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Special Interests - Groups & Societies => BROW => Topic started by: ndnchf on September 15, 2020, 08:44:17 AM

Title: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: ndnchf on September 15, 2020, 08:44:17 AM
I just took the plunge and bought a rifle that could very likely have been used used by a buffalo hunter back in the day.  Many years ago the barrel was bobbed to a more manageable length, a little under 24".  I'm waiting for it to arrive, but the bore is described as quite good - mostly bright and shiny with strong rifling.  It has the rather ambiguous, but according to Roy Marcot's book, "44S" barrel stamp indicating .44-77 (or .44-90 which early on was the same shell with bullet just seated further out to allow for more powder). Needless to say I'm excited about it and look forward to getting it to the range.  If it could talk - the stores it could tell!



Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: Coal Creek Griff on September 15, 2020, 09:55:54 AM
That is SO COOL!

I might not be as excited as you are, but I'm definitely looking forward to hearing more about this gun. When you get it, please take time to bring us along with more pictures and reports of your experiences in getting it back in action. Most of us won't have a chance to own an historical piece like this, but we can enjoy it vicariously.

Congratulations!

CC Griff
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: PJ Hardtack on September 15, 2020, 11:16:04 AM
Great find!

I've got an Argentine model in .43 Spanish, the ballistic twin of the .44-77.

I has leading issues due to the 39" barrel, so I had it cut down to 30" and recut the stock to resemble the Trapdoor carbine.
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: Dave T on September 15, 2020, 12:32:17 PM
I am yellow/green with envy. Any No1 Sporting Rifle is a treasure to me and being in such a traditional caliber and in shootable condition makes it that much better. I would regret the barrel being cut...but I'd have bought it anyway.

Dave
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: ndnchf on September 15, 2020, 01:11:01 PM
Thanks Guys.

Yeah, I'm pretty stoked about it.  Its probably from the late 1870s with a 6XXX serial number range.  Who knows why the barrel was cut back, damage? muzzle wear? , maybe just to make it easier to carry on horseback.  Regardless, it was done and long time ago and its part of its history.  On the plus side, the bobbed barrel made it less collectable and more affordable - cost was comparable to a modern Pedersoli roller.  The loading components and equipment are not inexpensive, but I knew that going in and accept it.  It is tapped for a tang sight and I tthink they are factory tapped by the location.  But won't know until I get it in hand and measure the spacing and thread pitch, which should be 10-28.  Here are a few more photos.

Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: Dave T on September 15, 2020, 05:53:32 PM
ndnchf,

That barrel chop and crown look to be very well done. That eases the disappointment a bit. (smile)

Dave
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: ndnchf on September 15, 2020, 06:56:00 PM
Yes, I agree. I'd love to have had a 30" barrel on it. But i'll be shooting no further than 200 yards. Its not for competition. Really its just the coolness factor of what it is. Bringing it back to life will be an honor and joy  :)
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: dusty texian on September 16, 2020, 10:23:06 AM
That is a Dandy , going to be fun watching you bring that one back to life . ,,,DT
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: Yellowhouse Sam on September 16, 2020, 07:06:22 PM
What markings are underneath the forend.  That will give clues to its original configuration.  Lucky you in that is a heavy weight barrel equal to the diameter of the action and will help dampen the recoil
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: ndnchf on September 17, 2020, 08:59:30 AM
What markings are underneath the forend.  That will give clues to its original configuration.  Lucky you in that is a heavy weight barrel equal to the diameter of the action and will help dampen the recoil

I should be receiving it next week.  That is one of the first things I'll look for. With the forend in place, only the "44S"caliber marking is visible.
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: The Pathfinder on September 18, 2020, 08:30:37 AM
ndnchf, I had one similar to that back in the 90's, but mine was marked 44W on the bottom of the barrel. Sadly it had been rechambered/rebored for 45-70, but still wore the original barrel. My barrel was only 26" long if I remember right.
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: ndnchf on September 18, 2020, 08:36:55 AM
ndnchf, I had one similar to that back in the 90's, but mine was marked 44W on the bottom of the barrel. Sadly it had been rechambered/rebored for 45-70, but still wore the original barrel. My barrel was only 26" long if I remember right.

