Swedish Rolling Blocks from Simpsons

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Dave DeLaurant, Apr 18, 2021.

  1. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    With the limited and expensive offerings at my favorite LGS, this is the year I've fallen victim to antique rifles at Simpson's Ltd. https://simpsonltd.com/long-guns/antiques/rolling-blocks/

    The gateway drug was a sporterized Remington rolling block in 8x58Rd (lower rifle) that looked like a real bargain at only $400 postpaid. I'd been told that Simpsons were pretty conservative with their descriptions and this rifle bore that out, being in better condition inside and out than advertised. A month later I added a second sporterized RB, this time with a Carl Gustav receiver -- which cost me about $50 less than the Remington and was in even better shape!

    SwedesRefinished.jpg

    The varnished stock finishes were OK but a bit worse for wear, so I carfully scraped down to bare wood and gave both a few coats of TruOil. These appear to be altered from the original 150-year-old military stocks -- they still had matching numbers under the buttplates. The blued barrels were in superb condition inside and out, with just the slightest hints of wear. Maybe reblued or perhaps really well cared for.

    Bore02.jpg

    The Remington was (and still is) missing the flip-up long range leaf and I replaced its firing pin with a NOS from Rolling Block Parts, but otherwise they came in shootable condition with beautiful bores. http://www.rollingblockparts.com/swede.html

    I thought the Carl Gustav would get my Rolling Block itch thoroughly scratched, but last week I spotted another CG RB at Simpsons that had had the smokeless conversion but was still in military trim. It was missing the brass stock disc, but otherwise complete:

    CGMilitary.jpg

    A little over $750 delivered. Someone had given the metal a good cleaning without ruining anything important. The stock is just fine as-is.

    BTW, until it arrived I hadn't realized these were equipped with auxillary volley sights.

    Back in February I was able to find some PPU 8x56R Hungarian brass that I will fireform into 8x58Rd cases. Last week I also managed to score a Lee mould for their .329" 210 gr. Hungarian bullet, which was recommended on other boards for this rifle. I cast 50 bullets yesterday for use once I have the formed cases ready.

    CastBullets.jpg

    I've lurked on Simpsons' website for years, but these were my first purchases from them. The phone ordering process was very easy and each of the rifles arrived on my doorstep within one week of calling. Allowing for changes in supply and inflation, this must be what it was like buying milsurps in the Pre-GCA68 days.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2021
  2. Mosin77

    Mosin77 Member

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    I picked up a Swede in 12.7x44r a few months ago (had been wanting a rolling block for years) and I have to agree. It’s pretty neat to get a big old black powder rifle delivered right to your door, no paperwork required.

    Mine’s in original military trim, just missing the stock disc. I feel like a sporter is in my future too... you know, in case a buffalo turns up in my back yard or something.
     
  3. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    Photo please!

    I'm struggling to resist getting one of those too. Those little 12.7 Swede carbines are particularly tempting.
     
  4. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    Yikes .... I was imagining Homer Simpson with a rifle!! :what:
     

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  5. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    That brings speed holes to mind.

    I would imagine Simpson's Ltd. gets that a lot. Pop-culture references are hard to avoid -- my late brother Kermit received more than his share.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
  6. vintovka

    vintovka Member

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    Swede RBs are very nice Danish RBs are a bit better cause you can easily adapt them to shoot 45/70. Mine required only shooting BP loads once which fire forms cases perfectly. I Literally "hand load" empties with 60 G 3f, some cornstarch, grits or cornmeal and Hand (thumb) seat soft lead bullet. Caution The bayonet for the Danish is so long you can't safely put it on in room with 8 foot ceilings. FWIW Flour sucks as over powder packing. Smells funny and sticks to bore.
     
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  7. dh1633pm
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    dh1633pm Contributing Member

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    Thanks Dave, you just cost me some money. I am going to call about a purchase tomorrow. So seriously, thanks. I have been looking at these since forever. I have two rollers already a No 5, and a custom 45 Colt that I made from a very bad shape No 5.
     
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  8. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    Happy to return the favor (remember the CZ527 bolt handle?)

    Unfortunately you'll need to wait one more day -- their 'call to purchase' pop-up gives their hours as Tuesday - Friday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm., Saturday from 1:00 - 6:00 pm.
     
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  9. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Alright, I’m looking in the right place now. I have been wanting a RB for a while and could never remember Simpsons.
     
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  10. dh1633pm
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    dh1633pm Contributing Member

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    How did the handle work out for you?
     
