The Remington Rolling Block Rifle

    The Remington Rolling Block was a huge commercial success back in its day, and is often referred to as the gun that saved Remington (which was in dire financial straights in years following the Civil War). This simple, strong design was sold to over 40 nations and continued to serve on into World War I. But what makes this single shot rifle any better than its peers?

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    Transcript …

    (gun cocking) (gun bangs) (gun cocking) – [Narrator] The Remington Rolling Block, a paragon of simplicity, strength, and arguably the greatest single-shot rifle of all time.

    The Rolling Block was one of many rifle designs that sprung about during the genesis of military interest in metallic cartridges, and while few survived in such a crowded marketplace during the 1860s and ’70s, the Rolling Block was sold to over 40 nations often as a main infantry rifle.

    This level of international small arms dealing is impressive even by today’s standards but was almost unheard of back then, so what makes the Rolling Block so special? Well, the answer is a simple one.

    It isn’t.

    The Rolling Block’s greatest asset is its simplicity.

    It is easy to operate, train on, make, and use.

    For a military rifle, this is ideal, but let’s take a look at what makes the Rolling Block work.

    First, you’ll notice that there is a separate hammer and breech block.

    First cock the hammer, and bring the breech block down to insert a cartridge.

    You’ll notice that this bearing surface slides along the hammer, and that’s why it’s called the Rolling Block.

    The action is locked when the surface forward of the hammer slips underneath the breech block making it a very simple and very clever mechanism actually.

    This example is chambered in seven-millimeter Mauser as well, so it was strong enough to handle smokeless powder cartridges.

    The rear sight is of a sliding design, but the latter can be flipped up to allow for long-distance volley fire.

    The sighting arrangement is also a simple notch and post, and the front side is actually very fine, but enough talk.

    Let’s actually see how this works in practice.

    (gun cocking) (gun bangs) (gun cocking) (gun bangs) (gun cocking) (gun bangs) (gun cocking) By popular demand, I thought I would showcase a method where you operate a single-shot rifle with cartridges between your fingers.

    I’ve done this before, but I’ve never found it to be faster than pulling cartridges out of a proper cartridge holder.

    It demands too much fine motor manipulation for me to do successfully.

    (gun cocking) (gun bangs) (gun cocking) (gun bangs) (gun cocking) (gun bangs) (gun cocking) (gun bangs) (gun cocking) (gun bangs) (gun cocking) (gun bangs) (gun cocking) (gun bangs) (gun cocking) I take this old Rolling Block to the range more than most other guns in my collection.

    I really like how accurate it is in working the action of an old single-shot breech loader is just fun.

    You can find this for sale all the time via Proxibid, and so many were made that they’re seldom very expensive for a more common model.

    It’s gun like this that I truly enjoy shooting.

    Old rifles like these, even if they aren’t your thing, and you prefer modernity, well, at least it almost certainly help you appreciate how far we’ve come in the way of firearms technology.

    Special thank you to Ventura Munitions for helping us out with the cost of ammo for our program, and of course, a special thank you to you for watching.

    We hope to see you next time.

    Alex C.

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