Nice!  According to Roy Marcot's book. 44W was .44-40 Winchester. 
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: The Pathfinder on September 18, 2020, 10:15:36 AM
Yeah, that's what we figured at the time. If it had not been messed with I would never have let it go. Replaced it with a pair of 1870 NY State 50-70s, used my '74 Sharps for long range anyways and my Conn Peabody for military matches, so it's not like I don't have enough 45-70s.
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: ndnchf on September 22, 2020, 08:15:23 PM
My .44-77 sporting rifle arrived today. I'm very pleased with it. The bore is bright and shiney with only minor pitting. I doubt it has been apart for a good cleaning in 100 years. The action was full of crud. So I took it completely down for a gentle, but thorough cleaning, lubrication and inspection. Everything looks good, no big issues.

I slugged the bore. The grooves are .4495" at the muzzle, .4505" at the breech. Tomorrow I'll try to measure the lands.

I got 40 pieces of new 43 Spanish thick rim brass and sized one in a 43 Spanish sizer. Then expanded the neck to .446". It chambered nicely. I have 43 Mauser dies coming which should work fine.

I'd like to shoot paper patch bullets. I think they will shoot well in this bore.  ;D
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: ndnchf on September 23, 2020, 06:47:34 PM
I got the .44-77 all cleaned, oiled and back together. It was factory drilled and tapped for a tang sight. I happened to have a new Marbles sight on the shelf with Remington hole spacing, so I mounted it. Its not the same quality as vintage originals, but it will help my aging eyes.
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: Dave T on September 23, 2020, 07:00:37 PM
ndnchf,

What a fine old rifle. Looking forward to a report on how it shoots.

Dave
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: DeaconKC on September 23, 2020, 07:35:03 PM
Man, that is sweet! Congrats!
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: Coal Creek Griff on September 23, 2020, 10:59:45 PM
I don't know how much experience with loading the .44-77, but our own Ranch13 has a good deal of experience. He's been answering my questions and giving me advice regarding that.

CC Griff
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: ndnchf on September 24, 2020, 05:00:36 AM
Ive been doing a lot of research and read many of his helpful posts. This is my first .44-77, but Ive been loading PP and GG for my .40-70 sbn for many years. It is similar, but different. Each one is a new adventure!
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: dusty texian on September 25, 2020, 07:18:38 PM
My guess is it will do great with a good compressed load , it would be interesting to know the velocity difference between the shorter barrel and say a 30 " . My guess it is not that much . Sight radius would be more noticeable than the velocity . The tang sight is a big plus in that regard . Awesome old piece Amigo .,,,DT
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: ndnchf on September 28, 2020, 08:21:42 AM
Hindsight being 20-20, I should have done a chamber cast first.  Had I done that I would have discovered there is a very thin and old case neck stuck in the chamber!  It is thin enough that a resized case will slip inside it.  I noticed that the shoulder of the chamber appeared to be kind of abrupt, and I wondered about it.  My first trip to the range yesterday and a look at the fired case confirmed it.  With a closer look at the chamber with a magnifier, I can barely discern the case neck. 

I have the action stripped down, the bore plugged and the chamber soaking in Kroil for a couple days.  After soaking a while, I'll try the oversized bronze bore brush trick. If that doesn't work, I'll make a Cerrosafe chamber cast around it and try to knock it out.  If that doesn't work, I may try a slightly modified Springfield 45-70 broken shell extractor.

On the positive side, I only fired 4 rounds but they all hit the target at 50 yards  ;D 
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: Dave T on September 28, 2020, 09:07:33 AM
ndnchf,

I'm reminded of Robert Heinlein's TANSTAAFL (there ain't no such thing as a free lunch). Looking forward to following your journey as you get your 44-77 shooting properly.

