Remington Rolling Block in .348 Winchester Questions

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dtrsss
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:06 pm

Remington Rolling Block in .348 Winchester Questions

Post by dtrsss »

Hello,

I have a Rolling Block in .348 Winchester. .348 is stamped on the top of the receiver. It is my understanding that .348 came out in the 1930s. I believe my rifle is a military rifle. I think the last patent date was 1874 but it is a little worn on the external tang just in front of the butt wood.

I am interested in shooting it but I would like to be safe. The gun is in excellent condition. I was told that it was rebarreled to .348.

The serial number on the upper is R 10990 and the one on the trigger guard tang is U or J 1665. I could not find a chart to tell what year or model the are. The stamp on the barrel is HP with no space and B on the octagon part that touches the receiver. The barrel does not have a serial number. The barrel has a bayonet lug.
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Any help and guidance appreciated. Thanks
dtrsss
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:06 pm

Re: Remington Rolling Block in .348 Winchester Questions

Post by dtrsss »

I have learned this is a .43 Argentine and it appears to be a rare Honduras contract with only 2,500 made under the contract.
admin
Site Admin
Posts: 660
Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2002 2:14 pm

Re: Remington Rolling Block in .348 Winchester Questions

Post by admin »

dtrsss wrote: Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:42 pm I have learned this is a .43 Argentine and it appears to be a rare Honduras contract with only 2,500 made under the contract.
Out of curiosity do you have a muzzle picture?

p.s. I know NOTHING about rolling blocks...
tjack
Posts: 192
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 6:15 pm

Re: Remington Rolling Block in .348 Winchester Questions

Post by tjack »

Just a WAG but, back in prehistoric days before 11 mm Spanish brass was readily available, people made cases out of .348 WCF. The rim dia. of the .348 is approx. .610" while the base dia. is approx. .553".
The Spanish measures approx. .642" at the rim and the base approx. .520". The Rolling Block extractor might work on the .348 BUT, the rear of your chamber MIGHT have been enlarged to accept an unaltered .348 case base. Your rifle is the Model 1879. One hundred and forty + years have passed since then. Make a chamber cast; don't guess.
Also, the .348 WCF takes a .348" bullet (according to Barnes). The Spanish takes a bullet of .439+ inches.
wlw-19958
Posts: 131
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:21 pm

Re: Remington Rolling Block in .348 Winchester Questions

Post by wlw-19958 »

Hi There,

Your RB is of the 1879 Argentine pattern with the
Nock's Form barrel (w/ Octagon breach section).
The numbers on the sides of the tang are a lot
numbers. Rolling Blocks were made in lots varying
from 10,000 to 50,000 in a lot depending on the
contract. The upper and lower tang should have
the same number. This was done to keep the
trigger guard and frame together during manufacture.
After they left the Factory, who knows what happen
to cause yours to become a mixed parts rifle.

As suggested, you should make a chamber cast to
determine what cartridge fits it. Also you should slug
the bore to determine the groove diameter. This is
important to know the proper size of projectiles to
use. According to Barne's, the original 43 Spanish
has a .635" rim and base diameter of .516" but I have
seen chambers as wide as .520" to allow for loose
ammunition manufacturing tolerances.

The last picture, showing the open breach, looks like
the barrel was re-lined. This would be necessary in
order to properly fit the 348 Win. caliber.

Some more pictures would be helpful in determining
if the barrel has indeed been relined. The bayonet
lug and letter "B" on the barrel show that this is an
original Remington barrel of the period.

Good Luck!
-Blue Chips-
Webb
tjack
Posts: 192
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 6:15 pm

Re: Remington Rolling Block in .348 Winchester Questions

Post by tjack »

Barnes COTW is rife with errors. Several years ago the International Ammunition Assoc., Inc. in their Journal had a lengthy running series in which several errors, along with corrections, were listed in each journal. Far more accurate references would include "Military Rifle and Machine Gun Cartridges" by Jean Huon or, one of the four volumes by Geo. Hoyem "History and Development of Small Arms Ammunition". The fact that the .348 WCF takes a .348" bullet (according to Barnes) and the 11 mm Spanish takes a .439"+ bullet, a visual check of the muzzle should give an idea of the caliber. With a chamber cast, pushing the backing into the rifling, as long as the bore is not pitted, will give a pretty good idea of the groove dia. The markings on the barrel look typical for Argentine Rolling Block (except for the markings on the knox form). I'm guessing that the appearance of barrel relining at the chamber is from the rear of the chamber being opened up for an unaltered base of the .348 case.
Chamber casts answer so many questions!!!!
For what it's worth, the Argentine Rolling Blocks can also be found with "11 MANN" stamped on the knox form. These are courtesy of Bill Wescombe. He had pallets of 11 mm Mannlicher ammo and there were few rifles to fire it. I was at his shop in Central CA Sierras in the late 70s to early 80s. He had an "arbor" press set up. He was hand lubing 11 mm Reformado cartridges which he had pallets of. In went a Reformado cartridge and out came a jacketed 11 mm Spanish cartridge. One was saleable, the other not.
wlw-19958
Posts: 131
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:21 pm

Re: Remington Rolling Block in .348 Winchester Questions

Post by wlw-19958 »

Hi There,

Barnes COTW is rife with errors


You are correct about that. Still, I have more examples
of .43 Spanish to draw from to support the information I
posted and Barnes' dimensions for the .43 Spanish are
pretty accurate judging by the old surplus ammo I have
in my collection. Barnes did screw-up in his chronology of
the 11.5X57 Reformado.

