1879 Argentine Rolling Block
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Thread: 1879 Argentine Rolling Block

  1. #1

    Default 1879 Argentine Rolling Block

    Hello. I picked up a 1879 Argentine Rolling Block rifle. I'd like to find out some info about it. I was told it was in .43 Spanish. Would that be correct? Can .43 Spanish be formed from some other casing such as 45/70? Did the Argentines use this rifle until they adopted the 91 Mauser? How many did they make? Would this be the only model they used or are there others than the 79? Anyone have one they shoot? Thanks for any help.

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    This link will answer a lot of your questions. http://www.militaryrifles.com/Argentina/79Patria.htm

    The .43 Spanish can not be made from the 45/70 for two reasons: 1. it is too short and 2. the base of the 45/70 is much smaller then the base of the .43 Spanish cartridge. The best place to get the correct brass, bullets and dies is Buffalo Arms. If you are intent on making cases from a current case you will need to start with the .348 Winchester. Lots of work, much easier to buy them. Lee Precision also makes a reasonably priced die set but get a RCBS Shell holder as the Lee will break.

    These are fun guns to shoot but you will need to work with it get the best accuracy from it. Mine likes Black Powder the best and shoots well with a 420 grain lead bullet cast from a 20:1 lead tin mix. If you don’t have experience loading Black Powder do your research first, it is not as easy loading smokeless powder.

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    Biggray, I make .43 Spanish cases from .348 Win for my French contract Peabody and, although I find it easy, I do use a number of different dies and a lathe to get the finished case. After that I just open out the necks after firing. If you would like the details let me know.
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    Biggray,
    With cases available from Buffalo, Midway, Graf's and Track of the Wolf, to name a few, there is no need to beat yourself up forming cases from something else. If you don't cast your own, bullets are also available from these sources as well as Western Bullet Co. Argentine rolling blocks have over-long chambers (meant to keep the guns working when fouled,) so you want to seat your bullets as far out of the case as possible. I've been using .440 bullets from Montana Precision in Bertram brass with American Pioneer FF powder. You will want to anneal your fired cases to avoid neck splits. Croft Baker's book on shooting the .43 Rolling Block is a good source of information.
    Is your gun in original condition, or is it one of the reconditioned rifles surplused by the Argentines? Mine is one of the latter, with one of the shiniest BP bores I've ever seen.

    Victor

    "Always carry a firearm east of Aldgate, Watson."

  6. #5

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    Thanks for all the great info. My Argentine looks to be one of the ones that they refinished. The reciever looks to have been buffed more that the barrel. The bore on it is decent but not mint. I see Huntington has the brass made by Bertram at a little over $2 each. I have a couple of molds that I used with my 11mm Mauser that cast out at .445 so I'll need to slug the bore to see if they will work. Thanks again for all the info. Bill

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    The only RRB that uses .445 bullets is the Reformando model. All other 11MM are .439.

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    Default RE: 43 spanish

    DO NOT try to make cases from 348 Winchester, they are .030 too big to go in.It's an almost impossible job to reduce this unless you have a lathe.If you succeded you would still have .025 excess headspace, which is dangerous.All these rifles were chambered for FOLDED HEAD cases, which have a .090 rim thickness, not .065 which is used now. Buy 11mm Mauser brass from midway and trim to the right length and fire-form.The mauser "A" base is a bit small, but will excract OK, but it's .090 thick so no headspace problems. I did this many years ago with CIL brass and it worked fine.You can also buy .44-77 basic brass from Buffalo arms and run it thru a FL sizing die.The 44-77 is the same case as the 43 spanish, only it used a bullet .007 bigger.By the way, i have shot 43 spanish rounds in an original Remington rolling block(44-77) Creedmore.

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    Interesting info, thanks one and all.

    I just got a Modelo Argentino 1879 Remington "Patria" rolling block rifle. It is one of the reblued/refinished surplus pieces. I can't believe the bore on this 19th-century breech loader! Incredible. I'm getting the Barker book on the .43 Spanish, but I've definitely got a lot to learn.

    --cheers,
    --d.

