View Full Version : .22 Rolling Block Rifle?

November 26, 2009, 09:10 AM
Hi, this is my first post but I have spent some time looking around and this looks like a great gun forum with lots of information. That being said I have recently found a small .22 that I guess is a falling or rolling block rifle. It appears to be a youth rifle. The barrel is 15 inches long and with out the butt stock it is 19.25 inches long . It is missing part of the firing mechanism. I am looking for information on what it is and if I can get parts or blueprints for the missing peice or peices. Below are the pictures I hope.http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg178/investigator21/100_0442.jpg

Thanks for any information.

Jim Watson
November 26, 2009, 09:32 AM
It looks more like a break action than a falling or rolling block.
I cannot identify the make.

I will point out that the minimum legal barrel length for a rifle is 16 inches.

November 26, 2009, 09:53 AM
I'm not sure about the legal measuring of the barrel . But I beleive the missing part of the action will also count as part of the barrel, making it a touch over 16". Thanks for the reply, Have a great Thanksgiving.

November 26, 2009, 11:03 AM
It's most likely a 6mm Flobert, and it's missing it's breech block. And JW is right, this would not be a legal gun to own in the US if you complete it. You can build a SBR with a $200 tax stamp, but you can't get a tax stamp for a gun that probably predates the SBR rules and should have been registered at the time.

Mike Irwin
November 26, 2009, 12:31 PM
In a break open gun, barrel length does not include the firing mechanism, only the barrel proper.

November 26, 2009, 12:49 PM
Thanks for the replys! Any suggestions on what to do to just make it a wall hanger. EG. plug the barrel or somthing else? Thanks again.

November 26, 2009, 03:09 PM
I think the BTAF boys have more than enough to worry about than to bust in your door over a very rusty and corroded non-firing relic. Non firing and there are no parts available to make it fireable. Right now it is a "non" firearm. JMHO

November 26, 2009, 05:53 PM
BATF only gets involved with working firearms. As long as you don't put a breech block in it's like a parts kit. You can have all but one part.

November 26, 2009, 06:21 PM
[I beleive the missing part of the action will also count as part of the barrel, making it a touch over 16".]

Not withstanding it being a non-working gun right now, as Mike pointed out above, you are in error.

The Feds measure barrel length via droppoing a solid rod downbore until it contacts the face of the closed breech mechanism, whatever beit, marking it at the muzzle, then withdrawing it to measure the marked length.

With a break-open gun like that one, in the absence of breech mechanish/block, the lenght would be from the muzzle to the rear end of the barrel at the rear of the chamber.

15" is too short.


James K
November 26, 2009, 11:19 PM
That is an old Flobert rifle, is in terrible condition, and is really worthless. Parts are not available, and having them made would be so costly as to be absurd. I can't see ATF worrying about such a gun, but unless it is an antique, it would still come under the NFA, operable or not.

FWIW, it is not a rolling block or falling block. That cylindrical housing originally contained a breechblock (bolt) with a firing pin and spring. The bolt also had a cam to lock the gun closed. There was a short handle that worked in the slot in the housing. To open the gun, the shooter moved the handle up, rotating the bolt and unlocking the gun. The gun probably opened with spring tension but might have been opened manually. In any case, opening the gun allowed the spring operated extractor to kick the empty cartridge out of the chamber. When a fresh cartridge was loaded into the chamber, the gun was closed and the bolt handle moved back down, rotating the bolt and locking the gun. The pressure of firing was resisted by the bolt handle in the slot and by the heavy hammer, not by a standing breech like a conventional break open shotgun.

To fire, the hammer was pulled back to full cock and the trigger pulled in the normal manner.


November 27, 2009, 06:12 AM
Jim thank you for the information. It is what I was most curious about. I will dispose of the gun as I do not want even a hint of impropriety as my many LEO friends would never let me forget it. And it could affect my part time job.

Thanks again

Jim Watson
November 27, 2009, 08:12 AM
Thanks, Jim. I had not seen one before and could not visualize the operation from what was left. A hammer fired top break bolt action, actually.