I have seen numerous examples of the 1879 Argentine
with the "11 Mann" engraved on the Nock's Form ("knoxform"
is a common misnomer; it is named after Henry Nock).

Remington was very "loosey-goosey" with their 43 Spanish
military rifles. I have slugged several and their groove
diameters can vary from .4385" to .4440". In fact,
Remington attempted to sell their .43 Spanish rolling
blocks to the Russians by telling them that it was able
to chamber and fire the Russian .42 Berdan ammunition.

Yes, an experienced observer could visually tell whether a
bore has been relined. We do not know the level of experience
that the OP has. That Is why I suggested they post more
pictures.

Also, I think it is a good idea to slug a bore because the
depth of the grooves may not be consistent from the breach
to the muzzle. A soft lead slug pushed all the way through
from one end to the other will conform to the tightest point
and give the observer the most restrictive dimension of the bore.
One should know this when selecting proper projectiles.

Good Luck!
-Blue Chips-
Webb
tjack
Posts: 192
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 6:15 pm

Re: Remington Rolling Block in .348 Winchester Questions

Post by tjack »

Although getting way off topic, Re Remington's bore dimensions, what about Winchester lever actions and Colt revolvers? Possibly just the state of the art in the early days of cartridge guns and soft lead bullets.
marlinman93
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2004 10:47 pm

Re: Remington Rolling Block in .348 Winchester Questions

Post by marlinman93 »

So many of these military Rolling Blocks were arsenal reworks, so it's not unusual for an armorer in the arsenal to swap parts as they reassembled them. They sure weren't concerned about collectible values when they were doing the work back then.

Been many, many years since any of the large base milsurp ammo or cases were available, or cheap! A military Rolling Block in most of these calibers is very commonly messed with in the chambers.
wlw-19958
Posts: 131
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:21 pm

Re: Remington Rolling Block in .348 Winchester Questions

Post by wlw-19958 »

Hi There,
tjack wrote: Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:05 am Although getting way off topic, Re Remington's bore dimensions, what about Winchester lever actions and Colt revolvers? Possibly just the state of the art in the early days of cartridge guns and soft lead bullets.
Not exactly. Colt and Winchester barrel dimensions were fairly
consistent. Remington was too on their higher end civilian models.
I think it is a case where Remington was using up surplus barrels
that were originally for other calibers but were "close enough" to
use and hence, save money. Remington was in financial trouble
during this time and eventually went bankrupt and was sold in 1888.

Good Luck!
-Blue Chips-
Webb
dtrsss
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:06 pm

Re: Remington Rolling Block in .348 Winchester Questions

Post by dtrsss »

Thank you all for your replies.

I have some videos to watch about how to slug a bore and doing a chamber cast.

In the mean time, I will take a picture of the muzzle. Any other pictures? Let me know and I will take them.

Regarding slugging the bore, I watched a video about taking a led ball and tapping it into the muzzle end and then using wood dowels to tap the led ball through the barrel. Any suggestions on the size of led ball and wood dowel diameter?

Thanks
dtrsss
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:06 pm

Re: Remington Rolling Block in .348 Winchester Questions

Post by dtrsss »

Also, I did use a caliper on the muzzle and it led me to believe it was a 43 caliber as it was just under 45. I have never used one and I know it is an estimate. I will look for a video on using a caliper on a muzzle and see what I find as well. I am guessing it would be more accurate on a slugged led ball.
tjack
Posts: 192
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 6:15 pm

Re: Remington Rolling Block in .348 Winchester Questions

Post by tjack »

You will need a .45 caliber round, soft lead ball commonly used by muzzle loaders. The ball has to be oversized to properly fill the grooves of the barrel which is the dimensions you will need. With a hammer, gently tap the ball into the muzzle making sure you don't actually strike the muzzle with the hammer. Once I get the ball mostly in the bore I use a short section of wooden dowel to tap it into the bore. Once it is a few to several inches into the bore, I use a long dowel to tap it thru. The dowel should be close to bore size. A real skinny dowel in a .439" bore will probably break so, use a large dowel. Never use a steel rod! Measure the deformed-to-the-bore ball after it is all the way thru. A personal note: for years I labored under my Scottish principles of being cheap. I used surplus wheel weights for all my bullets. This required the use of several different diameter lube/sizer dies. Once I was convinced I could save $$ by buying pre mixed 20:1 lead/tin mix I gave up on the multi sized bullets. A .439" Spanish bullet of 20:1 will bump up to fill the grooves of all but the most over sized bores. If you are not into casting bullets, get ahold of Buffalo Arms in Idaho. They have pre cast bullets. I'm sure there are several others that also provide large, black powder bullets of softer lead mix but Buffalo is the one I'm familiar with.
Based on your measurement of the bore, I would suspect that your rifle is still chambered for the 11 mm Spanish. Your concern, and mine, would be the chamber. If the rear of the chamber has been opened up to receive the .348 WCF case, you need to know how much it was opened up. A slightly oversized base may not be a problem; fired cases will fire form to the base. With the low pressures of black powder cartridges AND NECK SIZING ONLY, there should be no problem.
Good Luck!!!!!
wlw-19958
Posts: 131
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:21 pm

Re: Remington Rolling Block in .348 Winchester Questions

Post by wlw-19958 »

Hi There,

How many lands/grooves does your bore have?
Remington used 5 lands/grooves in their barrels
during this period.

Good Luck!
-Blue Chips-
Webb
tjack
Posts: 192
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 6:15 pm

Re: Remington Rolling Block in .348 Winchester Questions

Post by tjack »

Unknown at this point. Its been years since I've slugged the bore on a Remington 11 mm Spanish rifle.
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