Remington Rolling Block Run and Gun

The Remington Rolling Block was a hugely successful rifle design that served bravely in military service, and valiantly as a civilian target and hunting rifle. The Rolling Block is a single shot breech loader that must be loaded with a new cartridge after each shot, so naturally it should be much harder to run than a trusty bolt action!

Big thanks to Ventura Munitions as always!
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Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


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  • Don Ward

    Great video. You gotta get a period cartridge belt or pouch to help you not fiddle around for loose rounds.

    It’s interesting in that the Spanish used Remington Rollingblocks against US troops during the Spanish American War.

    • UnrepentantLib

      I was thinking the same thing. My father had an old cartridge pouch with two rows of loops. Might have been a McKeever. Haven’t seen it in many years and now I wonder whatever happened to it. I would imagine that with practice you could get a pretty decent rate of fire.

  • codfilet

    I had a 7mm Rolling block when I was a kid. I used to shoot old surplus rounds in it. I sold it long ago, but I’ve always wanted a heavy-barreled 45-70 rolling block. maybe someday…

  • LG

    1885 falling blocks by Moses rule! You may be too young to remember but the rolling blocks have an unusual habit of firing out of battery if the firing pin becomes stuck in the forward position. Slam the breach home, the cartridge fires, and fire comes out of both ends of the weapon. If the firing pin is frozen, jammed, etc. in a forward position ignition can occur without the “rolling” block in the forward position, which is necessary for lock up. In a falling block 1885 this can not happen since the block can not physically move completely out of battery with a “stuck” firing pin in the forward position.

  • This was the most fun run and gun video so far. Definitely different and pretty darn challenging!

    • Tassiebush

      I was delighted to see it. Hey I wonder if you can hold a few spare rounds in your hand/s while you operate it to speed things up? Works well with break actions.

      • gusto

        we had an oldtimer do that for our annual hunting-qualifications

        one shot standing still on a moose siluette, the siluette then starts going on a track pretty fast and you only have a some seconds to reload and hit it (and then repeat the other way around)

        he qualified for 30 years with an old rolling block in 8x58r

        held 3 cartridges in his left hand , he rarely had to take the test more then the requaried amount of hits

        • Tassiebush

          That’s impressive! Where’s that? I read Finland has running moose qualifications?

    • Devil_Doc

      Yeah, but now you have to compare it with other single shots. I really just want to see a Martini-Henry shot for speed for the first time since the Boer wars…

      • Paul White

        how about some big double rifles too?

        I want to see him run and gun with a 505 Gibbs!

        • LG

          There are one gun safari style matches which are quite popular in areas such as South Africa. Dangerous game hunting senarios are constructed and shot for time and accuracy. No pop guns allowed. The smallest allowed is the 9.3X62 mm. A good man with a double can swing, hit, and reload faster than most average people can with a full magazine in a suitable bolt gun. 500 NE RULES!!!

      • Will

        Or an Austrian Werndl.

    • Cal S.

      Are you planning a head-to-head with a Ruger No. 1 rifle? The lever action should speed things up. Might be able to use the patented big game hunter’s technique and hold several reserve shells between your knuckles.

      • No. The No. 1 is not a military rifle and the run and gun series focuses on them.

        • LG

          There were military versions of the Sharps-Borchadt rifle, which is almost the twin brother of the Ruger No.1. The Sharps-Borchardt is a falling block, striker fired weapon with a very fast lock time. Actually the trigger pul is better in the Sharps-Borchardt than the Ruger since Ruger tends to measure trigger pull in tens of pounds.

  • Tassiebush

    Gosh that action is simplicity itself. I totally love the way the hammer locks it. I have read before of some that inadvertently are automatic ejectors due to perhaps a weak hammer spring. It’d be really interesting to see a speed test of different single shots. My money would be on a hammerless break action but that wasn’t a military action. Of military rifles it’d be a Martini vs Remington race I suspect.

    • LG

      Peabody-Martini is the hands down the winer. Modifications of the Martini action made in Switzerland were winning international free style rifle matches into the 1930s.

  • Jeff Smith

    God, that’s some fast shooting! Good job!

  • Harley Criswell

    can you do a more detailed article or vid on the Remington rolling block

  • Lance

    Next time a Springfield Trapdoor in black powder 45-70!!!!

  • Jeff.

    I have a customized No4 .22RF Rolling Block. One afternoon many years back I shot 111 rabbits over the span of about 2.5 hours. My thumb was raw from manipulating the action. Love that rifle.

  • MrEllis

    This was a fun one, thanks. I envy your old weapons!

  • C.

    Isn’t that the gun that’s going to give Nicholas C an edge over those suckers still using muskets?

  • Boris Pistoff

    I have a Remington Rolling Block No. 5 as well. Presently in the process of changing the barrel to the old but trusty 9.3x74R caliber. In Sweeden the No. 5’s actions were sold with the optional 9.3x74R for moose and specially wild boar hunting. Here I’ll like to use it when hunting wild hogs. BTW, it’s common practice to carry 3 extra cartridges on the free hand in between the base of the fingers for quick reload…just in case. Great demo…thank you.

  • Joshua

    “Id take it over a Martini-Henry or a Sharps rifle”
    Thems fightin words!

  • Just Say’in

    Great job Alex, bet you’d have been even faster using a shell holder instead of an ammo pouch.

  • Dave

    Fellow rolling block fanboy here! Ha!
    Great run n’ gun! Mine is .43 Spanish BPCR. Built at Ilion, NY sometime in the 1880s and shipped off to Argentina, then back again to North America sometime in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

    The 7mm Mauser version you’ve got there would have been used in the Mexican Revolution, as I’m sure you know. Scandinavian nations were among the first to adopt the Remington. The decision was made to take it over the Peabody, basis for the Martini Henry, because of the fewer parts of the Remington. Great rifles! Probably one of the simplest actions ever made. I’m still looking for a “baby carbine” in .357 magnum to “trick out!”

    Did you have to handload the 7x57mm cartridges, or just use factory ammo?

  • Will

    I’d love to see this done with the capping breechloaders from 10 or 20 years before. Civil War Sharps, Wesley-Richards monkey-tail, Burnsides, Smiths, etc.