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  11. tark

    tark Member

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    Dave, I live thirty miles from Simpson's and I used to love visiting occasionally and wandering around in their show room. It was wonderland. They had hundreds of guns on display. Unfortunately, covid changed all of that. No more wandering around, all shopping must be done over the net. You can still enter the showroom, but you must stay at the reception desk. And there is a limit of two people at a time. Masks are required. The really juicy stuff, and the Lugers they are famous for are kept out of sight. I'm thinking I might need another rolling block soon!
     
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  12. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    I'm quite happy with it. It fuctions roughly the same as the original as far as up-and-down slickness goes, but the oversize knob is the real prize. The full pistol grip on my CZ527's chassis makes for a longer reach to the knob, but such a big knob is almost impossible to miss during quick manipulations.

    BigKnob.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
  13. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    Sounds absolutely wonderful!

    I first heard about the place via Ian's video, made about seven years ago now:



    I do wish that I could visit in person someday -- as much as I enjoy perusing their website, it's not the same as actually being there and handling stuff!
     
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  14. MacAR

    MacAR Member

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    Congrats on your RB; I've purchased several guns from Simpson's over the years and as you said, they understate the conditions. If I'm looking for something odd, they are the first place I check. Highly recommend them!

    Mac
     
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  15. Armorer 101

    Armorer 101 Member

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    If you need a place to shoot your BP RB gun. These folks have a big time each year.
    https://www.quigleymatch.com/
     
  16. Mosin77

    Mosin77 Member

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    Mine is a big old long rifle. It’s the longest gun I own with the exception of my Brown Bess repro.

    B0UXxZq.jpg

    I think it’s cool how you can still kind of see the case hardening colors on the receiver.

    HqHHY3m.jpg
     
  17. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    Nice -- I'll have to look closer at the blackpowder Swedes from now on!

    From what I've read online, the military smokeless 8mm conversions (mostly done in the 1890s) involved replacing the barrel, hammer, breechblock, pins and the extractor, plus re-heat treating the receivers. The new 8x56Rd breechblocks feature a much larger thumb pad, which is handy to use but not as elegant as those on the earlier blocks. The new block also has a couple extra parts to retract the firing pin on opening, and the retaining screw hole for the original extractor on the left side of the receiver has been filled and polished flush. It must have been an expensive conversion program for the time.

    Breech.jpg

    I don't know this for a fact, but I have a theory that the re-heat process removed a lot of remaining color on most (but not all) of these actions. The three I bought all have surface finishes resembling early 'white' Mauser actions, but a few at Simpson's show more colorful receivers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
  18. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    Very cool. I've bought a few guns from Simpson, including a Remington Rolling Block 20 gauge shotgun. It was originally built as part of the 1867 contract with Remington for rifles, and then converted to a shotgun after it became militarily obsolete. The conversion involved cutting down the stock, reboring, and replacing the military sights with a bead front and semi-buckhorn rear sight.

    When I got it the tip of the firing pin was broken off, so I made a replacement on my mini lathe. I shoot the gun with black powder handloads in Magtech brass hulls. Mostly birdshot so far but I've put some patched round balls through it and if I can find a good PRB load that shoots close to POA, I'll use it for deer hunting. It carries nicely when hunting upland game and is fun to bust clay birds with.

    rolling-block-stump.jpg
     
  19. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    Now I want one of those too!
     
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  20. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    I spent far too much time yesterday making a stand-in stock disk for the military buttstock out of scrap aluminum. I wanted the cavity filled to prevent its nice crisp edge from damage.

    SubstituteStockDisk.JPG
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
  21. Mosin77

    Mosin77 Member

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    I have been mulling this project for a month now, for the same reason. Looks very sharp!
     
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  22. vintovka

    vintovka Member

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    Speaking of RBs was gifted a 45/70 "buffalo rifle" with a heavy octagon barrel. It was Tagged long ago ago as unsafe to fire -- bad trigger. Took it apart and all it had a gummed up single set trigger!. Cleaned it up. Can either push it forward to set or just pull it to fire!!!. Anyone seen any RB Swed, Dane, Spanish or other with a set trigger. Maybe not enough space in the trigger guards?
     
  23. dh1633pm
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    dh1633pm Contributing Member

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    My new one. Thanks Dave.

    F3262E05-EAAD-41CF-8A4F-52D2E76B9269.jpeg 81727E69-9E39-44B4-B031-D424A79A092C.jpeg
     
  24. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    She's cleaning up nice -- that color case on the receiver is sweet!

    BTW, love your bench vise.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
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  25. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    Sadly, I haven't encountered all that many rolling blocks in person. FWIW, there was a real beaut with a SST in a James Julia auction several years back: https://www.morphyauctions.com/jamesdjulia/item/1173-358/

    RBSST.jpg
     
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