Some guidance, help and info Please.

Topics related to Pre - 1898 Remington Rifles
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Dave-C
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:55 am

Some guidance, help and info Please.

Post by Dave-C »

Hello Everyone,

My Father In Law passed a couple years back and he had a couple old guns left to us, one of which I know nothing of and the one I'm writing about here.
I'm 60 myself and have a couple older guns, a Garand, a couple Mausers some shot guns but I actually never had one of these. I know it's a rolling block, "thats it".

I showed it to a friend of mine who said the barrel has been changed, I have no idea about the original or where it is. We did shoot it once! and I believe I know why he never shot it much, (that I know of). The extractor appears to have a very small piece broke off of it and it doesn't pull the cartridge out. It does fire fine though.
The gun is in remarkably good shape, wood and bluing. As far as I know it's not been touched in the 35 years I knew of it, it always sat in his gun cabinet.

I would appreciate any advice, thoughts, and expertises on this gun. I'll post the pics as I have. If anyone wants more, I'll do my best.
Thank's in Advance! Dave. :)
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marlinman93
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2004 10:47 pm

Re: Some guidance, help and info Please.

Post by marlinman93 »

What you have is a military Rolling Block #1 size action that's been fitted with a Numrich .444 Marlin barrel. I don't see any retaining screw for a sliding extractor, so it's likely a later rotary extractor, which may indicate it's also late enough to be a smokeless action also.
Numrich sold those barrels as a kit, and I believe they also did some of the builds themselves also. The .444 Marlin is a stout cartridge in factory loads, but for those who reload it can be loaded lighter to be a very nice caliber to shoot.
Kenn Womack sells Rolling Block parts, if you need an extractor. But it might be better to take it to a good gunsmith and have the existing extractor built up via tig weld, and then filed down to fit the rim. That's what I'd do if it was mine.
wlw-19958
Posts: 131
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:21 pm

Re: Some guidance, help and info Please.

Post by wlw-19958 »

Hi There,

Most of what marlinman93 said is true except that
this is a #1, type 4 action. These are black powder
actions. The tang markings start with "Remington
Arms Company ..." which indicate that it was man-
ufactured on or after 1888 (Remington filed for
bankruptcy in 1886, went into receivership and then
was sold in 1888; that is when the tang markings
changed).

Because it is a black powder action, I would NOT use
high pressure rounds.

Good Luck!
Webb
Last edited by wlw-19958 on Mon Dec 28, 2020 12:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.
marlinman93
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2004 10:47 pm

Re: Some guidance, help and info Please.

Post by marlinman93 »

Webb is correct. The factory loads in .444 Marlin can be 40,000 cup, which is a good 10,000 cup or more over what that action is good for. That's why I mentioned it might be better to hand load for it to ensure it's loaded down to milder levels.
The vast majority of factory ammo is well over 2000 fps, and likely in the 40,000 cup levels. I'd want to limit loads to under 1500 fps, and pressures to 25,000 cup.
Dave-C
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:55 am

Re: Some guidance, help and info Please.

Post by Dave-C »

Thank you all very much! I may just make it a wall hanger, I was going to see if I can shoot it once in a while. I (do) reload but only for 30-06, 30-30 and 8mm.
Maybe I should invest in some .444 dies but I won't shoot it that much. I have two boxes of factory .444 loads, It just so happens I was a USCG/US Navy welder so welding the piece back wouldn't be a big deal, "if I could see it"... :lol: I'll dig around for an extractor, it is the rotary type, that I can see. I wish he'd told me more about this, but I didn't ask either. My FIL did shoot it, I found a box of empty brass he saved. Thank you all again very much for the Info.
marlinman93
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2004 10:47 pm

Re: Some guidance, help and info Please.

Post by marlinman93 »

I would most certainly shoot it, and reload for it since you have brass, and loaded ammo. I'd either find someone with a Marlin in this caliber to shoot the loaded ammo, or simply pull the bullets and dump the charge and reload them. I'd use lower velocity .45-70 data for reloading, as it as that should put it into Rolling Block pressure ratings.
I wouldn't consider ever making it a wall hanger myself. It appears to be a decent gun, and worth shooting once the extractor is repaired.
Dave-C
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:55 am

Re: Some guidance, help and info Please.