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    Default RE: 43 spanish

    I forgot to menton that these rifles were made with chambers about .375 too long on purpose so even when fouled, it could still be loaded.This works, i once fired twenty-five 43 spanish rounds without cleaning and it still did OK, try this with a Sharps and see what happens.So seat your bullets out, and sizing them to .439 works fine, if using black powder.I do not use smokeless powder in black powder Rolling blocks, my Father once double charged a 32-20 Rolling Block #1 and it bulged the barrel. The action was undamaged, the actions are much stronger than the barrels.I once owned a 7mm #1, but that's a whole different action and barrel design, it just looks the same as the old ones.

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    It is pretty obvious that, on the first time around, many of these guns got heavily rusted, and that the Argentines polished them pretty vigorously before rebluing them. The best indication is the washing out of the Remington tang markings. It's pretty plain that the ones with the pristine bores have new barrels. Yes, the Argentines had spare barrels, and also new wood. I also have read the stories of the alleged "tin-plating" of the receivers, but I am more inclined to believe that they were originally color case-hardened, not plated. Case-hardened steel does not take blue very well, and if it has earlier gotten rusted and then polished to remove the pits, having cut through the case in some places but not in others, and then caustic blued-- it may account for the mottled "spoiled Easter-egg" finish seen on the receivers of many Argentines M1879s.

    M
    Last edited by MGMike; 08-11-2009 at 01:08 AM.

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    Very interesting. Gracias/Thanks for the observations.

    The one I just lucked out on and got has the cleaning rod in the white. There are a few heavily pitted areas where rust was removed on that, and also on the breech handle that have been blued over. On the left of the receiver, I think I can see that "easter egg" mottling you describe under the blue.

    Were these rifles reblued in the the early 20th century, or in the 1940s, do you think?

    As for the bore, it is astounding. I know that the Argentine military completed the so-called "conquest of the desert" i.e. Indian wars in the 1880s, so maybe these arrived too late for that, and were put away and not used after the adoption of the M1891 Mauser? Some info seems to indicate that the Mauser adoption led to them being kept by Remington, and then sold off in the 1950s, but it would seem more likely that they emanated from Argentina then. Very interesting! I can't wait to get to take mine out and shoot it at the range! :D

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    double post, sorry.
    Last edited by JV Puleo; 08-11-2009 at 10:08 AM.

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    There were two original finishes, case hardening and tinning. The tinned ones were probably intended for use in damp or extremely humid climates. The blue finish was done by Interarms before they were sold. They weren't the first or the only importer. Some of the first to arrive were brand new, still in their packing cases. Others came in worn and unrefinished. It isn't an "Arsenal" refinish, the importers just lied in their advertising. Interarms maintained a "refurbishment" facility in England that these were run through on their way to market.

    Many have the marking ground off for exactly the same reasons that they are ground off the 91 Mausers. Also, the RBs came in after the Mausers.

    Also, only a handful didn't go to Argentina and they went to other Latin American countries. These are occasionally seen un-ground but without the Argentine markings. The Argentines simply took reasonably good care of them but the fact that most were refinished shows that many weren't stored under ideal conditions. They used the RB from 1874 to 1891, including several earlier versions, all of which were the regulation arms until the adoption of the mauser.
    Last edited by JV Puleo; 08-11-2009 at 10:12 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JV Puleo View Post

    The blue finish was done by Interarms before they were sold.

    They weren't the first or the only importer.

    Some of the first to arrive were brand new, still in their packing cases. Others came in worn and unrefinished.

    It isn't an "Arsenal" refinish, the importers just lied in their advertising.

    Interarms maintained a "refurbishment" facility in England that these were run through on their way to market.

    Many have the marking ground off for exactly the same reasons that they are ground off the 91 Mausers.

    Also, the RBs came in after the Mausers.
    Of the seven statements above, only one might be correct.

    M

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    Well, thanks for the different competing theories. I'm still reading up a bunch, but the official Remington history just details the sale of 20,000 not what happened to them.