Old guy in AZ rooting for you,
Dave
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: Blackpowder Burn on September 28, 2020, 06:44:23 PM
Off topic, but Heinlein is still my favorite...............
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: Yellowhouse Sam on September 29, 2020, 01:12:59 PM
Theres always the spray inside with something very cold then the brush.
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: ndnchf on October 02, 2020, 09:46:35 AM
I've tried the cold spray trick with an over sized bore brush - nope.  Then I made two different cerrosafe chamber casts. Then knocked them out hoping they would pull the piece out - nope.  I now have the bore plugged and the chamber filled with Bore Tech copper remover (ammonia free, and safe for barrel steel).  Since brass is made of a copper/zinc alloy, I want to see if it will break down the copper component, and weaken the case neck's grip.

But honestly, I'm starting to wonder if it is a brass case neck.  I cannot see a brass color to it, even on the edges.  Maybe its just many years of age/tarnish.  Or maybe its some type of steel sleeve, I'm just not sure.  As a way to test this, I put a .45 ACP case in a small container and covered it with the copper remover.  The liquid is starting to turn blue as expected from the copper dissolving. I'll gave the chamber another day or so to soak, then pour out the copper remover and see if it is turning blue.  If it is, then I'll assume it is a brass case neck. If not, then it  may be a piece of steel.??
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: ndnchf on October 03, 2020, 07:46:47 AM
After 2 days of soaking the chamber with the copper remover, I poured it out and compared it to fresh solution on the left, and solution with a 45 ACP case on the right.

The chamber solution is a light green, while the 45 solution is a deep blue, clearly indicating copper is being dissolved. If it was a brass case neck stuck in the chamber, I expected it to be more blue. But I'm no chemist, so not sure what to make of the results. But I put fresh solution in the chamber again and will let it soak for a couple more days. Maybe its an old attemp at some kind of chamber repair. Very odd.
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: Kent Shootwell on October 03, 2020, 09:40:31 AM
I feel your pain, sure looks like chamber sleeve gone bad.
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: Niederlander on October 03, 2020, 10:41:23 AM
I know it's not what you want to hear, but the upside of it is, if that barrel/chamber aren't salvageable, it would be an awesome rifle to rebarrel, with the obvious option you could make it whatever caliber you want.  Hope it works out for you this way, though.
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: ndnchf on October 03, 2020, 12:27:24 PM
Yes, I think bubba ran an end mill in there, then jammed a sleeve in there. Who knows why. But the bottom line is the chamber is toast. Since the barrel was cut back long ago, this might have been done at the same time. Since the barrel is butchered at both ends, a new barrel is probably my best path forward.  It would be nice to have a full 30" barreled .44-77.
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: Yellowhouse Sam on October 05, 2020, 09:24:18 AM
Well, you can re-sleeve, rebore or rebarrel  OR send it to C. Sharps and let them put you a new Green Mountain barrel on chambered in 44-70, 44-90 or 44-100.  That way you have a semblance of historic authenticity and you have easy to find brass (45-70; 45-90, and 45 2.6) .   I essentially had the same thing done to two sporters....one wound up 50-70 and the other 44-70.  C. Sharps does a fine job too and the barrels have a 7 degree chamber leade.
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: ndnchf on October 05, 2020, 09:40:14 AM
Well, you can re-sleeve, rebore or rebarrel  OR send it to C. Sharps and let them put you a new Green Mountain barrel on chambered in 44-70, 44-90 or 44-100.  That way you have a semblance of historic authenticity and you have easy to find brass (45-70; 45-90, and 45 2.6) .   I essentially had the same thing done to two sporters....one wound up 50-70 and the other 44-70.  C. Sharps does a fine job too and the barrels have a 7 degree chamber leade.

I've thought about that. I see they advertise Remington rolling block restoration work now.  Another option is to send it to JES Reboring to rebore to .50-70. The barrel would need to be set back about 1/2". Its about 22.5" now, so a 22" barrel wouldn't be much different.  That would salvage and keep the original barrel on it.
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: Dave T on October 05, 2020, 10:23:38 AM
ndnchf,

I liked the idea of your 44-77 but there's nothing wrong with a 50-70. That cartridge probably killed more buffalo than the 45-70 or the 44-77. There's a famous picture of Custer with his 50-70 RB (with a longer barrel) after a hunting trip in the Black Hills (I think). Anyway, it was a very popular cartridge in the early '70s.