December 2, 2009, 03:01 PM
"FWIW, it is not a rolling block or falling block"

Jim, any idea how the original type of action is called?

James K
December 2, 2009, 10:35 PM
Those guns were usually just called Floberts or improved Floberts. It is not a bolt action as the "bolt" doesn't move back and forth, just turns. Loading and ejection is done when the gun breaks open at the hinge.

The original Flobert fired a rimfire round with nothing to prevent the cartridge from blowing out of the chamber but the heavy hammer, which had the firing pin made into the face of the hammer. That was OK for a round with about the power of a BB Cap, but when super power cartridges like the .22 Short came along, a better breech system was required. One way was to do what was done there, make a cheap circular receiver that would hopefully hold up to the more powerful rounds. On that gun, it looks like the breech block was backed up by the old type heavy hammer, so it might have been OK (for a while at least).


December 4, 2009, 03:11 PM
Thanks for the info Jim.
Overhere (Holland) they were also called Floberts, and indeed of different types of actions. The one with the heavy hammer I remember having seen, with the pivot point very close to the barrel and a "nose" type striker on the bottom of the hammer.
Would the action in question qualify as a transfer breechblock action?
Transfer because the striking function would have to be transferred by the block?

James K
December 4, 2009, 04:32 PM
I suppose it could have been called that, but the term "Transfer bar" is usually applied to the type of action where the transfer bar is interposed between the hammer and the firing pin when the trigger is deliberately pulled. The idea is to prevent a blow on the hammer from firing the gun or the gun from firing if dropped on the hammer.

It is possible that the action in question has some means of doing that or that the missing breechblock also acts as a safety device, but with the part missing it is hard to tell exactly how it was used. I saw one that had a top lever something like that to lock the action, but maybe something else locks the gun shut and the breechblock acts as a safety.

We just don't have enough information to tell how it worked and I have never seen one exactly like it.

When the basic Flobert actions proved inadequate for the new cartridges, the Liege gunmakers went to work and, as usual, produced not one system but many, with each small maker going his own way. One could build a considerable collection of just Belgian Flobert rifles, and probably have a thousand different ones. With everything else in the firearms line going up in price and well documented, maybe Floberts will be next. A few collections, a slick paper book, and they could be the next Paterson Colts.


December 4, 2009, 08:40 PM
I guess my age is telling.

What you have is a Hamilton #27 boys rifle. In the early fifties , young boys could get one by selling Cloverine Salve.

I happen to have one I got from a friend who sold the stuff. The bolt which is missing in your rifle, held the tip up acton closed by caming down on the ejector. Not a very secure lock up especially since the pivot would wear quickly.

On the left side of your piece if you gently clean the rust you will see the logo:

The Hamilton Rifle No27 .22 Cal.
patented oct30 1900-aug13.1907
MFD C.U. Hamilton & Son
Plymouth Mich USA

If I can figure out how to post a pic, I will.

December 4, 2009, 08:54 PM
One of the best rust removal solutions I've come across is molasses diluted 9-1 with water. This solution will remove the rust and not hurt the base metal. It will also remove bluing as that is a form of iron oxide just like rust is. The old engine restorer's use the stuff on antique engine parts with no adverse effects.

December 4, 2009, 10:35 PM
If this works,here's a pic of mine;

December 11, 2009, 06:42 AM
Goldy , Thank you for the information. You have finally taken care of my curiousity. The pic works fine. Have a great day!

December 11, 2009, 09:33 PM
Please don't destroy that Hamilton!!! If you want to sell it, let me know. I have two of the little charms & would like some spare parts. I believe the barrel lenght is of no legal threat due to the age of the rifle and the fact it was manufactured & sold as a "boys rifle" - not cut down after mfg. It should have a brass rifled insert in the barrel. Let me know please.

December 18, 2009, 05:42 AM
Sorry Bop. Gun has been disposed of.