By James M. Triggs
37,501 was granted to Leonard Geiger covering a hinged or 'split-breech' gun action. That this basic action, with many subsequent improvements, remained in production through the 1930's is remarkable.
The first arms made under the Geiger patent were 20,000 carbines chambered for the .56-50 Spencer rim-fire cartridge. Delivered in 1865, these carbines were purchased by the U. S. Government under a contract granted to E. Remington & Sons of Ilion, N. Y. At the time this contract was granted, Remington production facilities were so involved with other government commitments that the carbines were actually manufactured by the Savage Revolving Fire Arms Co., of Middletown, Conn., under Remington license and with Remington-designed machinery.
The original Geiger action was substantially improved by Remington employee Joseph Rider. His initial patent No. 45,123 was granted on Nov. 15,
1864. Rider's influence as co-inventor was so profound in respect to this action that Remington-Rider and Remington Rolling-Block are virtually synonymous to the arms student or collector.
A host of other inventors effected changes and improvements in the basic action during its long production history. It was in effect a workhorse in the Remington line, being used in rifles, shotguns, and single-shot pistols. That it successfully bridged the smokeless powder era is attested by the fact that the Remington Rolling-Block rifle was regularly chambered for such cartridges as the .30-30 Winchester, 8 mm. Lebel, 7 mm. Mauser, and even the ,30-'06. Some of the largest purchases of Remington single-shot rifles were by foreign governments desiring an inexpensive, serviceable, and a simple military weapon. Military rifles with the Remington-Rider action were made at Springfield Armory and by Denmark in the Danish government arsenal in
Copenhagen. Rifles and shotguns with this basic action are still made in Scandinavia.
As to the 'shootability' of these rifles, John R. Lewis, Jr., a patent attorney for Remington Arms Co., Inc., states: . . with certain exceptions in the later models these rifles were designed for blackpowder and most of the foreign military rolling-blocks lately returned to this country are from 50 to 85 years old; during which time they have been more or less indifferently maintained. A particular caution is in order with respect to 7 mm. rolling-block rifles. I have checked head-space on many of the rifles in this caliber and almost without exception they were within limits as defined by the manufacturing gauges, but this does not mean that they are within head-space tolerances for modern ammunition. Apparently these 7 mm. military rolling-block rifles were manufactured to use some now obsolete military cartridge with longer head-to-shoulder
dimensions than the 7 mm. sporting cartridge standardized by SAAMI (Sporting Arms & Ammunition Manufacturers Institute) about 1920.
"Since the modern 7 mm. sporting cartridge requires the same headspace as the .257 Remington-Roberts, either a modern 7 mm. or the .257 Reming-ton-Roberts gauge may be used to check a rifle. It will be found that it is a rare 7 mm. military rolling-block rifle which does not have grossly excessive headspace for modern 7 mm. ammunition. In firing such rifles with suitable precautions I have not encountered any head separations but almost invariably modern cartridges fired in these rifles show on the wall of the case about 3/s" forward of the head the brignt ring or strained brass which is characteristic of an incipient head separation. This condition may be corrected by setting the barrel back one turn on the threads and rechambering, but this operation is difficult because of the nature of the clearance cut required for the extractor.
"Rolling-block rifles are interesting curios but should not be seriously regarded as shooting rifles unless their use is limited strictly to fresh ammunition of characteristics consistent with the period of their original design and manufacture."
James M. Triggs, a gun collector of Mamaroneck, N. Y., is a writer-illustrator.
ITo reploce hammer and breechblock in receiver, keep trigger pulled all the way back while inserting hammer with its nose forward in fired position as shown. Move hammer until its hole lines up with hammer pin holes in receiver. Slip hammer pin (31B) into hole in left of receiver, through hammer, and through hole in right of receiver. Cock hammer and replace breechblock and breechblock pin in like fashion
2 This shows type of extractor (A) used in Remington Rolling-Block Rifle, U. S. Navy Model of 1869. Extractor is held in place in the slot (C) in the barrel by screw (B) which passes through receiver from the left side. This model also has a firing pin spring and firing pin retaining screw in the hammer nose. Also, in this Navy Remington the mainspring is provided with an anti-friction roller at the hammer end and a different type of ramrod stop is employed. Disassembly procedure for all rolling-block rifles, with the exception of these few variations, remains the same
Loosen button screw (34) and remove button (33) from left side of receiver (1). Cock hammer (32) and push out breechblock pin (31 A) from right to left. Lift out breechblock (27) with extractor (30) attached. Firing pin (28) can be removed from breechblock by drifting out firing pin retaining pin (29). Let hammer down all the way, remove hammer pin (3IB) and lift hammer (32) out of receiver (1).
