Most people think about the Remington Rolling Block as a purpose-built rifle, but it was also used as a way to transform muzzleloaders into more modern breechloaders. Remington did this commercially, and small gunsmiths did it as well. Essentially any old rifle could contribute a barrel, stock, and furniture – just add a Remington action and you can have a cartridge-firing rifle for much less that the cost of getting one brand new.
The Rolling Block transformation we are looking at today appears to have been built on a Confederate Gillam & Miller rifle – an extremely rare pattern. Gillem & Miller only managed to produce 677 rifles for the state of North Carolina during the Civil War, and only a handful of intact surviving examples are known. This one shows what was typical of usable arms in the post-war South – they were used hard, and updated when feasible to keep them useful.
Very Similar to my Chinese Made, .56/52 RF Spencer Ctg.
Made in Tientsin Armoury, in the 1870s. This Armoury had Remington technical assistance in both Rifke and ammo manufacture.
My example was captured in 1900, when the Combined European Army Captured the Taku Forts at the Mouth of the Yellow River, and
the city of Tientsin during the advance on Peking, to relieve the Legations being
attacked by the Boxers.
It bears the Butt Stamp of the Victorian Naval Contingent, assembled from the Victorian Colonial Navy
( prior to Australian Federation in 1901).
On return to Victoria, it
Was used as a Drill Rifle without ammo for up to WWI, then either surplussed or
given to a veteran of the Peking expedition.
Except for the (rough) outer
Woodwork…hand made Chinese
the Metal work and action is Fireable and Good condition…just have to make 56/52 Spencer ammo in in solid brass with an offset .22 RF blank as an igniter…I already have designs from Italy for a .55 Wanzl Rimfire case as well.
Great vid. On the CSA Musket conversion with the 52 cal sleeve…mine is 52 cal solid barrel, with Enfield type Bands…the Chinese had P53 Enfields as well.
It does look like the evidence for this being a Gillam & Miller is rather riveting.
Bubba was alive and well in the Seventies – the Eighteen Seventies! You’re a cruel man, Ian, how many Civil War collectors winced while viewing this video? Have you fired it yet?
“Bubba was alive and well in the Seventies – the Eighteen Seventies!(…)”
Wait… wikipedia does lies here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubba_Smith
A unique and interesting piece – glad it caught your eye. Thanks for sharing, Ian!
Be careful with it!