The 12 mm Remington rolling block

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Author: Øyvind Flatnes
Category: Black Powder Cartridge
Published: 11.24. 2007
Edited: Sunday 25 Nov. 2007, at 11:12 (GMT +1)
Views: 34375

Kongsberg Remington

Modell 1867 Remington rolling block made at Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk (Kongsberg Armoury).

The 12 Remington was adopted by the Norwegian Army in 1867, and it was the the first metallic cartridge weapon in our military history. The calibre was 12,17 mm or .479" and the length of the case was first 42 mm, but was later lengthened to 44 mm. The official military name of the cartridge is 12 mm Remington. When the Remingtons were sold to civilians they where most often converted to fire centrefire cartridges. The advantage with centrefire cartridges was that the shooter could reload the case numerous times.

Find out more!
You can read more about the Norwegian, Swedish and Danish Remington rolling block rifles and carbines in the brand new book From Musket to Metallic Cartridge: A Practical History of Black Powder Firearms.

Husqvarna Remington

Swedish Husqvarna Remington.

Both Sweden and Norway used the 12 mm Remington in their armies. In Norway they were made at the Kongsberg Armoury, and these can be recognized by the crowned K markings. They also have a slightly different rear sight than the Swedish made. If you're thinking of getting yourself a Remington rolling block the cheapest would be a Swedish made. Weapons produced at Kongsberg Armoury are more expensive and are not produced in such great number as the Swedish.

Remington

M1867.

In Sweden they were made at Husqvarna Vapenfabriks Aktiebolag, Carl Gustav stads gevärfaktorie and Stockholm Gevärsverkstad. They can be separated from each other by the markings on the right side of the receiver. The following markings where used:

  • Kongsberg: A crowned K.
  • Husqvarna: H
  • Carl Gustav: A crowned C.
  • Stockholm gevärverkstad: A crowned S.

The first adopted Kongsberg model had these features:

  • Length: 53.15"
  • Weight: 8,8 lb.
  • Barrel length: 37,4"
  • The weapon was stocked in birch and delivered with a sabre bayonet.

Loading the cartridges

The first thing to do is to find all the things you need to reload a 12 mm Remington cartridge.

  • Brass cases
  • Bullets
  • Bullet lube
  • Black powder
  • Caps (magnum caps seems to work best)
  • Some sort of wad, milk carton shillings works great.
  • A plate of bees wax.

Remington

Cartridges and bullets.

If you don't have loading equipment that's not a problem. The old timers didn't use it, and then we don't have to use it. But, there are die sets available for this odd calibre. I have one in 12,7x44 made by RCBS. But you can also use a .50-70 Govt. die set.

Step 1: Make sure the gun is in a safe shooting condition.

Step 2: Prime the case. Use a wooden hammer or something like that and tap it gently into the case.

Step 3: Pour a pre measured or weighed charge into the case. The original charge was about 60 grains of 2F black powder. You can start a bit lower on the first shots.

Step 4: Put one or more of the milk carton shillings over the powder. It's important not to have any air between the powder and the bullet. If there is an air gap the gun can blow up! If you're using a small charge you'll have to build up the remaining space with the carton shillings. They also help scarping out fouling in the bore.

Remington

Accuracy at 50 metres.

Step 5: Take the case muzzle and press it over the bees wax plate. Then you will have a wax shilling that fits exactly in the case. The wax helps keeping the fouling soft and gives better accuracy. This step is not necessary, and can be left out. To prevent the wax shilling sticking to the bullet in flight I use another carton shilling or a thin newspaper shilling over the wax.

Step 6: Put a pre-lubed on top of the charge. Mind the air gap! The original lube was a sheep tallow/bees wax mix, but there are plenty of other bullet lube variations. It doesn't matter if the bullet is loose in the case, you just have to be careful when you're carrying it. The accuracy won't suffer from it. The cartridge is now ready to be fired.

After shooting

  • Remove the caps.
  • Wash the cases in soapy water
  • Clean the gun and oil it.

Bayonets

Kongsberg sabre bayonet (Norwegian).
Husqvarna sabre bayonet

Kongsberg sabre bayonet (above)
and Swedish sabre bayonet.

All the Norwegian Remingtons was fitted with at yatagan style sword bayonet. The Swedish Army's rifles was fitted with a socket bayonet, while the Swedish Navy's rifles were fitted with a sword bayonet. The Swedish sword bayonet was quite similar to the Norwegian, but there are some minor differences. The Norwegian sword bayonet was similar to the one that was used on the 4''' kammerlader rifles.



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