    In any case, here are some pics. You'll see the refinish and so on:
    Modelo Argentino 1879 Remington "Patria" rolling block rifle, cal. .43 Spanish Remington (11.15x58mmR):

    The action and the round:

    Close-up of the arsenal refinished/re-blued action:

    100m to 1300m rear Werndl-type sight and hexagonal knoxform/ chamber that identify it as an Argentine-contract Remington rolling block:

    Close-up of rear sight: 500 meters to 1300!

    The business end:

    Close-up of action:

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    Quote Originally Posted by JV Puleo View Post
    There were two original finishes, case hardening and tinning. The tinned ones were probably intended for use in damp or extremely humid climates. The blue finish was done by Interarms before they were sold. They weren't the first or the only importer. Some of the first to arrive were brand new, still in their packing cases. Others came in worn and unrefinished. It isn't an "Arsenal" refinish, the importers just lied in their advertising. Interarms maintained a "refurbishment" facility in England that these were run through on their way to market.

    Many have the marking ground off for exactly the same reasons that they are ground off the 91 Mausers. Also, the RBs came in after the Mausers.

    Also, only a handful didn't go to Argentina and they went to other Latin American countries. These are occasionally seen un-ground but without the Argentine markings. The Argentines simply took reasonably good care of them but the fact that most were refinished shows that many weren't stored under ideal conditions. They used the RB from 1874 to 1891, including several earlier versions, all of which were the regulation arms until the adoption of the mauser.

    Is this some new info from Layman'sforthcoming new book?

    P.S. daveccarlson : Looks nice - I especially like the non buggered-up screws!
    Last edited by Cloudy; 08-13-2009 at 08:25 PM. Reason: Added a p.s.

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    As a matter of fact, it is. George and I were just working on the Argentina section earlier this week. We have much more, especially on the pre-1879 models, all of which officially stayed in service until replaced by the Mauser. The first Argentine RBs to come into the US were sold by the police, not the army. They'd been given to them as the Mausers replaced the single shots. There is also an outside chance some were refinished in Argentina, not as a national "Arsenal Refinish" program but by the local police departments they went to after they'd been moved on from regular army use.

    There was another importer refinishing center in Puerto Rico - not Interarms but perhaps Golden State? ... I don't have the file with me at home. George did an article on the Argentine rifles for Man at Arms a few months ago and the gentleman who imported the first batch contacted us and gave us a first person account of what happened and when.

    JVP
    Last edited by JV Puleo; 08-14-2009 at 09:09 AM.

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    Interesting. I am am very much looking forward to the book. Thanks for the tidbits!

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    I don't profess to know much about the importation of Argentine "police" RR rifles, but I think that I can state with a reasonable degree of certainty --based on what I have experienced, actually seen, or can document-- the following:

    The first commercially significant quantity of Argentine military M1879 rifles, caliber said to be .44, to be imported into the USA were purchased by Interarmco Canada, Ltd. from the Argentine Army in the spring of 1959. There were 2,000 carbines (listed as Modelo 1979), 10,500 rifles (curiously listed as Modelo 1870), and an additional lot of 202 unspecified "rifles and carbines". The contract price was USD 1.80 ea. They were imported in three shiploads between June and November 1959. They were imported at the same time as (not later than) 163,000 Mauser M1891 rifles (price USD 2.70 ea) and 5,000 Mauser M1909 rifles, as well as many other weapons and millions of rounds of ammunition.

    All three shipments came directly to the USA, according to the ships' manifests. Few or none went to the UK; it would have been commercially insane to send them there. Nor did Interarmco reblue or "refurbish" any Remington RRs from Argentina; that would have been equally unprofitable. Importers might have lied about many things, but in this case not about arsenal reblue. Any refinishing was done in Argentina, during the same routine process that the Argentine Army reblued every model in its inventory that needed it, from Model 1909 Mausers to M1916 Colt-made .45s to M1928 Browning machine guns.

    As late as 1984, crates of Remington M1979 rifles could still be seen at the Monte Chingolo Arsenal outside Buenos Aires, fresh from rebuild, looking exactly like the ones we encounter here. Vide.

