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Old May 3, 2019, 04:41 PM   #1
velocette
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Join Date: May 25, 2007
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A summer's work

Summer in South Florida is the same as winter up north. We stay inside & stay cool while watching for hurrycanes. (sic sic sic)
Here is a (roughly) 1885 Whitney Rolling Block. Made by the Ely Whitney manufacturing company.
Originally chambered in .38 CFC (Center Fire Cartridge) a totally archaic round.
The bore was destroyed by rust so I had it re-lined in .32-20 WCF. It is fitted with a Leatherwood reproduction of an early type optic of 6x.
The rifle came from my grandfathers collection, I traded with my cousin to get the rifle.
You see about 6 months worth of work in refinishing the wood, cleaning all the metal parts with minimal re-browning as needed.
It shoots 2 ~ 3" groups at 100 yds with 120 grain lead bullets.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Whitney 2nd model 1 copy.jpg (46.5 KB, 110 views)
File Type: jpg Whitney 2nd model 2 copy.jpg (41.6 KB, 82 views)
File Type: jpg Whitney 2nd model 5 copy.jpg (68.1 KB, 71 views)
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Old May 4, 2019, 04:51 AM   #2
mag1911
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Looking good.
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Old May 4, 2019, 09:41 AM   #3
lamarw
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You have obviously put a lot of research, work and some money in restoring this oldie but goodie. It is looking great, and you have done it right. Congrats for the payoff of the time and effort.

I acquired an old Remington Rolling Block Modelo Argentino 1879 a few months ago. It is the .43 Spanish caliber version. I finally obtained some ammunition, brass and reloading dies.
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Old May 4, 2019, 05:36 PM   #4
jdc606
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Back in the day

@ lamarw... like one of these? Back in the day, $35 is like $275 today.
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Old May 5, 2019, 06:42 AM   #5
Mike Irwin
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Your rifle was likely originally chambered in .38 Centerfire Long. It was a pretty common, and relatively popular, rifle cartridge around the time your rifle was made, but died out by around 1900.

It was, essentially, identical to the .38 Long Colt and, from what I understand, could be used interchangeably with that round.

Some of those rifles were also "convertible" in that they could be set to fire either the centerfire round or the similar .38 Long Rimfire.
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Old May 5, 2019, 10:57 AM   #6
velocette
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The rifle has .38 CFC stamped on the underside of the barrel just forward of the foregrip.
The rifle would chamber a .38 S&W round. Definitely the early .38 caliber which was .375" not the ..357 of the "real" .38s.
Don't have a clue as to why Whitney used .38 CFC unless it was to avoid using someone elses cartridge name. The rifle works just fine with mild loads of Accurate 1680 propellant and Missouri's 120 gr .314" RNFP bullet.
The rifle did NOT like black powder, shooting patterns no matter what bullet I used. l
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_1365.JPG (52.3 KB, 30 views)
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Old May 6, 2019, 08:15 AM   #7
Mike Irwin
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.38 Centerfire Long was originally loaded with a heel-based bullet, giving it a .375-caliber bullet, the same as the .38 Rimfire. It wasn't uncommon for rifles in this time frame to have generous chambers, and these days it's also not uncommon for the .38 S&W to be a tad bit undersized to the point where it can sometimes chamber in a .38 Special revolver.


Around the time your rifle was manufactured, Colt offered revolvers chambered in (and marked)...

.38 Colt Centerfire, which meant that guns so marked would chamber either .38 Long Colt or .38 Short Colt.

So, again, my guess is that your rifle was originally chambered in .38 Long/Short Colt and this was Whitney's way of establishing that it was chambered for the Center Fire Colt cartridge.

Both rounds were extremely popular around the time your rifle was made.
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Old May 6, 2019, 05:46 PM   #8
velocette
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Thank you Mike, I'm adding your information to the folder I have to document the rifle. These old rifles are a lot of fun to 'resurrect' & enjoy today.
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Old May 7, 2019, 06:35 AM   #9
Mike Irwin
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Nice job on the rifle, by the way. Very attractive piece of kit.

And excellent choice on the new cartridge. I LOVE the .32s, and am VERY fond of the .32-20.

I have a Smith and a Colt, both chambered in .32-20, and I've been looking at adding a rifle chambered for that round for some time. I'd like either a Marlin or a Remington slide action, but no success so far.
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Old May 7, 2019, 08:56 AM   #10
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Yep!

Very nice.
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