The wooden fore-end (not shown in exploded view) may be removed by withdrawing ramrod (13) and removing barrel bands (8. 10 & 11).
To remove buttstock (not shown in exploded view), take out tang screw (35) and pull buttstock off to rear. Remove front and rear guard plate screws (16 & 17) and drop guard plate (15) out of receiver (1). All parts and springs contained within the guard plate may be removed if necessary by withdrawing their respective screws and retaining pins.
Interior parts of the rolling-block action are shown here in longitudinal-section to demonstrate their correct relative positions. Part numbers are keyed to part numbers in exploded view drawing
3. Rear sight assembly
4. Recoil stud
5. Recoil stud screw
6. Stock tip
7. Stock tip screw
8. Front band
9. Front band screw
10. Middle band & swivel
11. Rear band
12. Rear band screw
14. Ramrod stop
15. Guard plate
16. Front guard plate screw
17. Rear guard plate screw
18. Lever spring
19. Lever spring screw
21. Mainspring screw
22. Trigger spring
23. Trigger spring screw
24. Locking lever
25. Locking lever screw
26. Trigger 26A. Trigger pin
28. Firing pin
28A. Firing pin retractor 28B. Firing pin limit pin
29. Retractor pin
31 A. Breechblock pin 31B. Hammer pin
34. Button screw
35. Tang screw
37. Buttplate screws (2)
38. Stock swivel
39. Stock swivel screws (2)
The Ruger carbine introduced in 1961 by Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc., was the first factory-made shoulder arm to be chambered for the .44 Remington Magnum cartridge. Designed for hunting deer-class game within relatively short range, this gun is noteworthy for several design features.
It is gas-operated. When fired, powder gas, tapped through a small hole in the barrel, acts upon a floating short-stroke piston which strikes the front end of the slide, driving it to the rear to rotate and unlock the bolt, extract and eject the fired cartridge case, cock the hammer, and initially feed a fresh cartridge from the tubular magazine in the fore-
end. The energy of the compressed slide spring then forces the slide assembly forward to chamber the cartridge and rotate the bolt into locked position. This completes the firing cycle.
The tubular magazine holds 4 cartridges; with a cartridge in the chamber, capacity of the gun is 5 rounds.
The receiver is machined from a solid block of steel and is closed on top. It is drilled and tapped for commercial scope top mounts.
The 1816" barrel is button rifled and has 12 grooves with a twist rate of one turn in 38".
Nominal weight of the Ruger carbine is 5 lbs. 12 ozs.
2. Rear sight
3. Front scope base hole plug screws (2)
4. Cartridge guide plate screws (2)
5. Rear scope base hole plug screws (2)
6. Cartridge guide plate
8. Ejector screw
10. Piston block plug
11. Piston block plug retaining pin (inner & outer pins)
12. Front sight
13. Barrel band
14. Barrel band screw
15. Recoil block
16. Recoil block bolt washer
17. Recoil block bolt
18. Receiver cross pin
21. Extractor spring
22. Extractor pivot pin
23. Firing pin retaining pin
24. Firing pin retaining spring
25. Firing pin
27. Slide handle
28. Slide spring
29. Magazine tube
30. Magazine follower
31. Magazine spring
32. Magazine plug
33. Magazine plug cross pin
35. Buttplate screws (2)
37. Disconnector plunger
38. Disconnector plunger spring
39. Disconnector plunger spring screw
40. Lifter cam
41. Lifter cam spring
42. Lifter cam pin
43. Hammer spring, left
44. Hammer spring, right
45. Hammer spring retaining pin
47. Safety detent plunger
48. Safety detent plunger spring
50. Trigger cross pin
52. Sear spring
54. Trigger pivot pin
55. Hammer pivot pin
57. Hammer roller
58. Hammer roller pivot pin
59. Lifter latch
60. Lifter latch pivot pin
61. Lifter latch spring
62. Lifter latch plunger
63. Lifter dog
64. Lifter dog pivot pin
65. Lifter assembly
66. Cartridge stop flat spring
67. Cartridge stop flat spring retaining pin
68. Cartridge stop
69. Flapper spring
70. Cartridge stop coil spring
72. Cartridge stop pivot pin
73. Trigger guard (trigger mechanism housing)
Note: Parts 37-73 are contained in trigger guard assembly
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