    The crates I saw were not original Remington. I suspect some people may be confusing them with the crates for the DWM M1909 Mausers-- some of which DID arrive at Interarms in 1967 in their original zinc-lined crates. Those crates were 54" long, 20" wide and 25" high. I know that because I measured them, and made a note of it.

    A few Remington M1879s are still in ceremonial use. The sentries at the Museo d'Armas de la Nacion in Buenos Aires stand guard duty in colorful 1890s uniform, holding Remingtons and watching the tourists walk by.

    I am willing to entertain the notions that some Argentine M1879 rifles had "tin-plated" receivers, or that some had national crests stamped on them that had to be ground off (as they indisputably were on M91s and M09s), but first I would like somebody to show me one.

    Incidentally, the big Interarmco shipment also included 7,000 Modelo 1895 Cavalry lances, blued steel with brass escutcheons and gutta percha handles. Unlike the Remington rifles, these DID bear the oval national crest, which was defaced by peening with a punch or chisel. They were purchased for 45 cents each.

    M

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    This is more information on the Argentine RB than I've ever seen - albeit somewhat conflicting... Thank you for posting. Although my interest specifically lies in the Egyptian RB, any such details on the military RB are welcome. Sounds like you should get together with George Layman and ensure that the Argentine chapter is accurate so that all interested parties can benefit from the collective knowledge.

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    There is no question that George and I are open to new information. That, after all, is what we're doing this for. But, failing some documentary evidence, I'm not inclined to alter the text just yet. I am certain that the gentleman who contacted us regarding the police purchase knew what he was talking about when he said some of his RBs were in their original packing cases. Among other things one of the cases had the moldy remains of a workman's lunch wrapped in a 1914 newspaper in it, but its certainly possible that there is more to this than meets the eye. For my own part I have to ask why the Argentine govt would have ground the model distinctions off the rifles before they refinished them... since the new blue is on top of the ground barrel markings.

    As to the tinned rifles, I've seen two in the last two weeks, both with completely intact Argentine markings on them and one with the specious "11mm Mannlicher" marking that Bill Wescomb put on them when they were rechambered.

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    JV Puleo: Keep plugging away! You and George Layman do all those interested in the subject a great service when it comes to digging up information. I would also like to hear MGMike expound on his info in more detail.

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    remington rolling block

    Hello out there,anyone have a drawing or print of set triggers,single or double? Would like to make a set,am a retired machinest,have made quite a few gun parts for my antique guns.

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    Default Thanks MGMike

    MGMike's post has caused us to go back and re-examine some original material and we have discovered that it does, in fact, confirm much of what he says. We now believe that the first shipments came in already re-finished, albeit very poorly. The reason given at the time was that they had been done in a hurry to distribute arms of any kind to the Peronistas. This would probably have been around 1950. Whether they were done in Argentine arsenals is another question but this is the source of the heavy handed, over buffed refinishes. In any case, they were so obsolete at the time that they can hardly be considered as having been done for eventual Argentine military use. The total numbers we have (which came from an Interarms agent/buyer who worked all over in Latin America) are actually a little higher than MGMike's.

    Argentina adopted the RB in 1873/74, long before the "Patria" model was made and there are several previous models that remained in use until 1891. None of these are immediately recognizable as Argentine except by occasional added markings. The term "M1870" that Mike refers to may well not be a mistake but a reference to the earlier models, in which case it is easy to see how the gentleman who bought the ex-police guns would believe he was the first in the market. They would have been indistinguishable from any other "Spanish Model", especially if refinished. Interarms was famously secretive about their sources so I doubt they advertised exactly where they had gotten them. The earlier Argentine models are not well known outside that country.

    We don't have any information at the moment about the Canadian connection but it makes a lot of sense because in 1959 relations between the US and Argentina were strained. Using a Canadian corporation is logical. We are also pretty sure about the eventual refinishing of Argentine rifles in England but it clearly wasn't those from the first shipments. The English refinishing is much better. Aside from the ground-off markings, they often look new under ordinary lighting and it is easy to see why they've been taken as original by so many.

