43 Spanish rolling block

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CWO
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43 Spanish rolling block

Post by CWO » Mon Mar 22, 2021 11:55 am

Have a 3 band Remington rolling block in 43 Spanish that I've had for 15 years that needs to be shot. The bore is pitted but the rifling is strong and looks good for its age unless you run a scope down it. Do you think it can be safely shot with black powder and a 400 grain greaser ?? I hate to have it just sitting in the safe getting older. Another option I suppose would be to put a 22 liner in and use the existing ladder sights. Would the sights be adequate to shoot in the 200 yard competitions ?? The start up costs are a bit much in 43 Spanish but it looks like it maybe worth it for a short range fun gun. I'm not new to the game just cautious and thought I'd ask those that have been their before me. Appreciate any feed back I can get. CWO

CWO
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Re: 43 Spanish rolling block

Post by CWO » Mon Mar 22, 2021 1:03 pm

Some shots of the bore. Not to bad really for the age of the gun.. Bore/groove measure .443/.437 as measured straight off slug.
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CWO
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Re: 43 Spanish rolling block

Post by CWO » Mon Mar 22, 2021 1:13 pm

Trying to add some of the bad shots and not having any luck. Bare with me. CWO
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CWO
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Re: 43 Spanish rolling block

Post by CWO » Mon Mar 22, 2021 1:27 pm

Picture of the gun. Tried to put them all on same post but having a difficult time doing so. Old age I suppose.
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Gamerancher
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Re: 43 Spanish rolling block

Post by Gamerancher » Mon Mar 22, 2021 3:40 pm

That 'aint bad pitting! I've got lever guns with bores worse than that but still shoot cast bullets very accurately.
The rifling looks real good and that's what matters most.
The worst thing that could happen is you'll have some leading to clean out after a firing session.
I certainly wouldn't have a problem loading that rifle up with black and greasers, fire away I say. :)
Out in western NSW where it don't rain much.
Australia

CWO
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Re: 43 Spanish rolling block

Post by CWO » Mon Mar 22, 2021 3:57 pm

I posted this without re looking at the bore and came to the same conclusion once I updated the post. Actually looks fairly amazing for the age of this gun and being a military origin. Had a gorgeous 1903A3 that I sold because I was afraid of the bore and I think I confused the two. Big difference between the black stuff and the smokeless and safety concerns. But, I think your right and I'm going to order me some brass and dies.

Michael Johnson
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Re: 43 Spanish rolling block

Post by Michael Johnson » Mon Mar 22, 2021 5:25 pm

CWO, I have some 71 and 74 Mausers with worse bores that shoot just fine in 200 yard matches.Yours actually look pretty good!

Clarence
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Re: 43 Spanish rolling block

Post by Clarence » Mon Mar 22, 2021 5:30 pm

CWD,

There are a number of things to watch out for with your .43 Spanish roller.

Rim thickness is 0.088", IIRC, and you will separate cases in a couple of firings unless you get cases with the rim thickness increased or make a headspace adaptor to take up the extra thickness.

On my rifle, the chamber case showed that the actual chamber length was ~2.56", quite a bit longer than the nominal length. So you can either buy basic brass and trim it to the longer length or accept a long oversize freeborn. When I did it, I got .43 basic brass from BA. Even that brass had rims too thin at ~0.080", so I made a shim from a piece of MVA sight card to tighten the headspace and control case stretch.

The trigger return spring on the military rollers is far too heavy, giving an 8 lb. trigger pull. Easiest fix is a piano wire spring, which is described in a number of places.

When I got everything sorted out, the rifle shot well. I got some groups in the 2-3" range, and believe that, with better sights, I could have cracked the 2" barrier.

I sent you a pm, and can provide more details on my experience.

Clarence

CWO
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Re: 43 Spanish rolling block

Post by CWO » Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:21 pm

Clarence my trigger is around 5 lbs not sure why but the trigger is smooth and positive. The gun had been in the possession of an old 4/5 generation Texas family who had served in the war with Mexico and came home with it. Has been in a safe passed on from family member to another. Kinda neat and deserves to be brought back to life. The Mexicans I believe where using the 43 updated cartridge by then and don't know why it was still in use at the time of the war. Guess, they used whatever they could get a hold of at the time. CWO

mdeland
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Re: 43 Spanish rolling block

Post by mdeland » Mon Mar 22, 2021 7:34 pm

Try ten grains of Unique behind any groove diameter grease bullet and I bet it will shoot like gang busters for you . Pits don't really mean much to accuracy if they're not in the throat of crown. What matters is tight and loose spots in the bore wither from leading build up or uneven lands and grooves.

Clark Badgett
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Re: 43 Spanish rolling block

Post by Clark Badgett » Mon Mar 22, 2021 8:14 pm

CWO, Do you mean the War with Spain or the War with Mexico? When we fought Mexico, cartridge arms were still a couple decades into the future. Now the RB could have possibly been brought back during one of several border incursions or expeditions because of such. We've only had 1 war with Mexico.

LazyM
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Re: 43 Spanish rolling block

Post by LazyM » Mon Mar 22, 2021 8:18 pm

For what it's worth, I have an original Rolling Block from around 1860's-1880's (still trying to decipher when). Shooting 370 grain greasers behind 69 grains of Swiss 1 1/2. A fun shooter! The biggest issue you will find is getting brass. Last I saw was over $7.00 per case!

I wouldn't worry about your barrel pitting, just shoot black powder...it's what it was meant to shoot!

CWO
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Re: 43 Spanish rolling block

Post by CWO » Tue Mar 23, 2021 3:45 am

Clark Badgett

When Pershing entered Mexico in about 1917 is what I was thinking. Expedition was the correct word I suppose. Been a long time since I was in a history class. The fog of old age is with me and sometimes I take a liberty or two. lol Thanks for the correction I'll need to google a bit more often and get my facts straight. Regards

Clark Badgett
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Re: 43 Spanish rolling block

Post by Clark Badgett » Tue Mar 23, 2021 6:41 pm

CWO, no worries or digs from this end. I get stuff wrong all the time, just ask my wife. :D

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desert deuce
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Re: 43 Spanish rolling block

Post by desert deuce » Sat Mar 27, 2021 11:13 am

Clark, do not feel like you are alone. :( Being right can be misconstrued in a myriad of different ways. Most usually demeaning.

I think the Pershing push into Mexico in search of Doroteo Arango was termed an incursion.

So, political correctness was likely operating in the early part of the 20th century also.
Sometimes you get the chicken, and sometimes you get the feathers!

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