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Thread: Developement of the 12.7 X 44R cartridge?

  1. #1

    Default Developement of the 12.7 X 44R cartridge?

    I am researching, or attempting to research, the origins of the two 12.7 mm cartridges that were featured in the Remington m67 as part of a study of the development of American rounds of the period 1865-1873.

    The Joslyn .50-60 rimfire first appears in the Springfield-Joslyn rifle of 1865. This arm was an evolution of the 1864 Joslyn cavalry carbine chambered in the Spencer round. Somebody must have felt that the Spencer round was too weak for an infantry rifle and developed a longer more powerful round. The .50-60 Joslyn round next appears under the name .50-60 Peabody in a Peabody rifle adopted in Canada in 1866.

    In America a .50-70 rimfire round was tried in the Allin conversion rifle, but by 1870 was changed to a cental fire round using the BENET inside priming system. By 1873 the US Army decided that the .45 calibre, that was initially part of earlier trials, was a better round resulting in the adoption of the famous .45-70 Government round.

    The adoption by Sweden of the Remington leaves me with some questions;
    1. Was the calibre selected by Sweden or presented as a package by Remington?
    2. If a Swedish decision, is there any record of the process, trials, Ordnance boards, etc. Can any references be found in English?
    3. Was the Remington action adopted to provide a conversion system for use of existing components?
    4. What was the type and calibre of the issue infantry rifle prior to the Remington?

    P.S; After hearing from BMF, I include Norway as part of the selection process for this cartridge.


    Any help will be appreciated.
    Last edited by Carlos16; 06-09-2010 at 07:00 PM. Reason: New information

  2. #2
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    I have a book were the trials / developments are described. It's in norwegian, but I can translate the relevant passages for you. Maybe tomorrow evening. In the meantime here's a couple of links for you.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12.17_x_44_mm
    http://www.svartkrutt.net/articles/vis.php?id=3

  3. #3
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    Carlos16,
    I am always interested in the development of these Scandinavian cartridges.
    How will we be able to find out the results of your research?
    Also, while you are doing your research perhaps you could also investigate why the Danish who also obtained rolling blocks in about the same time-frame went with the 11.7X42R which is just about identical to the 45/70.

    Regards, John

  4. #4

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    I've thought about the Danish RB cartridge, but as my heritage is Swedish, I kinda overlooked them. It is a good question, and I invite any Danes that can assist to chime in.

    BMF; The links , especially the wikipedia article, are helping me get started.

    I submit an ocassional article to THE SHOOTIST, a publication of The National Congress of Old West Shootists. I due course, I can make it available. Please don't hold your breath!

  5. #5
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    Note that 12.7 X 44R is not the correct name for the Norwegian-Swedish military cartridge that was used in the Remington rolling block neither is, for example, 12.17 x 44. These are civilian names for the cartridge. It was originally called "4''' (linjer) Remington", and from 1879 it was officially designated "12 mm Remington". The name change was due to the introduction of the metric system in Norway.

    Was the calibre selected by Sweden or presented as a package by Remington?

    Please note that the development of the 12 mm Remington was a joint effort between the armies of Norway and Sweden at that time united.

    The cartridge was probably inspired by the American .5070 Government. However, Norway and Sweden had huge amounts of kammerlader rifles and muzzleloaders that had to be converted to breech loaders. Especially Sweden had large piles of new Model 1860 Wredes muzzleloading rifles. The barrel used in the Norwegian and Swedish rolling block rifles is a similar to that of the Wredes and this is why the bullet diameter is slightly smaller compared to the .5070.

    If a Swedish decision, is there any record of the process, trials, Ordnance boards, etc. Can any references be found in English?

    The only reference in English Im aware of is the yearbook of the Norwegian Army Museum from 1966 (?) which has a short English summary on the history of the Norwegian Remington rolling block.

    Was the Remington action adopted to provide a conversion system for use of existing components?

    Yes, the Swedish Wredes rifles were converted to the rolling blocks, and some Swedish kammerlader rifles may also have been converted. An insignificant number of the Norwegian kammerlader rifles were converted to the rolling block system, but the majority was converted to breech loaders using Landmarks system (Navy) and Lunds system (Army). The Lund and Landmark rifles used the 12 mm Remington cartridge.

    What was the type and calibre of the issue infantry rifle prior to the Remington?

    Norway: Model 1860 4''' two and three band kammerlader rifles
    Sweden: 12.17 mm Model 1860 Wredes muzzleloading rifles and some kammerlader rifles.

  6. #6
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    I see you allready got answers to your questions. I can only fill in a little about the commission and it’s work. It was established on the 5. Of October 1866, and the members were: (from Norway) Lt.Col. Landmark (the director of Kongsberg armory), Cpt. Grner and Cpt. Sommerschield. From Sweden: Col. Feilitzen, Lt.col. Abelin and Maj. Fries. Their mission was to come up with a new riflemodell for both nations armies, and a common chamber and caliber. And also to examin possible convertions of older rifles. During the trials, about every available rifle were considered. The two remaining candidates were Peabodys and Remingtons rifles. Remingtons had fewer parts and were slightly cheaper to manufacture, so it was the winner.
    The following passage is a translation of a part of the chapter about the Norwegian remingtons. From this great book: “Norske millitrgevrer etter 1867” (Norwegian military rifles after 1867). See the author homepage : http://home.online.no/~kehan/index.cfm
    ”The Caliber question”
    It was early during the union, decided that there should be used the same ammunition for the two nations armed forces. Despite this a difference occurred with the approbation of the M/1860 chamberloading rifle in Norway, with caliber 4’’’ (linjer) (ca. 12mm), and the Swedish percussionrifle. The Swedish rifle didn’t turn out to be very successful, and it was soon decided to turn them into breachloading rifles (Kammerlader). To be able to fill the rifling, the projectiles for this gun had to be larger than those for the Norwegian Kammerlader. The problem then was to come up with a cartridge that could be used in the old rifles (by convertion to metallic cartride guns) and at the same time modern and well suited for a new rifle. It was obvious that they had to take into consideration the ca. 30000 swedish and ca. 12000 norwegian rifles that were suited for conversion. The commission then decided that the best suited caliber for the new Remington rifle would be 4,1 swedish linjer ≈ 3,88 norwegian linjer (ca.12,17mm) and the bullet diameter 4,021 norwegian linjer (ca. 12,615 mm). This was very well for the Swedish rifle, but less good for the Norwegian kammerladers. At first they thought it would be necessary to re-rifle the Norwegian barrels, but it turned out they only needed honing the them.
    The original 4''' round had a copper case and a cast lead bullet and was first approbated 28. dec. 1867. After more trials it was finally aprobated 19. May 1869. The image below is a drawing of the original cartridge. It was printed in the "Royal norwegian artillerys yearbook of 1867". Hope you got some useful info. out of this.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7

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    I have emailed the Norwegian Army museum, Forsvarsmuseet, and they opened a query for me. I trust they will have many answers.

    <www.fmu.mil.no>

    I am having difficulty contacting the US army Ordnance Corps Museum. Any help?

  8. #8

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    Does anyone have any suggestions on where I can get primary source information on the selection and adoption of the Danish Remington rolling block

  9. #9
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    Try the Krag forum as the rules are a little looser to include Norwegian, Danish & American rifles other than just Krags. There are several Danes in that forum that may be able to direct you... somewhere.

    Dutchman - also the moderator of the Krag forum

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