1867 Swedish Rolling Block

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Shown above are two Swedish rolling block sporters as exactly as they arrived from Sweden.
The rifle on top was built at Carl Gustafs Gevärfaktori in Eskilstuna, Sweden in 1875.
This is the same factory that built the famous 1896 Mauser. The lower rifle was built by
Husqvarna in 1870.

These types of rifles have been imported into the U.S. in moderate numbers in the last few years
so that they're now much more common than ever before. The caliber of these rifles is 12.7x44R centerfire.
The rimfire military version was called the 12.17x42R. The centerfire versions are civilian as the Swedish
military never used the centerfire cartridge. In American cartridge nominclature this cartidge equates to
.50-75-350 or .50-70-450 depending on what bullet/power combination you use. Its a moderately powerful cartridge
but falls short when compaired to the .50-90 Sharps or .50-110 Winchester. It is very similar but not identical
to the U.S. .50-70 Gov't cartridge used during the same historical era. The 12.7x44R is actually more handloader
friendly than the .50-70 as cases may be more easily reformed from .348 Winchester cases. The .50-70 has a
significantly larger head diamter than the 12.7x44R.

See this page ~here~ for cursory handloading information.

Except for the markings, the right sides are the same.

Both these rifles have been fired with blackpowder handloads.
They both have tight actions and function perfectly.

The left side shows the different method used to retain the pivot pins.
The Carl Gustaf rifle on top has the Remington-stype retaining plate, while
the Husqvarna uses locking screws unique to Swedish rifles. Prior to 1875,
the Gustaf rifles also used the locking screws.

This date cut-off for pivot pin retainers is not a hard date, just the
result of rifles I've observed.

When these rifles were converted (sporterized) by a private company,
the original military sights were discarded and these simple sporting
sights installed.

They're not good for much!

The rifle on the right could benefit from a new crown.

The buttstock configuration is where things get interesting.

Note the difference in comb height. The top rifle, Gustaf 1875, has the 1874 buttstock configuration unique to that model. The lower rifle has the standard Remington 1867 shape.

Rifles manufactured by Remington had still another buttplate than the Swedes used with more curvature and a large ell on top.

Every rifle I've seen so far has had upper sling swivels like this one soldered onto the barrel
way out in front of the forarm.

They're easy to remove using a simple propane torch, a smooth mill file to remove the
remaining solder from the barrel, some 280 and 400 grit crocus and emory cloth, followed
by a couple applications of Oxpho Blue with steel wool.

This photo shows typical barrel markings found on top of the barrel
directly in front of the receiver.

Only the Gustaf rifle has these inspector initials on the right side
of the barrel in front of the receiver.

The forarm attachment is via this small square nail.
Very simple, but it works.

I've been told this nail is
a horse shoe nail....?

When discussing rolling block actions, the term "sliding extractor" comes up.
This is what is meant by that term.

On the left side of the chamber, the extractor simply slides out to extract
the case. Its accuated by the breechblock.

The 1889 model upgrade included a new design for the extractor. So called
"pivoting extractor". Still accuated by the breechblock but with more leverage
for postive extraction.

To the left of the firing pin, which is actually below it, you can see
where the old rimfire firing pin hole was plugged when it was converted
to centerfire.

This is an original Carl Gustaf 1867-74 musket. It has been converted to centerfire.
The original barrel finish was browning. This rifle is dated 1874.

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copyright 2004
D.L.van den Brink
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or used without written permission.