    Cheers,

    JVPuleo

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    Hey roller fans,

    Can anyone tell from the photograph if the rear sight on the Modelo Argentino 1879 pictured has the rear sight installed backwards?

    Thanks/Gracias,
    --d.

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    Lol. As a matter of fact - it's backwards! The entire base appears to be swapped end for end so it should be a simple matter to unscrew the whole thing and turn it around...

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    The import figures I posted earlier were taken directly from unsigned copies of the original contracts--both the English and Spanish language versions, drafted in October 1958; a modified version (which I don't have) was signed 10 June 1959. There are a few discrepancies when compared to the commercial invoices and shipping manifests; moreover, the physical counts of material actually received seldom tally with any of them. However, they are close enough to broadly state the following:

    A so-called "consortium" of Interarmco Canada Ltd. and Interarmco S.A. (a Panamanian corporation) purchased 162,607 M1891 rifles (most with bayonets and muzzle covers), 5,000 M1909 rifles, 10,500 Remington Rolling Block rifles, 2,000 RRB carbines, 2,000 Modelo 1898 officers' sabres, 4,600 Modelo 1895 cavalry sabres, 91 Maxim guns, 24 Vickers guns, 31 Browning .50 water-cooled machine guns, 7,000 Modelo M1895 cavalry lances, 341 Thompson submachine guns, 2000 Modelo 1905 Mannlicher pistols, 31 extra cases of bayonets, 130 W&S .455 revolvers, and 39.8 million rounds of assorted ammunition. The total price paid was $749,565.91. Shipping and import duties added another $500,00, more or less.

    The contractual involvement of Interarmco Canada Ltd. had nothing to do with political relations between Canada and Argentina. It had rather more to do with the fact that Interarmco Canada Ltd. was a foreign corporation domiciled in Monaco, where corporate income tax in those days was only 1% and the U.S. did not, at that time, tax the earnings of U.S. citizens living abroad from foreign corporations.

    The material was shipped in four lots (erroneously earlier I said three), from Buenos Aires directly to the Robinson Terminal docks at Alexandria, VA, next door to Interarmco in what was then an industrial area. Trucking was unnecessary; the fork lifts just drove across the street. The first shipment departed Argentina aboard the SS Rio Araza on 16 June 1959, the second aboard the MV Rio Tercero on 10 August 1959, the third on the SS Rio Atuel on 15 November 1959, and the fourth again on the Rio Tercero 12 January 1960.

    The arsenal refinishing of the RRBs might be regarded as poor by "collector" standards but it was very typical of Argentine military arms. They looked no better or worse that hundreds of refinished Mausers, Colts, DGFMs and machine guns that I have examined both here and in Argentine arsenals.

    It's no particular mystery why the markings of model designation were often not preserved. The short answer is that nobody cared. Hell, these guns didn't even have serial numbers-- which from a military standpoint would have been more useful. The arsenals simply were tasked to rebuild and reblue the guns, which they did to an acceptable standard of uniformity and serviceability. It is doubtful that anyone was concerned about preserving small-print markings for the benefit of Remington collectors a hundred years later.

    There were not, as far as I have seen, any M1879 RRBs that were marked with the oval national crest that needed to be ground off, so the survival of the other markings was purely of function of how much rust and pitting needed to be polished out to produce a workmanlike reblue. Some still have a readable marking of "Modelo Argentino M1879 E.N.", but in my opinion it only means one of two things: either a new barrel was fitted or the original barrel was not rusty there. In contrast, the Remington tang markings, being more exposed to handling and the ravages of corrosion, are usually at least partially obliterated.

    The only guns that were "refurbished" in England by Interarmco (in the beginning at the former Cogswell & Harrison works on Bollo Road in Acton, outside London; later in Manchester) were guns that were already in the UK --- principally Lee-Enfield rifles and ex-British S&W revolvers. It made no economic sense to ship guns there from Argentina. Nobody ever made money by refurbishing surplus, though periodically some have tried. The shipping cost and imposition of additional duty, not to mention the long delay before they could be sold to recover the (borrowed) investment, would have eviscerated the profit. There simply wasn't enough market value in .43 Rolling Blocks in those days to justify such additional expense and import duty or multiple handling.

