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Old October 26, 1998, 12:51 AM   #1
Join Date: October 6, 1998
Location: My wife's house...
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Have a #5 military carbine in 7mm Spanish Mauser, c. 1897. Same was originally available in a .43 Spanish. Have seen a 50/70 conversion. Also want to convert mine to a larger bore cartridge.


1. Will this action withstand using a 45/100 or 50/100 black powder cartridge load? If not what is the maximum safe BP load with this receiver?

2. Does anyone have personal experience with such conversion, or can recommend a specialty shop for same?

3. Any experiences with an outfit that is called "The Springfield Minuteman" (previously of PA, now of NC/SC)? If so, please comment on the quality of any work or service received.

[This message has been edited by Mykl (edited 10-26-98).]
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Old October 26, 1998, 10:28 AM   #2
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If you're sure it's a No. 5 action you should be alright. The No. 5 was designed for smokeless cartridges. I've got a No. 1 that has an old Numrich Arms conversion kit on it in .45/70 and I love shooting it. I download to about 1250 out of my chronograph. At 100 yds you can shoot then hear the hit just under a second later. With my inadequate eyesight I've shot about 2" groups with it on windless days benchrested. As for conversions, try asking some of the local cowboy shooters for references on this conversion as this is a good CAS or blackpowder cartridge silhouette round.
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Old October 26, 1998, 11:06 PM   #3
Join Date: October 6, 1998
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Thanks for the come-back. It's the gin-U-wine thing alright. It even came with the original roller and clip hardware to connect the saddlering on the receiver to a bandelero type cavalry sling. SN checks out as 1897 mfg.

The 7mm bore is in fair to poor condition. Probably safe to shoot with BP or reduced loads & lead bullets, but why do that when a much bigger thud is just a barrel away? I'm been giving a lot of thought to making my own 50/100 cartridges from B.E.L.L cases. But since such cartridges were originally only available in Sharps buffalo guns and such falling block ilk, I'm wary of over stressing the rolling block and have that widow-maker case zip back thru my cheekbone.

Just trying to find out where the margin of safety lies in this iteration of the rolling block design.

[This message has been edited by Mykl (edited 10-26-98).]
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Old October 27, 1998, 12:12 PM   #4
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Don't know what the going rate for one is but I know that with the accessory hardware it's probably worth some money. Would it be more economical to sell it and buy a Pedersoli or one of the reproductions or a even a kit and build one.
Whatever you end up with I'd stick with a .45 cal. as bullets are easy to get if you don't cast your own. Go to about any gunshow or gunshop/sporting goods store and if they sell reloading supplies chances are they have 405gr. 45 bullets. 45/70's can also be backbored to shoot .45/90.
As to the strength of the action, the rolling block is actually stronger than the falling block. The rolling block was considered the strongest action in it's day. That is why all the long distance shooters (Creedmores, etc) chose it over the falling blocks.
If I had the bucks I'd love to get a Shiloh Sharps. You can get them in just about any of the old calibers you want but they start at about $1500 and go up from there plus there is supposed to be about a two year wait on them. I know a guy who has one that he uses in black powder cartridge silhouette and it's beautiful. I believe they have a website if you want to look. Sorry I don't have the url.
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Old November 4, 1998, 10:17 AM   #5
Trapdoor Billy
Join Date: October 11, 1998
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I agree on not making the conversion. Carbine as you describe should be left alone. The number 5 Action will handle the BP rounds with no problem. I have a 1902
that I refer to as a 7mm Remington Improved Mauser, Keyholes, backs out primers, this one I am interested in converting.
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Old May 7, 2001, 10:34 PM   #6
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I'm looking for info on .45-110's. Any source you can give- or load info- will be appreciated, as well as personal experience.
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Old May 7, 2001, 11:30 PM   #7
Doc Hudson
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With a sound gun, and blackpowder, don't worry. Fill the case and aim true.

To allay any fears regarding the strength of the Rolling block action, I will quote a passage from Harold L. Peterson's The Treasury of the Gun (C. 1962 Golden Press) pg. 182 & 184.

"With the ammunition available it was literally impossible to blow out a Remington (Rolling Blocks) breech. Certainly the Belgians tried. In the world renowned proving house at Liege, Belgium, a .50-caliber Remington (Probably a .50-70) was loaded with seven hundred and fifty grains of black powder, forty balls and two wads so that the barrel was completely full and would hold no more -- a charge more than thirty-six inches long. It was fired and the director of proof noted laconically that "nothing extraordinary occurred."

(Parenthetical remarks added for clarification. LMH)

I do not recommend any one attempt to duplicate the proof test, and if you do, I disavow any connection to the experiment. Neither would I use modern +P and Magnum .45-70 loads in a Rolling Block, nor would I attempt to hot-rod a .45-70 nor a .50-70 or .50-110 with smokeless powder. But with today's modern metallurgy, I doubt if you will hurt a Rolling Block reproduction with blackpowder, nor place undue stress on an original gun.

BTW, I agree with FAL308 and Trapdoor Billy about not converting your No. 5 Carbine. You'd never realize as much on a converted rifle as you could make on one in original condition.

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Old May 8, 2001, 10:48 AM   #8
Alex Johnson
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I don't know what the worth on your carbine is, I've seen some .43 spanish rolling blocks going for about $300-400 around local gunshows. With time and money and a lot of skilled work, you could build the rifle of your dreams off of your old rolling block. Action modifications could stretch the limits of your imagination. I have no doubt that the end result could put any of the modern rolling blocks to shame as far as looks go. But than again, it would cost money. If you know what your doing you could do much of the work yourself and than let the appropriate gunsmith(s) finish the work to your specs, this would save money. In the end if you just want a shooter I would probably consider buying a new Pedersoli, these are really nice, if you want the 50-110 than it would be cheaper to rebarrel the Pedersoli to this caliber than it would be to make the modifications on your own gun.
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Old February 2, 2006, 09:43 PM   #9
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Loading the 7X57 for the Rolling block

I've got an early 1901 rolling block which is pretty much the same as yours. Mine does have a nice bore. I've been shooting 140 grain cast with gas checks in front of 20 grains of IMR4198. This load clocks at 1750 fps and is pretty darn accurate. There is very little recoil. Now there is a problem with reloading for the old 7x57 rolling block. The chambers are pretty loose length wise, so the head spacing is pretty sloppy. Of course with excessive headspace after a very few reloads you get cases coming apart. What I did was to make my 7X57 cases from 270 or 30-06 cases. When first setting up I kept the sizing die long and kept trying the case in the chamber, then size again till I got a good full chamber fit, then locked down the sizing die so it would be ready next time. I have also use these cases with jacketed bullets, being mindful of possible reduced case capacity. Forgot to mention, gotta trim the reformed cases to length to. The rolling block in 7X57 is fun to shoot, just have to take a few pains with the ammo
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