Author Topic: 1871 Springfield rolling block  (Read 858 times)

Offline Kent Shootwell

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1871 Springfield rolling block
« on: February 01, 2022, 11:24:18 PM »
Spotted this in a shop at what I think is a very reasonable price. Looked to be in good shape with a fine bore so I passed it up. Now for the low underhanded part, I told my buddy about it. To dangle this rifle in front of him is like shooting fish in a barrel!  Hours later he calls and says he bought it! I now have it in hand to check over and clean while he’s looking to get 50/70 dies and brass so WE can shoot it. It is a dandy rifle and I should feel ashamed of myself. But I don’t!!
 ::)
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Offline Major 2

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Re: 1871 Springfield rolling block
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2022, 01:21:22 AM »
Been there, done that  :)

In my case it was a Krag
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Offline Kent Shootwell

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Re: 1871 Springfield rolling block
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2022, 12:17:00 PM »
Put some WD40 on the crud and wiped some of it off. It’s in better shape then I thought and after a bit more soaking I’ll disassemble it. Some nitwit used steel wool on it and took off what was a lot of color case colors. At least he didn’t sand paper the stock!
IMG_0828 by Oliver Sudden, on Flickr
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Offline Trailrider

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Re: 1871 Springfield rolling block
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2022, 03:40:10 PM »
Does this one have the automatic safety when you close the breechblock?
Ride to the sound of the guns, but watch out for bushwhackers! Godspeed to all in harm's way in the defense of Freedom! God Bless America!

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Offline Kent Shootwell

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Re: 1871 Springfield rolling block
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2022, 06:53:48 PM »
Yes it does, and a mechanically retracted firing pin.
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Re: 1871 Springfield rolling block
« Reply #5 on: Today at 01:55:44 PM »

Offline Kent Shootwell

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Re: 1871 Springfield rolling block
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2022, 10:09:32 AM »
Got to shoot it yesterday with 480 grain bullet and 60 grains of 2fg. A gong at 50 yards on a windy day gave a satisfying ding. This is a weird rifle, you cock it to load then have to cock it again to fire. That’s because when the breech is closed the hammer drops slightly to lock the breech. Then you have to bring it to full cock from this mostly cocked position. I like light triggers on any gun so this one was quite the test to me. My buddy shot it first and the trigger pull had him struggling as well. Even with his comment about how heavy it is I had to stop and take another breath of air before getting it to fire! It’s a very well built rifle and shoots to the sights as best you can tell from our plinking. Recoil with this 50/70 is like a kiss on the cheek. He’s figuring that he’ll take it to the collectors show next month and sell or trade it already.
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Offline Trailrider

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Re: 1871 Springfield rolling block
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2022, 10:57:10 AM »
Why?
Ride to the sound of the guns, but watch out for bushwhackers! Godspeed to all in harm's way in the defense of Freedom! God Bless America!

Your obedient servant,
Trailrider,
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Southern District
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Offline Dave T

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Re: 1871 Springfield rolling block
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2022, 04:52:22 PM »
This is a weird rifle, you cock it to load then have to cock it again to fire. That’s because when the breech is closed the hammer drops slightly to lock the breech. Then you have to bring it to full cock from this mostly cocked position.

Kent,

That description of the action's function sounds exactly like the New York State Militia 50-70 rifle I once owned.  I read up on it years ago and the memory is that  modification was requested by the State of New York as a safety feature.  They were apparently afraid of their troops being able lower the hammer on a loaded chamber without accidents.  Seems like New York hasn't changed what they think of us, the unwashed and incapable lower ranks.  (smile)

Dave

Offline Niederlander

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Re: 1871 Springfield rolling block
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2022, 06:08:35 PM »
It's not a lot different than the people who insist on bringing a Trapdoor to half cock (instead of full cock) to load it.  Why?  Your finger is nowhere near the trigger while you load, and it just adds another step to the firing process.
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Offline Lucky R. K.

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Re: 1871 Springfield rolling block
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2022, 09:25:49 AM »

If you are good with working springs you can grind the hammer spring to relieve some of the stiffness. You can also put in a weaker spring for the trigger. I did this to my 7MM action and got the trigger pull down to a reliable, crisp 3-1/2 Lb. pull.
Lucky
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Re: 1871 Springfield rolling block
« Reply #10 on: Today at 01:55:44 PM »

Offline Trailrider

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Re: 1871 Springfield rolling block
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2022, 11:05:13 AM »
Kent,

That description of the action's function sounds exactly like the New York State Militia 50-70 rifle I once owned.  I read up on it years ago and the memory is that  modification was requested by the State of New York as a safety feature.  They were apparently afraid of their troops being able lower the hammer on a loaded chamber without accidents.  Seems like New York hasn't changed what they think of us, the unwashed and incapable lower ranks.  (smile)

Dave

At one time, I had both a NYSM .50-70 Carbine and later a rifle. Or was it visa versa? Anyway, I sold them...and I've been sorry ever since!
Ride to the sound of the guns, but watch out for bushwhackers! Godspeed to all in harm's way in the defense of Freedom! God Bless America!

Your obedient servant,
Trailrider,
Bvt. Lt. Col. Commanding,
Southern District
Dept. of the Platte, GAF

Offline Kent Shootwell

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Re: 1871 Springfield rolling block
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2022, 11:17:28 AM »
Lucky, I’m quick to “fix” replica or junker guns to make them shootable but an original piece in good condition I won’t. A large part of my interest in old guns is to understand them as they where used. Once altered the next guy will not get a clear picture of how it really was back in the day.
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Offline DJ

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Re: 1871 Springfield rolling block
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2022, 12:11:39 PM »
Nice-looking rifle--looks like it has a unit/inventory number added on the left side of the receiver ring.  A lot of these rifles were apparently never issued, but the marking suggests that it was used by somebody--likely a military unit, but also possibly a school or some kind of cadet or militia organization.

If you want to improve the trigger pull for shooting purposes, you could always get lighter replacement main and trigger springs and reinstall the unaltered originals when you sell it or are called up for active service.

--DJ

Offline Lucky R. K.

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Re: 1871 Springfield rolling block
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2022, 08:40:20 AM »

Lucky, I’m quick to “fix” replica or junker guns to make them shootable but an original piece in good condition I won’t.


I agree with that thought Kent. I picked up my Rolling Block at a gun show. The barrel was shot out and the military style stock looked like it had been used to chop wood. The 7MM smokeless action however was in excellent shape except for the trigger pull. I put a 30" Badger barrel in 18 twist, 40-65 caliber onto the action and added a buttstock and forend from Treebone Carving. I used it to shoot silhouettes until I got too old to get up off the mat. I still use it for 200 yd. bench shooting at our local club.
Lucky  ;D
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