also appears to be a .40 cal but I have no idea what cartridge it may take. Any informatiojn or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If nothing else I enjoyed bringing this rifles appearance back to life. (the rifling is very good)


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December 28, 2008, 10:18 AM
I'm just guessing, but it's a good chance that it's a .43 Spanish Rolling Block.
Try a google search for the caliber.


December 28, 2008, 10:20 AM
It's most probably a .43 Spanish. Quite a few of them were made (IIRC) around the late 1800's or early 1900's for South American countries. Back in maybe the early 50's, they were sold by the barrel full in hardware and sports stores. Think today's Mosins and Yugos.

For the rust, I'd use some 0000 steel wool soaked in penetrating oil like Kroil,

December 28, 2008, 10:26 AM
I just put the calibers on it again . It does come up .430. Any suggestions on where that cartridge can be had. I have not decided if I am going to fire it yet. I think if I do we will have to strap it to a tree out on the farm for its first couple of shots.

December 28, 2008, 11:03 AM
If the action is good it might be a candidate for a rebarrelling. Lots of guys do that to original rolling block actions.

December 28, 2008, 11:35 AM
Go to and find the Central/South America link and follow it. Also google "Remington Rolling Block"; lots of info in both.

December 28, 2008, 12:17 PM
I have been on google all morning. There is a ton of informatiion out there. I had no idea these guns were so popular. I didnt really need another gun but I hated seeing that one as a lamp. I bought the"lamp" for $10 so I am sure I am ahead of the game. The rifle actually feels great when I aim it. It feels as if I could hold it in position forever. It appears to be a great design. I am sure I will have some fun with it.

December 28, 2008, 02:35 PM
I have an 1879 Argentine Army contract RRB that is a pleasure to shoot. I cast my bullets and load using BP substitutes. Brass is available from several sources, usually at least a buck and a half each. When you load do not full length size, neck size only enough to hold the bullet, brass will last longer.

December 28, 2008, 02:42 PM,3868.html


Might be cheaper to drill it out and make a 28 ga shotgun out of it!
Or re-barrel it to 45-70.


December 28, 2008, 02:46 PM

They still make ammo and/or components for the .43 Spanish ????? :confused:


Jim Watson
December 28, 2008, 03:07 PM
More like "again" than "still."

Before I got all excited about restoring a rifle converted to a lamp back into a shooter, I would look hard to see where the wiring was run and what might have been done to the action in the process.

December 28, 2008, 03:48 PM
"Before I got all excited about restoring a rifle converted to a lamp back into a shooter, I would look hard to see where the wiring was run and what might have been done to the action in the process."

I definatly did that. This aint my first rodeo:D

December 28, 2008, 05:56 PM
I had read somewhere that it was popular to make rollers into lamps, and it made me wonder how many were done up like that. The vast majority of original rolling blocks were in .43 spanish, and I think .43 egyptian was second. No damage was done to the rifle in making it a lamp?? Even if the only the action is sound you got a heck of a deal.

I love my No. 1 mid-range sporter in .45-70, BTW, but I'd like to find an old military No.1 to play with too.

Jim Watson
December 28, 2008, 06:02 PM
Sounds like fun. If you can do the work yourself. It will get to be an expensive lamp if you have to hire it put back in shooting shape.

December 28, 2008, 06:10 PM
I bought an action for little of nothing back in the late 60's.

At the time Numeric had a "Buffalo Rifle" kit for them including new wood, 45-70 octagon barrel, and sights for way less then a hundred bucks.

Pretty neat and shot like a house-a-fire!


December 28, 2008, 06:21 PM
my bet is a spanish

back in the 50's my dad and his friends purchased a bunch of them so they could say they had a large collection for cheap

he sadly sold his in the 70s when he returned from vietnam along with almost all of his other guns

when my cousin dies my dad is getting a lamp made from a springfield trapdoor

then when my dad dies (or when i can manage to steel it :) ) im getting it

i will probably turn it back into a rifle for hanging on the wall but i may leave it as a lamp

December 29, 2008, 08:12 AM
Thanks to all for the wealth of information. I have never been a fan of rechambering a rifle but with the cost of that ammo and may be an option. I was reading on another forum about a kit for rechambering these into .357. Rcmodel I especially appreciate your idea of 28 ga and 45-70. Lots of options and no deadline to make up my mind is a great situation to be in.

Once again THANKS to all

Jim Watson
December 29, 2008, 09:16 AM
The cost of a new barrel properly fitted might change your mind back. Numrich doesn't have those cheap-o barrels any more. Friend of mine has one, it was not nearly as drop-in as they advertised. He shot it a little bit while loose and eventually had it set back a turn and the chamber cleaned up.

December 29, 2008, 09:42 AM
Reminds me of one of my greatest gun deals ever. In the very early 80's I bought one of these in unfired condition for maybe $35. A few months later, I run across a guy that HAS to have a rolling block.

I tell him I really don't want to sell. Kinda cool and all that. He offers me $200.

Gone with the wind.....:D

Probably a foolish is the bore? If it was shootable at all, it might be fun to dink around with something like a Lee Hand Loader. It's not like you'd shoot volumes. Load it way down with some pistol powder, a few cast bullets, and you're good to go.

December 29, 2008, 01:02 PM
It is difficult to tell from the picture, but this rifle appears to have a round barrel from action to muzzle. The reason I bring this up is the fact that most, but not all 43 Spanish rifles has a short octagon section just ahead of the receiver. Not having the octagon section does not mean that it is not a 43 Spanish. If it had the short section, it would be a good bet that is is a Spanish.
Your comment about a good bore would leave me to believe it is probably not an Egyptian. I am sure there are some good Egyptian rolling blocks out there, however I have not seen one. Everyone I have seen looked like it had been dragged behind a camel for about a hundred miles through rocks and sand. Actions were in very rough shape, bores were even worse.
Most Spanish Rolling Block are in surprisingly good shape for rifles of their age. I have seen a few that appeared in new or near new condition.
The 43 Spanish and 44-77 Sharps and Remington are extremely close in chamber dimensions. Both are bottleneck cartridges. They are among only a handfull of blackpowder bottleneck cartridges that don's cause severe fouling in the neck and throat area. This fouling affects accuracy and the ability to chamber another round.
You will find the serial number of the rifle on the side of the upper tang (most of the time). Remove the tang screw and the butt stock will just slide off the action. If the tang is not too rusty, you should be able to see the serial number.
If your rifle has a good bore and the action is tight you will have a lot of fun shooting this rifle as is.
You can get brass (possibly loaded ammo) from Buffalo Arms, Sandpoint Idaho. Reloading dies, bullets, also available from them.
Have built several custom blackpowder rifles using rolling block action. They make super rifles using the old calibers. I shoot probably 1500- 2000 rounds a year through mine.

December 29, 2008, 01:50 PM
Thanks Pokyman. The barrel is completly round and the bore is bright and well rifled.. It measures 33 1/2 inches from the end of the chamber to the end of the barrel. 35 inches if you include the entire chamber. It has three retaining rings with a sling mount on the center ring. I removed the buttstock but still could not find any markings. Thank you all again. This is becoming an obsession:D

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