1889 Swedish Rolling Block

Updated Sept. 22, 2009
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Was this a nice day or what?

This is the same rifle as depicted below. My friend Earl in Ohio carved and fitted the stocks. I installed the Marble's tang sight. It still needs some work as the front sight is too tall. The barrel will be shortened, a new front sight will be dovetailed directly into the barrel, and some trigger and spring work to reduce the trigger pull.

For the time being I'm leaving the soldered dovetail on the barrel for the old express sights. It looks real interesting as a rear base for a scope mount.

This is some very pretty native Ohio fiddleback walnut.

That's 14 shots total. Ten shots into one hole. Yes, surprised me, too. I can't put 10 shots into one hole with a scoped Mauser.
I have to say I sure like that Marble's tang sight.

You'll notice the load data isn't anything to brag about. Its a fairly moderate and typical cast bullet load using Alliant Unique. I use a lot of Unique for cast bullet rifle shooting as it produces excellent results. I've not chronographed this load but I'd imagine it produces about 1,400 feet per second.


Probably more common in the U.S. now than the 1867 sporters are these 8mm sporters built from m/1867-89 military rifles. Caliber is 8x58R Danish, commonly referred to as 8x58RD.

This model rolling block is probably one of the finest built, IMO, as they're proofed for smokeless powder, had new heattreated breechblocks and hammers installed as well as the improved pivoting extractor and a firing pin retractor built into the breechblock. The receivers themselves were also re-heattreated.

A major flaw of the 1867 Remington design was the firing pin sometimes became rusted in place or otherwise stuck protruding from the face of the breechblock, which resulted in firing out of battery when the breechblock was slammed shut on a loaded cartridge. Not fun!

The new firing pin retractor is sometimes mistakingly referred to as a loaded chamber indicator, as a by-product it does stick up and can be felt without looking when a cartridge is in the chamber. It also serves to vent escaping gases better than the older design.

Make no mistake, these rifles are still an over 100 year old design and shouldn't be expected to preform like a modern rifle. Pay heed!

As with the 12.7mm caliber 1867 rifles, we have buttstock variations with the 1889 model. The rifle on top, a Gustaf 1872, has the standard 1867 buttstock shape. The rifle on the bottom, a Gustaf 1875, has a much different high comb configuration than even the 1874 buttstock. This is the only one of these stocks I've seen so far. Its most certainly a military stock as it had the disc hole filled.

As with the 12.7mm rifles, when these 8mm rifles were commercially converted (sporterized)the military sights
were discarded and these simple sporting sights installed.

The bead sight on the right is quite nice.

Two leaf "express" rear sight. I've seen some variation with 3 leaf sights showing up.

I'm pretty sure the rifle on the left had the barrel shortened further as this crown sucks canal water!!!

Surprisingly, its the more accurate of the two.

Typical barrel markings on the m/1889 rifles.

Right side of barrel shows conversion s/n and date, 1893. The forearm also has this conversion date
along with the military inspector's initials.

The 8mm sporters are usually in much better condition than the 12.7mm sporters.The actions on both these rifles are very tight and smooth with excellent bores.

You simply cannot find a better, more worthy rolling block to purchase as a "shooter"than these Swedish rifles. With prices in the $400 (very dated price) range they represent a solid and beautiful rifle with which to explore the wonderously simple rifle action who's ambience you can hold in your hands and shoot.

They're alot of fun!

The top rifle, Gustaf 1872, has the locking screws for the pivot pins.

The bottom rifle, Gustaf, 1875, has the Remington style plate to retain the pivot pins.

This close-up of the left side of the receiver shows the plugged hole for the old sliding extractor.

This close-up shows the matching serial numbers on the receiver, breechblock and hammer.
It also shows the new screw through the orignal serial number for the pivoting extractor.

This shows where the sporter sling swivels were attached.
I've yet to remove the excess solder and cold blue.

An original, and beautiful, m/1867-89 Swedish rolling block made by Carl Gustaf in 1876 and converted to 8x58RD in 1892.
Note the buttstock configuration is the 1874 high comb variation.

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D.L.van den Brink
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