Post by Dave-C »

Thanks marlinman93 for the encouragement. It is, actually in very sweet shape for it's age. That's how my FIL kept all his guns, (not that there were many) I'm gonna order/find some dies. You got my spirits up on this! Do you think the 45-70 data is sufficient? As stated, I have no experience with this caliber or gun.
My wife and I got talking about this gun, and we contacted a family friend who is in his 80's, he said my FIL had this gun before they got married and that was 1955. :shock: so, it's been in my wife's family at least since then... I think he would like me to get'r up and shooting. :D
marlinman93
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2004 10:47 pm

Re: Some guidance, help and info Please.

Post by marlinman93 »

He might have had it since 1955, but likely not in this configuration. I believe it was much later when Numrich offered those .444 barrels. And Marlin didn't even bring this caliber out until 1965. It was probably a decade later when Numrich sold these barrels.

Yes, .45-70 data works if you find data for the same bullet weight, and for lower pressure guns like a Trapdoor or Rolling Block. Not data for a Ruger #1 or Marlin 1895 modern guns. The .444 used lighter bullets, of around 250 gr., but you could use those or heavier bullets like the 300 gr. in it. I'd start down around 18.0 grs. of 2400, with that weight bullet. Another load that guys have had good luck with is Unique at 12.0 grs. Both are mild loads around 1300-1350 fps.
A lot of reloading books show jacketed bullet loads at 2000-2350 fps, which are much too high pressure for a Rolling Block. You can use jacketed bullets, but I'd stick with cast lead bullets myself.
Dave-C
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:55 am

Re: Some guidance, help and info Please.

Post by Dave-C »

Thanks again. I never did find another barrel and we went through everything meticulously, I would have found the other barrel if he had it. I guess he sold the other barrel or something was wrong with it. Great information Sir!
After the 1st of the year, I'll spend some time with this and pick your brain, "if I may". I found a set of RCBS reloading dies on ebay, I haven't purchased them but I'm gonna shop around a bit. I do have an old Herters and a RCBS Rock chucker II.
marlinman93
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2004 10:47 pm

Re: Some guidance, help and info Please.

Post by marlinman93 »

Yes, once things return to normal you might find a die set reasonable. Although the .444 might always be a bit more money for die set than more common calibers.
It's possible if he had it rebarreled that the old barrel was a worn out military, and might have been left at the gunsmith's shop. I toss old military barrels all the time, or give them away. My only use is for the actions to rebarrel and convert to Sporting style as your father in law did to this one.
It appears he kept the military buttstock, and only replaced the forearm. Any signs on the end of the forearm of a plug that would indicate it too is a military forearm cut down, plugged, and reshaped?
Dave-C
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:55 am

Re: Some guidance, help and info Please.

Post by Dave-C »

What are the Odds? Something told me to go through a box of stuff we took out of his shop so I started digging, (I'm sure you understand we have 70+ years of someones life) and haven't gone through everything yet. My wife and I packed things up along with family members so there was no rhyme or reason how things got packed. Boxes just labeled shop or garage etc. Well, ironically this was in one of the shop boxes! Don't look like they were ever used. He wrote BIG letters on them so he could see what he was grabbing.
Oh boy do I know the feeling... :lol: Well, I guess I'm all set. There was also a set of 7mm mag and 30-06 in there as well, so now I have 2 sets. :D I don't own a 7mm.
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marlinman93
Posts: 288
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Re: Some guidance, help and info Please.

Post by marlinman93 »

Well that's a great find! And I guess it certainly makes reloading for the .444 a easy decision now!
You'll love shooting it in the Rolling Block with milder loads. I have a gunsmith friend who built the same rifle, and he put a scope on his because his eyesight isn't great. We shot it at his backyard range of 250 yds. and never had a miss on his 10" round dinger. It was a hoot to have a gun be so accurate at the distance.
Dave-C
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:55 am

Re: Some guidance, help and info Please.

Post by Dave-C »

Yes, it was a "lucky" find! I knew he had some reloading stuff but it didn't dawn on me about the .444 This box of dies is marked, (Omark) Industries. These go back a few years!!! I don't think Omark was with RCBS since the 80's. I have his other RCBS reloader but it's in a box as well, I believe it's a Rock Chucker also.
marlinman93
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2004 10:47 pm

Re: Some guidance, help and info Please.

Post by marlinman93 »

Omark bought RCBS in 1976, and then in 1985 Omark became Blount industries.
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