    Interarmco in the US did later convert a few Mauser 1891 and 1909 rifles to "economy" sporters, in the hopes of increasing their interest to hunters, but the effort was commercially unsuccessful and was never undertaken on a large scale. In addition, a few M1909 rifles were rechambered to .30-06 to enhance their appeal; that never caught on either, as shooters quickly figured out that the .303 bore was oversize. This modification was soon abandoned, and is widely conceded today to have been a stupid idea. So much for "refurbishing"...

    As far as some Argentine M1879 rifles from the 1959 Interarms importation showing up in "as-new" condition, I've never seen one. That's not to say they don't exist, but one would think that if any such were found, at least an example would have been held for the extensive personal collection of Samuel Cummings, who made that deal. But that is not the case; his were reblues like everybody else's.

    On the matter of the RRB rifles being referred to in the contract as "Modelo 1870"; I would not attach too much significance to that, or to the fact that all were referenced as ".44 caliber". In most cases such anomalies are simply the result of an error, either by the compiler or by the typist. In any event the Argentines were notoriously obtuse about model designations; they often defy explanation. A good example is the brass-jacket Maxim guns: these were of Maxim 1889 pattern, ordered by the Argentine Army in two batches, in 1895 and in 1898. They were modified in 1909 and are so marked. Yet in the documents they are referred to as Modelo 1911. Go figure. The same is true with their Madsen LMGs, the designation of which varies according to which official document one is looking at. The guns themselves bear no year-model designation.

    Intrigued by the "tin-plate" issue, I closely re-examined the RRBs in my collection and found one-- a carbine that somehow escaped rebluing--that still had some traces of what might indeed be tin plate on the receiver. The gun is in .43 Spanish caliber, and it is marked only "EN" which was double-lined out. It may be Argentine, but I cannot say for sure. In any case, it IS possible that some or all of them were originally so.

    A relatively small number of RRB rifles (likewise all arsenal refinished) were brought in by Interarms about 1967 as part of another major importation of Argentine surplus (mainly Mauser M1909s-- this time with crests intact), but I don't have those figures readily at hand.

    M

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    Hi Mike.
    Many thanks for an outstanding historical essay on Argentine RRB history!
    Best Regards,
    John

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    Mike,

    The carbines in the Argentine Army museum, or at least some of them, have "EN" in a condensed serif typeface on the barrel at the breech. There were two pre-1879 models, the so-called 66/71 and the 74/79. (I'm taking that from the museum display cards) Except that the example in the Army Museum thats identified as a 66/71 is probably a 74/79. I can't figure out where they got their model year designations. Like you say about the machine guns, they often don't seem to make sense.

    The 66/71 should have a side extractor and a 2-line tang marking. The 74/79 should have a rotary extractor and a 3-line tang marking.

    "EN" was used elsewhere besides Argentina since all it means is "national army" but it seems to be pretty uniform on Argentine arms. Do you have any with "RA" in an oval? I think I've seen that stamped near the rear sight on a pre-1879 RB.

    JVP

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    Mike, many thanks for weighing in again. We're fortunate to be at the right place at the right time so that information gets exchanged between the right people!

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    My carbine has no markings other than the 3-line Remington & Sons...1874 rollmark and the aforementioned "E.N." which is situated on the barrel over the chamber, oriented parallel to the boreline and upright from the right-hand side. The font and size looks exactly like the one pictured in the Layman book. It has been lined out with five vertical chisel marks. There is also what remains of a very deep stock stamping in the middle of the right-hand side of the buttstock, perhaps 1" long by 1/2" high, now illegible, though it might have been three block letters or numbers, possibly with periods. There is no "RA" (presumably "Republica Argentina) anywhere, though it is more likely than not an Argentine Carabina Modelo 1879.

