Guns of the Civil War
The Remington Rolling Block
The Remington Rolling Block was invented during the American Civil War.
Leonard M. Geiger patented the first design in 1863, and Remington's own genius
Joseph Rider made improvements.
50 Rimfire Military Carbine
The first shipment was received by the Army just before the end of
the Civil War, although it is unknown and unlikely whether any were used
in combat during the war.
The first production models are known as the "split breech" models
with the hammer between the two parts of the breech block. This
worked for rimfire cartridges, but the action was improved
for more powerful centerfire cartridges by having a solid breech block
with patent dates of April 1866, August 1867, and November 1871.
The breech block rotates on a large pin for the name "rolling block"
which is locked into position by a large hammer on another large pin
Springfield Armory and others converted
to military power metallic cartridges and used new Remington Rolling
Block actions to convert muzzle loading muskets to breech loading, both
of which were reliable for buffalo
hunting. Both Sharps and the Remington Rolling Block rifles were
the favorites of the buffalo hunters, but Sharps could not compete with Remington for
further military sales.
Over a million rolling blocks were produced over many decades by or
for many countries from the end of the American Civil War in 1865 with
rifles in active service being surrendered in battle during the Spanish
Civil War of 1935. Rolling Block rifles and carbines were made for
a wide range of cartridges.
For more information, consult "Flayderman's
Guide To Antique American Firearms" by Norm Flayderman.
The following technical information is for the 46 rimfire version
carbine which was delivered to the U.S. Army during the Civil War.
Nearly all rolling blocks were later made for more powerful cartridges.
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