Rolling Block Markings

Discussion of BPCR rifles and shooting accessories, including range equipment.
MacRob46
PostsCOLON 15
JoinedCOLON Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:50 am

Rolling Block Markings

Post by MacRob46 » Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:43 pm

I have a rifle built on an original Rolling Block No. 1 black powder action. I bought it in 1973 for the huge sum of $150. At the time it had a Numrich arms barrel and stocks on it. You may remember that they offered two kits to do this conversion back in the late 60s to early 70s or even later, to put the old warhorses back into action. Mine had the straight octagonal barrel, in .45-70 (they also offered a barrel in .444 Marlin) but they also offered a half round barrel as well. A butt stock and fore end came with the kit. I shot the gun a few times with factory smokeless loads and it was hopeless. Could not get it on the paper at short range. Then a friend suggested I check the bore and I found out that it was not bored straight. Called Numrich and they said to send it back for a replacement. Pulled it off and sent it back and six months later the replacement barrel came. I could not get the new one installed with less than .005 head space. Took it to a local gunsmith who could not do anything with it (or did not know what to do with it, more likely). Gave up and put it in the safe until 2011 when I sent it to the late Dave Higgenbotham to re-barrel. He installed a Green Mountain barrel, lightened the trigger pull and drilled and tapped the tang for a sight. Now that I am retired, I plan to start shooting it in silhouette matches BUT it still has the old Numrich wood which has a crescent shaped butt plate...Ouch! So, I have a 90% inletted blank which I am about to begin fitting to the gun, which will have a shotgun butt plate. Will do the fore end later, depending on how the butt comes out.

Here is the question...sorry it took so long to get to it. I found some numbers on the left side of the upper and lower tangs when I pulled the old butt stock off today. First time I had noticed them. The top tang has the following stamped in: G58356. The bottom tang has 8 2 8. The only other marking on the gun is on the outside on the right front of the receiver and it is .45 -70 which I assume was added by whoever installed the Numrich kit. I am not familiar with serial numbers for these guns or production totals for any of the many models they made. The action is a military action, not civilian - has the rounded off receiver. Are these numbers the serial number and some other number of some significance? If so, I would like to understand the significance of them.

Thanks very much for any help you can provide. I think the gun will be fun to shoot and I have sure waited a long time to do so.

Keith
PostsCOLON 52
JoinedCOLON Fri May 01, 2015 3:35 pm

Re: Rolling Block Markings

Post by Keith » Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:41 pm

Unusual that it does not have some sort of makers name or stamp on it.
Is the breech block where it goes under the barrel flat topped or concave?
Is the extractor a rotary type pivoting on the breech block pin or is it a flat sliding bar?
Perhaps photos would help, esp of sides of receiver.

Keith

MacRob46
PostsCOLON 15
JoinedCOLON Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:50 am

Re: Rolling Block Markings

Post by MacRob46 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 3:24 pm

Except for the .45-70 marking previously mentioned, the exposed part of the action is completely clean.

It has the straight extractor. Not quite sure what you are asking about the breech block. I think the operative word for the shape of the hammer and breech block is "round." There are few flat surfaces on them. I should have mentioned in the first post and did not, that the action has been case hardened. Whether it is a new job or not I cannot tell but suspect it was, again, done about the time the Numrich kit was installed. It is entirely possible there were more markings on it before the case hardening was done BUT it does not show any signs of having metal removed in any big way anywhere on the action. I will see if I can download a photo or two.

Thanks for the reply.

Keith
PostsCOLON 52
JoinedCOLON Fri May 01, 2015 3:35 pm

Re: Rolling Block Markings

Post by Keith » Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:38 pm

Its possible the action was worked over.
I have a Remington Hepburn that was worked over and they "polished" the original marks right off the sides of the action before it was colour case hardened. I verified that by measuring the thickness of the receiver. It was a few thou less than it should hace been.
The early Rolling Block Breech block was concave on top of the round section where it rotates under the barrel.
The later had the bottom of the barrel milled flat in a radius to accomodate the round part of the BB rotating under it so this top part of the BB was flat also.
On the left side . The two pivot pins. Are they held in with a plate and a single screw, or does each pin have its own screw ?
I have just bought " Remington Rolling Block Military Rifles of the World" by George Layman. It shows lots of marks etc but we need to try and identify the
maker first.

Keith

MacRob46
PostsCOLON 15
JoinedCOLON Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:50 am

Re: Rolling Block Markings

Post by MacRob46 » Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:51 am

OK..now I understand what you are asking. The breech block is straight across - no concavity. The barrel is undercut at the breech to clear the breech block as it rolls into the receiver. The pins are held in by a plate secured by a single screw. There is no firing pin retaining screw visible in the breech block. The extractor is the straight variety as mentioned earlier. The threads in the action are the square threads found on No. 1 black powder rifles. I think you are right when you suggest that the action has modified, probably using parts from different guns.

After posting this query I did an Internet search re: RB serial numbers and mostly came up empty. Apparently serial numbers and markings varied widely and nobody even has a handle on production numbers by model, year or anything else.

Thanks again for your help.

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