    The action is exactly the same in all details as the Modelo 1879 rifle, (extractor, etc.) except of course for the saddle ring. The metal does not appear refinished --everything is overall gray, except for a few silvery traces (tin?) inside corners. However, the stock was sanded long ago, in a manner similar to the Argentine arsenal reworks. This carbine came out of the Cummings collection, but unfortunately there is no earlier documentation of its provenance.

    Again, I believe the reference to the RRB rifles as "M1870" should not be taken too seriously. It is inconceivable to me that the Argentines would have segregated 10,500 rifles --all of earlier patterns--specifically for this sale, particularly when they were also selling much more modern equipment in the lot. (The Argentine invoices also listed the M1891 rifles as "M1891/909", which is not a designation that can be found anywhere else; it seems to exist only on paper.)

    The mottled blue on the receivers of the rifles would be consistent with an original tin-plate finish. Steel that has been plated cannot be satisfactorily blued unless it is electrolytically stripped first. Mere polishing will not remove it all.

    M

    Quote Originally Posted by JV Puleo View Post
    Mike,

    The carbines in the Argentine Army museum, or at least some of them, have "EN" in a condensed serif typeface on the barrel at the breech. There were two pre-1879 models, the so-called 66/71 and the 74/79. (I'm taking that from the museum display cards) Except that the example in the Army Museum thats identified as a 66/71 is probably a 74/79. I can't figure out where they got their model year designations. Like you say about the machine guns, they often don't seem to make sense.

    The 66/71 should have a side extractor and a 2-line tang marking. The 74/79 should have a rotary extractor and a 3-line tang marking.

    "EN" was used elsewhere besides Argentina since all it means is "national army" but it seems to be pretty uniform on Argentine arms. Do you have any with "RA" in an oval? I think I've seen that stamped near the rear sight on a pre-1879 RB.

    JVP

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    That is the orientation of the "EN" marking on the guns in the National Army Museum so I'm certain you're right about it being Argentine. I will try to post a picture of the marking but I'm having some computer problems. the fact that its lined out is interesting.

    When there are any traces of it left, the tinned finish has a silvery gray look. It must have been very thin and I've never seen more than traces of it. It was a finish that everyone was experimenting with in the late 1870s. Springfield tried it, and nickel plating, on some trapdoors and I've even heard of it being tried much earlier on Hall breech loaders. My understanding is that it was supposed to be much more resistant to salt air and extremely humid climates but it never caught on, probably because it didn't look very good and it wasn't durable.

    I am altering the text of the upcoming RB book to reflect some of the information you've shared with us and thank you for the help. We are not terribly concerned with the origins of refinishes in any case, since they are refinishes - but George and I certainly don't want to contribute to the mass of miss-information thats out there.

    I don't have it at hand but I believe that the inventory taken of the Remington plant at the time of the final bankruptcy in 1888 includes some unsold M1879 Argentine models.

    JVP

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    I will see if I can dig out some figures for the later Interarms Argentine shipment c. 1967. I believe there were some RRBs in that one as well.

    M

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    Quote Originally Posted by MGMike View Post
    I will see if I can dig out some figures for the later Interarms Argentine shipment c. 1967. I believe there were some RRBs in that one as well.

    M
    It's dangerous to rely on memory alone.

    International Armament Corporation (i.e., "Interarms", a U.S. entity) imported 2,000 Remington RB rifles Modelo 1879 from Argentina. They sailed aboard the SS Mendoza on 30 September 1966 to Baltimore. The price paid was $12.60 ea., this vast increase attributable to the Argentine Army's getting smart and tendering them for competitive bid. This time the Argentines did describe them as "Modelo 1879", but still insisted on listing the caliber as ".44". The tender originally was for 2,500 units, but for reasons unknown, this was reduced to 2,000.

    A much larger Argentine shipment nearly two years later did not include any RRBs.

    In the FWIW Department: In December 1959 the Government of Guatemala sold Interarmco Canada Ltd. 2,718 RRBs in 7mm. It is unknown if these were rifles, carbines or both, at a nominal price of $1.81 each. Also 23 units in .43 caliber @ $1.10 ea. Obviously this was not a tender. The sale also included considerable artillery and ammunition. The price was "nominal" because it was in fact a barter transaction, in exchange for 200 Armalite AR-10 rifles, each w/bayonet, 2 spare magazines and 50 rounds of 7.62mm ammo.

