45-70

 

Back when I was a kid, I read a small soft-cover book about the history of the Remington Arms company.  The thing that most impressed me in the book was the story of the Remington Rolling Block rifle and the vivid descriptions of many of the battles it had been in.  After reading about it, I wanted one.  Coincidently, they were being sold back then through the mail for as little as $6 to $8 for the action only; for $10 to $12 for junkers that were missing a few major parts; for $15 to $20 for ones that were complete, but in poor to fair condition; to as much as $25 to $30 for those in fair to good condition.  I don’t recall seeing any of them being advertised as being in better than NRA good condition, which is not very desirable.  Some were simply described as “wall hangers” without any specific condition.  My guess was that they were less than NRA poor condition.  None of the firearms previous owners (Spain, Mexico, or Egypt) were known for taking good care of their surplus firearms.

 

I learned from the gun magazines at the time that most of the RB’s being offered were No. 1’s (with black powder actions), but a few were No. 5’s (the same size, but they were smokeless powder actions with better steel).  The majority were chambered in odd calibers.  There originally was a lot of confusion between the .43 Spanish and .43 Egyptian calibers, but it was eventually agreed that they were completely different cartridges, even to the diameter of the bullet.  Some of the RB’s were advertised as being in 11mm caliber.  I never did find out if that referred to one of the previously mentioned .43’s or whether it was a different caliber altogether.  Significantly, there was no surplus ammunition advertised with either of them like there was with the other surplus guns being sold at the time.

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