Best of luck which ever way you go. Just keep us informed so we can live vicariously through your journey. (smile)

Dave
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: Drydock on October 05, 2020, 10:46:38 AM
A .50-70 Carbine is a fine thing indeed!


Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: ira scott on October 05, 2020, 09:59:23 PM
A nice Remington R. B. restoration story,    s://americanshootingjournal.com/remington-round-top-rolling-block-restored/?amp-wp-skip-redirect=1http

Mike
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: ndnchf on October 06, 2020, 07:45:38 AM
I AM fond of the .50-70, I have three .50-70 rifles already.  But the mystique of the .44-77 is alluring!  Reboring to .50-70 would also require the forearm screw tenon dovetail to be moved. The distance may not be enough for a full new dovetail, it may overlap the existing one.  So its another complication.  It I made it a .50-90, the barrel would not need to be set back, but it would be a bruiser carbine!

Green Mountain has a #4 profile .44-77 barrel with 1-17 twist that would be perfect.  This is a tempting way to go also.  I could go 30 or 32" length.  That would tame the .44-77 recoil nicely. 

Decisions, Decisions....

Ira - I'd like to read that article, but the link you provided didn't work for me.
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: Niederlander on October 06, 2020, 08:01:50 AM
Half octagon, half round barrels look really nice on Remingtons................just throwing it out there!
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: Kent Shootwell on October 06, 2020, 08:16:59 AM
Or you could have it full length sleeved and keep it a 44/77 with a bright new shiny bore and the the original outside.
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: Drydock on October 06, 2020, 09:10:04 AM
I'd go with a new barrel, and set the whole thing up just the way YOU want. 
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: Black River Smith on October 06, 2020, 12:06:37 PM
ndnchf,

I have been following this post since you first posted.  I was happy for you for such a great rifle find in a great caliber.  I am sorry you are having to go through all this extra expense and effort.   But if you have the time and means then I believe in keeping it as original as can be or back to its original 30" length.  Leaving it in it original 44/77 caliber.

I always wanted a 44/77 caliber Remington Rolling Block.
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: ndnchf on October 06, 2020, 12:57:12 PM
Yes, it is a bit disappointing. But I've been playing with old rifles for nearly 40 years and come to expect ups and downs with them.  At this point, I'm looking forward not back.  I've never had a .44-77, but find it very interesting from a historical perspective.  The short barrel is not ideal for this big cartridge. The opportunity to restore it to a 30" or 32" barrel would allow it to reach its real potential.  The Green Mountain barrel would be ideal.  My aging eyes can still use a good vernier sight. But at some point a period telescopic sight may be the way to go. I wouldn't feel bad drilling and tapping a new barrel vs an original barrel.  There are a lot of things to weigh in deciding which way to go  :P

 
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: Drydock on October 06, 2020, 06:50:05 PM
I'll be receiving a  Shiloh Sharps this week, that I ordered a couple of years ago.  One thing I specified was that it be drilled for the MVA Winchester "B" scope mounts, because I'm not going to get younger.  So the rifle can age right along with me.   I'd say you've got the right idea.
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: ndnchf on October 06, 2020, 06:58:36 PM
I'll be receiving a  Shiloh Sharps this week, that I ordered a couple of years ago.  One thing I specified was that it be drilled for the MVA Winchester "B" scope mounts, because I'm not going to get younger.  So the rifle can age right along with me.   I'd say you've got the right idea.

Old Sailors think alike!
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: Drydock on October 06, 2020, 08:47:25 PM
Indeed! 

(That's an outfit!  Would love to see that on the line at a Muster.)
Title: Re: #1 Remington Sporting rifle - .44-77
Post by: ndnchf on October 06, 2020, 08:57:28 PM
At the battle of Fort Fisher last January. A grand adventure :-)