    M
    Last edited by MGMike; 08-23-2009 at 09:50 AM.

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    Does anyone have an idea of what one of these, in the condition shown above, would/should sell for in 2015? Thanks.

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    I just purchased two RRB carbines, one an Argentine 1979 refurb and the other a 1886/ Remington 'baby' carbine from Cuba in 44WCF (44-40) they cost me $450-00 and 420-00 respectively, that seems to be the going price for them here in Australia. Hope it helps.

    Col

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    Default 1879 Argentine Rolling Block

    Quote Originally Posted by colfi View Post
    I just purchased two RRB carbines, one an Argentine 1979 refurb and the other a 1886/ Remington 'baby' carbine from Cuba in 44WCF (44-40) they cost me $450-00 and 420-00 respectively, that seems to be the going price for them here in Australia. Hope it helps.

    Col
    Thank you! I've looked at every sale I could find, and they all seem to go for around $500 for an arsenal reblued example. I'd really like to buy this one, but he's asking $800 for it and he never negotiates because he thinks his prices are the fairest on the planet. I printed out all of the sales I could find and I'm going to present them to him and make an offer that he can take or leave.

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    If you have to have a Remington RB at any price, then go for it, the bore is the most important part, condition wise. But don't disrregard the Swedish RBs, they are fine rifles and come in 11mm, 12mm and 8mm calibres, the later 8 x 58's are refurbed in 1890's and shoot fine. And are a lot cheaper than $800-00. I would have paid $800 for my Remington "Baby" carbine, only because they are a very rare variation if they are in their original form as mine is.

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    That's the thing - I don't "have" to have this. I collect Argentine Mausers so this is interesting to me, but it would likely be more a collector piece than anything. The bore is mint. The rifle is in really good shape. I just know that I can get one like it for $200-$300 cheaper if I wait.

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    Yes, I know what you mean, why overpay for a rifle/carbine when waiting a little bit will turn up what you want at a realistic price. Some dealers think their wares are gold plated. Me ??, I am a sucker for Mausers and Rolling Blocks, I do have three nice RBs from Argentina, all refurbs in the 1890's, the rifles are all nicely done and have their correct EN mark, the carbine was a tad over polished during it's refurb, however, the "Argentine Modelo 1879 EN" markings on the barrel next to the action show loud and clear the 'EN' mark shows they were all army issue. They all have minty bores, so they all get shot, all are in 43 Spanish, as they should be. It's good to hear from someone with a similar interest. I am in Tasmania Australia. Col

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    This one is in really nice (refurbed) shape, which is why I might be willing to meet the guy somewhere in between. The gold "Argentine Modelo 1879 EN" is very crisp and clear, and the bore looks new. It is in .43 Spanish. The patent dates on the receiver tang are worn and difficult to read. I couldn't find any markings elsewhere. Maybe they were removed during refurb.


    Quote Originally Posted by colfi View Post
    Yes, I know what you mean, why overpay for a rifle/carbine when waiting a little bit will turn up what you want at a realistic price. Some dealers think their wares are gold plated. Me ??, I am a sucker for Mausers and Rolling Blocks, I do have three nice RBs from Argentina, all refurbs in the 1890's, the rifles are all nicely done and have their correct EN mark, the carbine was a tad over polished during it's refurb, however, the "Argentine Modelo 1879 EN" markings on the barrel next to the action show loud and clear the 'EN' mark shows they were all army issue. They all have minty bores, so they all get shot, all are in 43 Spanish, as they should be. It's good to hear from someone with a similar interest. I am in Tasmania Australia. Col

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    Normally the markings you have stated are about all the markings they have apart from a seriel number (sometimes) which is usually located on the inner side of the butt tangs, Down here the seriel number must be visible so I have had to re-number my ones (in very small numbers) on the bottom tang. I'd try the seller at a low $450 and he will probablt refuse, but then you can come up from there to a reasonable price, hopefully. Col

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